Brian Eno – Ikebukuro (1992)

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The Shutov Assembly is an ambient album by British musician Brian Eno, released on 10 November 1992 on Warner. The album is dedicated to Russian artist Sergei Shutov, and was created as an assembly of tracks for him, as he had mentioned to Eno the difficulty he had of getting Eno’s music in the then-communist Russia.

Shutov is a Russian painter who I know in Moscow, and a while ago he gave me a painting as a present. He uses my music in his studio a lot; he’s got a little blaster there, and plays my music as he’s working. So I thought I’d put together a tape for him of unreleased pieces from the past few years. I kept a copy of the tape, and when I started playing it I started to enjoy it and see a thread running through the pieces that I hadn’t really seen before. They’d never been put together before, you see. – Brian Eno

On the rear cover of the CD, the ten tracks of nine letters are arranged in a grid as seen in a word search puzzle. This appears to reflect Eno’s known affinity for word games, but there is a purely coincidental reason for why they are so titled. (Ikebukuro – Tokyo installation in 1989). Or, as the album’s Rykodisc entry says “The Shutov Assembly is a journey through Eno’s sumptuous audio-visual installations from around the world, each track touching down on a particular event and atmosphere”.

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