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George M. Wallace
a fool in the forest, January 2013

Favorite Albums of 2012: #22

Icebreaker’s Apollo shares lineage…with Bang on a Can’s transcription of Brian Eno’s Music for Airports. The synthesizer-based originals melded the electronic and organic largely through the presence of Daniel Lanois’ steel guitar. Here, with B J Cole as guitarist, Apollo’s atmospherics become both warmer and more transparent. © 2013 a fool in the forest

Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), July 2012

…the innovative ensemble Icebreaker and renowned pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole present an invigorating performance of Brian Eno’s Apollo. Widely regarded as Eno’s most influential ambient album, Apollo was composed by Brian Eno, Roger Eno and Daniel Lanois… © 2012 WFMT (Chicago) Read complete review

Olivia Giovetti
WQXR (New York), June 2012

Nearly 30 years since Apollo first landed on the charts, the music is back in a revitalized and refurbished setting courtesy of Icebreaker and guitarist BJ Cole. The project was born in 2009, forty years after the moon landing, when the British ensemble collaborated with London’s Science Museum to present a live version of the score, accompanying Reinert’s film at the museum’s IMAX cinema. As the documentary underwent significant cuts, the way Icebreaker presents the score for Cantaloupe music varies from the original recording…And in doing so, the work takes on a bit of a new persona.

The vastness is still there, as is the weightlessness of the music as it hangs heavy in the air. The ambitious use of country western idioms still rings poignant. But whereas there is a turbulent underbelly to the original recording of Apollo, here there’s a greater sense of comfort and wonder. © 2012 WQXR (New York)

Tom Huizenga
National Public Radio, June 2012

…Lee and Icebreaker’s new instrument choices are creative. The insistent three-note descending theme in “The Secret Place,” originally a reverberant synth tone, is replaced by breathy panpipes. And in the excellent “An Ending (Ascent) II,”…the simple repeated melody, so infused with yearning, is beautifully rendered with a blend of flutes, accordion and Cole’s searching pedal steel.

Eno said his ambient music should be as ignorable as it is listenable. This new version of Apollo leans heavily toward the listenable, with more than enough to delight the ears many times over. © 2012 Deceptive Cadence/National Public Radio Read complete review

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