Reviewing ‘Secret Life’ by Fred Once more.. and Brian Eno

Fred once more.. considers Brian Eno his mentor, however based on the ambient pioneer, it’s extra of a mutual relationship. As a 16-year-old, launched by a good friend who lived subsequent to Eno, Fred attended a few of Eno’s legendary a cappella performances at his residence, and ultimately turned his unofficial protégé.

Over time, Eno gave Gibson his first manufacturing credit on his two 2014 LPs with Underworld’s Karl Hyde and pushed him to develop into Fred once more.., the identify below which he has develop into essentially the most sought-after producer on the planet, having co-written songs with artists akin to Ed Sheeran and Romy. Nevertheless, his connections to the British aristocracy have earned him accusations of being a “nepo child.”

One of many many items Eno bestowed upon Gibson all through this course of was a file containing hundreds of drone sounds, a lot of which served as the bottom for his massively profitable ‘Precise Life’ collection. ‘Secret Life,’ Fred and Eno’s first full-length collaboration, was created across the similar time because the three ‘Precise Life’ LPs and serves as one thing of a Fred once more.. origin story.

All through the album, launched on 4 Tet’s Textual content Information, Eno lets his protégé take the narrative reins whereas offering soundscapes behind Fred’s soft-focus storytelling. Little snippets of samples from ‘Precise Life’ additionally seem, bringing ‘Secret Life’ into the immersive Fred once more.. universe like easter eggs hidden in Taylor Swift’s albums. For diehard followers, it’s a satisfying peek into his artistic course of.

Nevertheless, prior data is essential to completely get pleasure from ‘Secret Life,’ with the album’s narrative substance being key to its make-up. It’s most fulfilling to these within the know, filling in satisfying gaps, however newcomers or Eno followers unfamiliar with Fred’s work might really feel shut out.

Though most of ‘Secret Life’ options ambient Fog and solely a line or two of vocals, the gorgeous and chilling ‘Sufficient’ presents a welcome dose of melody. ‘Cmon’ demonstrates the push-pull dynamic between Eno and Gibson, with the latter attempting to steer the monitor in direction of the dancefloor whereas the previous retains it grounded.

Launched just some weeks after Fred’s thunderous dance and techno set alongside 4 Tet and Skrillex at Coachella, ‘Secret Life’ sees him as soon as once more flip in an abrupt route in direction of ambient haze, assisted by the person who made all of it doable for him. Regardless of its frequent magnificence, this shock album is finest seen as a puzzle piece somewhat than a standout file in its personal proper.


  • Launch date: Might 5, 2023
  • Document label: Textual content Information