Journalists Encounter Virtual Eno

Never one to take the conventional route, Brian Eno is not only handling worldwide promotion of his new album, The Drop (All Saints Records), from his new home in St. Petersburg, Russia, but he's also conducting all interviews via E-mail. Billboard's Nigel Williamson reports that the former Roxy Music man has requested that journalists -- and even his U.K.-based publicity firm, Celebration -- direct their inquires to him via the Internet for at least the duration of his stay in St Petersburg, where he has gone to work on projects while taking a sabbatical from teaching in London. Meanwhile, the ambient-music progenitor's new album, three years in the making, features 17 instrumental tracks, some experimenting with drum'n'bass rhythms, others dominated by throbbing pulses. "There are lots of melodies, although they move in an angular and slightly irrational fashion. They keep changing direction, trying to find out where they are going," Eno says-by E-mail, of course. "I don't want to do something that's well covered by a lot of other people. My pleasure and pride is in discovering new places for music to go."