Welcome to Breakdown, an unofficial resource and discussion list about the innovative guitarist/producer Michael Brook. This site is infrequently updated, but contains a great deal of background info which will remain online. For up-to-date news and information, visit Michael Brook's official site and MySpace page.

Babbling Brook a compendium of articles reviews and interviews

A Fervent Nostalgia for the Future
excerpt of an interview with Brian Eno
from Sound on Sound
February 1989, by Mark Pendergast
[archived here without permission]

Michael Brook: Infinite Guitarist

Michael Brook is best known through his collaborative work with Eno / Lanois in Grant Avenue, Canada, on various albums. His first solo release, Hybrid (EG 1985), showed off his great understanding of rhythm and ethnic / trance effects. His biggest effect was on U2's The Edge, whose guitar style owes a lot to Brook's invention of the 'Infinite Guitar'.

Michael Brook: "The use of note bending and ornamentation in Indian and Arabic music has always been a fascinating and attractive thing to me. For quite a few years I had been trying to incorporate and augment these elements in my guitar playing by using a compressor and fuzz, both of which can increase sustain. This allowed me to play short melodies by bending or slurring between notes, rather than actually picking each individual note. In the early stages of making Hybrid, I heard about a device that could electronically increase sustain. I sent away for it, hoping that this would allow me to use more of these techniques. After a long wait and still no Gizmo, I thought that perhaps it would be possible to make something myself, and began experimenting. Surprisingly, there were some encouraging results quite quickly. And after a few 'Frankenstein' stages, in which my guitar looked like the aftermath of an accident in a junk shop, the cosmetically innocuous 'Infinite Guitar' evolved. By having infinite sustain, which is to say that as long as a finger holds the string down a note will sound, it was now possible to play arbitrarily long ornamented passages, and this became a prime element in my playing. There are longterm plans to market the 'Infinite Guitar' but, for the present, music projects have not allowed time to develop a manufacturable version, and only three models exist. Daniel Lanois and The Edge each have one - myself the other."

Brook has a special relationship with Roger Eno, in that they love performing together and do it often. In fact, Brook is the producer credited on Between Tides.


Err: Michael Brook. Played and written by Micheal Brook from 1988 Berlin concert Treatments by Brian Eno. Excellent exposition of Brook's thorough grasp of 'possible' guitar-musics. Plenty of cascading riffs and ratcheting tail-offs, enhanced by Eno's mercurial touch. Understated but effective.