Brian Eno reissues ‘Oblique Strategies’ cards


Quick, what’s the next major decision you have to make? What to make for dinner? Whether or not to refinance the mortgage? If a new song you’re working on needs a different EQ on the snare drum?

For decades, producer Brian Eno’s “Oblique Strategies” has provided handy ways of re-imagining your problem. In 1975, the producer collaborated with artist Peter Schmidt on a deck of cards where each is printed with a suggestion, tactic or small aphorism. They are meant to be chosen at random to give new contexts to creative decisions.

Musicians from Coldplay to R.E.M. and Phoenix have found the tips, such as “Honor thy error as a hidden intention” and “Repetition is a form of change,” to spur new ways of lateral thinking.


The original decks have become sought-after collector’s items, and now Eno has reissued the deck in a new limited edition. This edition of these cards comes in a handsome burgundy box and includes new ideas exclusive to this set. It’s limited to 500 numbered copies, and each will come in at just under $100 -- a much more affordable price than the physical hit you’d have to take to hear Eno’s other recent composition, a soundtrack to a hospital waiting room.

If you’ve already stocked up on Innocence by Misty (and, of course, we have), here’s another magnificent gift idea for the musician who has everything yet is paralyzed with indecision and self doubt (which is to say, every musician ever).


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