Tuesday Tunes: Orblivion

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In this digital age I don’t tend to buy many CDs. I had already collected a fair amount of vinyl and a couple of drawers full of cassettes before CDs came along, so my music collection, although modest by a serious collector’s standards, already takes up too much valuable space. When I look around HMV these days I find myself liking odd tracks on a bunch of CDs, but nothing really enough to buy…

With a few exceptions, one of which being The Orb. There’s a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, they’re not a singles act. They make the sort of music that is intended to be played as an album. Secondly, the spacey, largely instrumental electronic sound is perfect for writing to – especially for writing sci-fi to. And then there’s the fact that, just occasionally, they sound ever so slightly like the KLF, one of my favourite bands of all time.

Orblivion was originally released in 1997, but I recently got hold of the remastered & expanded version released last year. As an album, Orblivion is The Orb at their spaciest, and the second CD, the remixes, takes the whole trip off on a variety of insane tangents.

For some reason, this was not a particularly successful outing for Dr Paterson and his colleagues, at least in the UK. It is, arguably, an album of two halves, the first four tracks blend into one, all hypnotic beats and trippy electronica about as good as it comes; then half way through you hit S.A.L.T., which is based on the ranting sermon of a street preacher who has read too much Left Behind; Toxygene, the unloved Jean-Michel Jarre remix that I referred to in my last writing music review (the Kris Needs Up For A Fortnight Mix on disc 2, which is about 90% bass, is currently one of my top driving tunes); and Secrets, a trippy little number introduced by a weather forecast that needs a double-take.

Stand-out tracks: Well, I mentioned Toxygene in that Jarre review a few weeks back; the original version is my top pick for this collection too, followed by S.A.L.T.

It’s all good, if you like that sort of thing, and the remix disc, while arguably not adding much to the original, is a welcome bonus.

Listen along

Get a copy

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