No Sounds Are Out of Bounds
After thirty years of ambient house music and bringing spaced-out clubsters back to earth, The Orb still has that magic ability to calm the raging seas and wipe up the spilled glow stick juice with a complex, quiet sound. We open with a strong female vocal in “The End of The End,” her lyrics make sense and slip promptly between actual chords and energized loops. It’s a promising beginning to the ride, and this ride goes on for over an hour. We transition to the next track via a sports car zooming away only to be seduced into “I Wish I Had A Pretty Dog.” It’s the same vocal trick they used in “Little Fluffy Clouds;” the vocals are sampled, repeated, and tossed into an audio salad with croutons and a ginger vinaigrette dressing.
Tracks flicker by like streetlights seen from a late-night metro in the soggy rain of a cold European night. Melody fades away, samples now seem nearly random, yet an underling patterns wink at us. We wink back, but no connection forms: the ideas, the sounds, the samples and the electronics plays over a soundscape of random sources, modulated by a pre-planned coda of effects. We easily migrate over to a totally different soundscape and imagine hearing it applied to a classical sonata or fugue; the process delivers equally entertaining results. We have a story: there’s an arc, a concept and a bridge. They’re just juxtaposed to keep you from sinking too deeply into the folds of your own brain. But your brain is now happy, and so are you. Dream on…