Thursday, January 19, 2012

Crate Digging: Orbvs Terrarvm

by The Orb

I recently discovered a cache of CDs that I thought long lost while helping clean out an old TV stand at my parent's house over the holidays.  The pile of CDs (maybe twenty or twenty-five in number) were all sealed away some twelve or more years ago, and I thought it would be cool to write about my thoughts when listening to them after such a long time.  Therefore, I'm resurrecting my old 'Crate Digging' feature.

First up is Orbvs Terrarvm, the 1995 album from ambient superstars The Orb.  I was a huge Orb fan in the early 90s, and can vaguely remember being pretty excited when this album came out.  It's exactly what someone listening to the Orb would expect - the seven tracks here range in length from seven to seventeen minutes, and are both mind-numbingly repetitive and eerily beautiful in about equal proportions.

The music pulses more than progresses through loops of sound that are both warm and inviting, and coldly clinical.  These are all instrumental tracks, except for the usual astronaut chatter or disconnected samples that always sound like they are coming from instructional tapes.

The ship of ambient electronica sailed many many years ago (although it's not much of a stretch to go from here to the post-hip-hop multi-instrumentalism of artists like Shawn Lee and Clutchy Hopkins), but I really enjoyed digging into this album after so many years.  It kind of makes me want to read an article in Wired about Jaron Lanier or fractals or something.  I should look for the rest of my Orb CDs...

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