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Orblivion

4.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 11, 1997
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Product Description

Orblivion by The Orb

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It's the end of the world as we know it, and Dr. Alex Patterson is feeling just fine. Returning with his seventh release under the moniker of the Orb, the grandfather of ambient house and the master of transcendental techno has made the cheeriest album about millennial tension and apocalyptic craziness that you're likely to hear. Not since Prince's 1999 has the beginning of the end sounded like so much fun. With music industry institutions from MTV to Billboard rushing to proclaim that electronica is the next "next big thing," the contributions of veterans like Patterson and Richard James (a.k.a. the Aphex Twin) are being overlooked, while relatively slight talents such as the Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers are being lauded. Meanwhile, Patterson is at his turntables leading a new version of the Orb with Andy Hughes and Thomas Fehlmann, and the group is making some of the best music of its career. Over the ominous sounds of "S.A.L.T.," a paranoid Scottish preacher predicts that the number of the Beast described in The Book of Revelations is showing up on our credit cards. Elsewhere, a solemn voice intones, "The rocket is waiting," and a perplexed weather girl stumbles when she reads that temperatures tomorrow will be sub-zero, "continued mild." Throw in a snippet from Joe McCarthy's red-baiting Senate hearings and an hysterical commercial jingle with a bouncy chorus about "the youth of America on LSD," and you may find yourself rushing in a panic to the bomb shelter. Considering the subject matter, it's ironic that "Delta MKII," "DJ Asylum," and "Toxygene" contain some of the Orb's happiest hooks ever, as well as the uniquely fluid and jazzy mid-tempo grooves that have come to characterize the combo's live performances. Like the ravers who throw roof-top parties to greet the aliens in Independence Day, Patterson is going out dancing, and judging from the pleasantly disorienting swirl of sounds in his patented Orb mixes, he's probably high as a kite. And why not? In his warped but wonderful vision, the end of the world is just one more groovy trip. --Jim Derogatis
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 11, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island Records
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • ASIN: B000001EAU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,138 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is as much of a nostalgia trip as much as a review...
Taking a leap of blind faith at a CD trade store the day before leaving North Carolina, I selected this as my cross-country excursion on my way moving to California after turning in two REM CDs and a Green Day CD in exchange for this album. Suffice to say, I'm glad somebody else hated it enough to donate it to a trade store, because I loved it when I got it and listened to it.
For thousands of miles my parents and I enjoyed the sci-fi like electronic atmospheres and ambient compositions throughout this album, keeping our sanity from a horrendous road trip in check. This being my first Orb album was the gateway to owning more Orb--a financially dangerous addiction, if you will.
Back to the content of the music. Nothing, nothing is better than having the sunroof opened when driving in the starry Arizona desert night with "Passing of Time" playing, or "Asylum"'s early-morning-dance-club techno rhythms moving along with the road's dashes and painted lines on a highway in Tennessee. And staring at a red sunset in New Mexico without blinking throughout the 6-minute duration of "Molten Love" and it's futuristic surreality (something about it's flutelike percussion will bring forth vague memories you can't put into shape or form, but you know they're there) is like reaching the state of nirvana (though, "Little Fluffy Clouds" from OABTUW might have been more fitting if I had it then :)).
This album is not only a good introduction to The Orb, but also a good introduction to a more intelligent form of electronic music, especially for those who are tired of more cliche-based genres.
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Format: Audio CD
One thing to understand is that The Orb is constantly evolving, and no one album sounds like the one that came before it. That having been said, this makes "Orblivion" even more stunning than it already is. Dr. Alex Patterson, along with Andy Hughes and Thomas Felhmann have created an epic leading into the new millenium. The lead off track, "Delta MKII", is a frenzy of bleeps and bloops and constantly changing percussion over samples about Communists and the military. A barrage of pinball machine leads us into "Ubiquity". A sweeping array consisting of a bouncy beats, a nice floating keyboard hook, and a multitude of crazy sounds. Quite a nice track. "Asylum" is a nice 5 minute break from the cranks and whirs of the first two tracks. Probably one of the standout songs on the album. "Bedouin" has a playful tribal vibe to it which dissolves into utter creepiness, and "Molten Love" keeps the closest ties to "Pomme Fritz" and "Orbus Terrarum". The short barrage of noise that is "Pi" brings us into "S.A.L.T.", a barrage of jungle beats over a Scot ranting about the apocalypse. "Toxygene", the first single from the album, is incredibly catchy and will make you want to get up and groove. There's yet another small noise track, "Log Of Deadwood", then we're lead into "Secrets". A relatively subdued track, this has to be heard to describe just how great it is. "Passing of Time" is a Pink Floydian epic for the '90s, while "72" is just quite simply, the youth of America on LSD.
This album seems to tie up everything The Orb has done. It manages to catch the ambience, randomness, and off key humor of "Pomme Fritz" and "Orbus Terrarum", while adding in the dance-like beats, catchy hooks, and utter bliss of "UFOrb" and "Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld".
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Format: Audio CD
As I was listening to the last song, which is stated to be 6 seconds long, kept going after so. Waiting for what I had a feeling would be coming on, I opened the CD case just a crack, the smallest bit, and peered inside. A big clearing with the part that held the CD in the middle. This reminded me of the front of the case, which features famous buildings, whether it be from our earth or other worlds, in a star formation. I pictured the middle of the clearing in the CD case a vast city scape, and with the ideas and inspiration still from the CD this is what spawned from it:

A furturistic city, with phsycadelic pulsing skies which represented the catchy beats.

Drifting essences, spirits of those who lived underground, which represents the awesome ambience.

And all that existed represented the melodies.

And, I thought to myself, please let me try living in this city- at least one day. Then, the secret track began- and my thoughts were answered.

MASTERPIECE!!!
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
It's The Orb. Weird music, but cool. I first heard them in the early/mid 90's when a hippie friend of mine introduced me. I'd never heard anything quite like it but you know, The Orb, they're cool. They have vocal samples scattered through the music like people talking, giving lectures or interviews, but just little bits and pieces. That's one of the things I like about Goa Trance, and it's one of the things I like about The Orb. (Totally different genres by the way, this is Ambient, not Goa Trance!)
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