Monday, December 08, 2008

755. William Orbit - Strange Cargo III (1993)

















Track Listing

1. Water From A Vine Leaf
2. Into The Paradise
3. Time To Get Wize
4. Harry Flowers
5. A Touch Of The Night
6. The Story Of Light
7. Gringatcho Demento
8. A Hazy Shade Of Random
9. Best Friend, Paranoia
10. The Monkey King
11. Deus Ex Machina
12. Water Babies

Review

William Orbit gives what he is famous for, pleasant chill out music of some quality, that is at the same time inoffensive but also generally uninteresting. He is a very good producer, no doubt about it, but he is also a bit of a bore.

The whole genre of "chill out" music is a minefield of shit. Like wading through an elephant cage that hasn't been cleaned in decades. In that context this album is really not that bad at all.

Interestingly in the first track you get a very unknown Beth Orton doing vocals, and that is actually the most interesting part of the whole album, she is doing a quite different singing style than what she would later use in her career. So yeah, mildly interesting "chill out", like ambient music for those without the intellectual commitment.

Track Highlights

1. Water From a Vine Leaf
2. The Monkey King
3. Into the Paradise
4. Time to Get Wize

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The album was performed, produced and mixed by William Orbit at Guerilla Studios, London. Mark Rutherford and Sugar J. co-performed "Deus Ex Machina" with William Orbit. Rico Conning: flexible bleeps and roadhouse piano on "Time to get Wize", spikey piano and strings on "The Story of Light" and additional programming on "A Touch of the Night".

Beth Orton in what is probably the most ridiculous video of her career, Water from a Vine Leaf:


3 comments:

Tom Meade said...

I thought the point of ambient music is that it didn't necessarily require intellectual commitment.

Or was that a joke?

Francisco Silva said...

I think it is the ultimate paradox of ambient music. It does not require intellectual commitment, but if you chose to give it, it will reward you. All the way back from Erik Satie, through Brian Eno, Can and Aphex Twin. While "chill out" of the William Orbit style does not reveal any more depth than its surface.

Tom Meade said...

Oh, well on that level I agree with you, although phrasing it as "intellectual commitment" might be a bit much. Unfortunately the ambient genre has become colonised by people who insist that their music doesn't have to be interesting, because it's supposed to be wallpaper.