The Orb – The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld (1991)

June 7, 2011

Previously, on Twin Peaks…

Just kidding. Earlier I reviewed The KLF’s Chill Out (1990). Although Dr. Alex Paterson (I’m doubtful that he is a doctor) and Jimmy Cauty (of the KLF) worked together at some point, eventually they went separate ways. The KLF had released Chill Out the previous year, and had released their “stadium house” classic “The White Room” earlier in March 1991, in August 1991, “The Orb’s Adventures From Beyond The Ultraworld” was released in a “double album” ~110 minute UK edition and an edited ~70 minute US edition. I guess Island Records figured American’s weren’t quite as “Out of their Heads” as British consumers…

The opener, “Little Fluffy Clouds” features a very spaced Rickie Lee Jones reminiscing about life as a child in Arizona.

Jones: “They went on forever – They – When I w- We lived in Arizona, and the skies always had little fluffy clouds in ’em, and, uh… they were long… and clear and… there were lots of stars at night. And, uh, when it would rain, it would all turn – it- They were beautiful, the most beautiful skies as a matter of fact. Um, the sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire, and the clouds would catch the colours everywhere. That’s uh, neat ’cause I used to look at them all the time, when I was little. You don’t see that. You might still see them in the desert.

I particularly like how various rhythms and melodies were produced from the phrase “Little Fluffy Clouds” throughout the song. The keyboard melody is pretty catchy too, and the excellent choice of samples, such as “The Man With A Harmonica” which I first heard when I saw the Leone film “Once Upon a Time in the West” (1968).

Continuing the spaced theme, “Earth (Gaia)” which has an excellent bass line and samples from Flash Gordon, takes the listener to the next level.

The classic “single” that is “A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre of The Ultraverse” is the real standout on this album, at 18 minutes in length, gives the listener plenty of time to go on a journey in inner space. The effect is augmented by the inclusion of Minnie Riperton’s “Lovin’ You” and the opening riff from Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”  in the mix.

Breaking down the album into individual songs is unnecessary, as the album flows from one song to the next with seemingly minimal effort. Best listened to at around 3 AM on a hot summer night.


One Response to “The Orb – The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld (1991)”

  1. Adrian said

    Oh man ! What a great album and you are spot on , 3am on a hot summer night sounds perfect. Mind you I listen to this anytime to be honest. My favorite orb release and must rank as one of the best ambient music albums of all time I think.

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