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.
February 3, 2011
1990’s “Chill Out” attempts to be an aural tour guide from Brownsville, Texas to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and on to the 1990’s. Well, that’s what the track titles indicate. Chill Out (1990) was recorded live at the Trancentral studio by The KLF. During their trip, they introduce the listener to the imagined sounds of “Elvis on the Radio”, “Wichita Lineman”, and… sheep.
Other sounds you’ll meet during this trip are the KLF’s own “Justified & Ancient” theme, a call for all aboard to “Mu-Mu Land”, a radio broadcast of a 17 year old motorcyclist who never came home, and an offer to “come back fat as a rat all along the east coast”, and a special phone number for you to call.
You’ll here what I describe as “space country” in the 7:41 epic “Madrugada Eterna”, slide guitar with delay and chorus, similar to that found on the song “Deep Blue Day” on Eno’s Apollo album from 6 years prior. The slide guitar here is a bit more space than country, but I find it just as cosmic. “Madrugada Eterna” is a wonderful experience that can take you to places other than planet Earth.
One of my favorite sounds on this album are the long heavenly drones, often moving back and forth in the mix, between the sheep, the trains, the jets, the radio, and Elvis. The drone is everywhere along the trip, giving the listener a sort of “whole new take on the day”. “Chill Out” leaves me wishing that the trip will never end.
January 31, 2011
Budd’s 1988 album ‘The White Arcades’ is a very good example of ambient music. This album finds Budd recording a set of lovely melodies guaranteed to send you to dreamland.
The electronics here are more overt compared to his collaboration with Eno and Lenois on ‘The Pearl’ (1984). ‘The White Arcades’ retains the same relaxing atmosphere, but is ultimately not as versatile as ‘The Pearl’ (1984).
Reissued in 2005 with new artwork.