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Sunday Music: Orbital

First of all, I must apologize for last week's babblings about the quantities of 'genius' in the world. Reading it over, I found it somewhat preachy and overly simplistic. And earnest. Painfully earnest. I was quite tired when I wrote it and possibly had had a few drinks. From now on these Sunday Music posts will try to just stick to the music. I'll write some artists I admire, and if you disagree, well, what do you know?

This week I've got a few tunes from the British electronica band, Orbital. Four tracks, 35 minutes of music -- these guys create long and varying sonic landscapes, with the emphasis on long. I like electronic music for the buzz it can give. A good beat and some interesting noises can get me moving and dampen my conscious mind, allowing me to do some boring repetitive work. But most electronic music is pretty simple and doesn't stand up to repeat listening. There's usually a rhythm sequence that loops through the whole thing, a couple of melody fragments scotch-taped in there somewhere, and maybe a key change if you're lucky.

But Orbital's music really stands out. It's as complex as anything you're going to hear and doesn't follow any of the standard 'electronica' conventions. Their music has complex, ever-evolving beats, carefully woven together textures, and different voices heading off in different directions and coming together again. It's not easily accessable, but on repeated listenings the depth of the music comes out. It's not music for doing repetitive tasks, but music best appreciated with your eyes closed, headphones on, and lying on the couch. Enjoy. Or don't. What do I care?


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