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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Orb's most prolific work to date, 10 May 2004
By 
P. Godfrey "mcbpete" (SW England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bicycles & Tricycles (Audio CD)
After almost 15 years worth of albums to their names, Paterson et al have once again made an album to be proud of. Their lack of direction felt over their last couple of albums (and mix albums BadOrb.com and Auntie Aubrey’s Excursions) made me worried that The Orb saga was soon to be forgotten.
This album is probably their most demanding work to date. Fusing elements as diverse as Hip Hop (Aftermath), Detroit Techno (Gee Strings), Dub (Tower Twenty Three) and Fennesz/Twine style Ambient Glitch (Compania and Dilmun), there is a great diversity between the album albeit with the usual Orb style playfulness and consistency found in the previous works.
The only track that seems to fail to have any impact is ‘The Land of The Green Ginger’, a track that would not seem out of place 10 years ago. With rather tired arpeggiation and overuse of ‘silly’ narration, it seems more of a retrospective of their earlier ambient meanderings that the critics hated so much, rather than a song worthy to be upon this album.
The production also seems to improved greatly over their earlier works with a far greater spectral range than that of say Orblivion and even Cydonia. It seems as if they were too aware of this evolution of sound through the ‘remix’ of their debut track ‘Huge ever growing pulsating brain that rules from the centre (of the ultraworld)’ in the track From A Distance which features Orbital style dark bass lines and layering of sound bringing their 1991 track up to date.
The last two tracks also mark a completely new style for The Orb and one which I hope they continue developing in the future. Featuring the glitchy style ambience that is normally associated to Touch:To and Mego artists, they have constructed a dark ambience with incredibly rich tonal quality and a fantastic depth to the sound.
Overall, this album is one which I am incredibly pleased to have purchased. This is something that will not only entertain long-term Orb fans like myself, but also as a debut to those willing to experience the more melodic side of ‘ambient-techno’ (a phrase particularly loved in the mid 90’s !). This album is considerably darker than previous releases and in turn added a lot more depth to their sound.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good album, 23 Mar 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Bicycles & Tricycles (Audio CD)
The Orb may not be as relevant to electronic music and music in general as they once were but BAT shows that they still know how to make a great album. More upbeat and diverse, this album isn't so much a single listening epic as their early stuff but just a collection of good Orb tracks, naturally filled with weird, trippy samples. The best tracks are Hell's Kitchen, The Land of Green Ginger, Gee Strings, LUCA and From a Distance all of which are classic Orb. Everything else is good but these tracks are the ones that make the album such a good listen. Worth buying but get their earlier releases to see them at their full potential.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars return to orb, 14 April 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Bicycles & Tricycles (Audio CD)
a return to form on the new UK release of the album - a very different feast to the japanese version which came out last year... a little more knob tweeking has worked wonders... and a little extra bass in the mix too...
its a grower....
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Diverse - But Well Held Together Album, 11 May 2004
This review is from: Bicycles & Tricycles (Audio CD)
So the Orb have just released their 7th album in there 14th year of existance. The album is different to the Japanese version of this album with many tracks altered in sound. It is noticeable that the change in Orb style has continued from Cydonia which started and ended spacey but had more electronic and drum'n bass moments. This album has one foot in hip-hop, another in dub and another in pure electronica.
The opener Orb Is is solid but unspectacular, standard Orb fare really but with hard beats and squelchy synths. The new track Aftermath is definitely a new direction for The Orb in Hip-Hop with an MC rapping - surprisingly good a very enjoyable track. The following Land of Green Ginger is superb - a track of real invention and very catchy riff and is the most orb moment of the album. A track I love.
The following Hell's Kitchen is fast paced with furious melodies and riffs, again a very enjoyable slighly spacey track again with it's feet more in electronica. Gee Strings is a slice of Detroit House and a little repetitive but very Orb sounding ending with an amusing trademark Orb sample - you will have to listen I don't want to spoil the surprise.
I'm not a fan of Prime Evil, but Abstractions is another dark but fantastic track with rising and falling vocal samples. LUCA is very hypnotic with a very hard beat and claustrophobic in intensity. Not my cup of tea. From a Distance is actually two tracks really as it is mixed with a huge ever growing brain...im a bigger fan of the original 12"version which appeared on the Japanese version.
Im not a fan of Tower 23, but Kompania is very interesting unlike anything ive heard - maybe ambient drone is a fair description. Dilmun is also fantastic to close the album with. A territory I'd like to see the Orb progress into next.
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