Customer Review

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A grown-up new Orb album, 22 Aug 2009
This review is from: Baghdad Batteries:Orbsessions Vol 3 (Audio CD)
Despite being sub-titled "Orbsessions Vol 3" ("Orbsessions" being the name of the Orb's compilation of old rare material), "Baghdad Batteries" is a 100% brand new album from The Orb.

This is a serious and straight-forward album. It's atmospheric and brooding minimal techno. People who liked "Okie Dokie It's The Orb On Kompakt" will enjoy this as well, the way in which tracks gradually progress can be really compelling

However people looking for the quirkiness of some of the older Orb albums might be disappointed. Gone (almost entirely) are the diverse vocal samples and the slightly comic spot sound effects. There are hints of 'the old Orb' in the last track "OOPA", and "Dolly Unit" shows just a touch of the reggae and dub influences that were so clear in the first few Orb albums.

The inlay has more humour than the album itself- the booklet explains what a "baghdad battery" is, and also provides some useful tips on how to grow lemons.

Despite the lemon instructions, it seems The Orb (currently Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann) want to be taken seriously. So what you get here is a very mature and sensible Orb. Worth a listen, but in a chin-strokingly serious rather than fun way.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Feb 2010 13:57:37 GMT
C. Wigman says:
>Worth a listen, but in a chin-strokingly serious rather than fun way.

Stuart, I would agree with your assessment of this album. This is a short but succint review describing Baghdad Batteries.

However it also highlights the problem with post-Cydonia Orb. Thomas Fehlmann can produce, but he can't compose. He's content with piling on a bunch of textures, but there's no Orb-ish hooks to go on top of them. No delightful vocals ("Beautiful Day"), no endless ambient vistas peppered with guitar-scapes ("Blue Room"), and what dub there is is hardly the thick landscapes present on Orbus Terrarum, but rather tired, now-generic dub techno throbs that pander to elitists and minimal techno fans. Neither of which could tell a decent melody if it fell on them.

So I agree with your review, but your rating should be no more than 3. Personally I wouldn't even give this album that, and Paterson should ditch Fehlmann as soon as possible. The Orb without a sense of humour is an Orb that will tire, bore and not be worth listening to.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Sep 2012 14:49:34 BDT
Hillsman says:
Thanks for the comments guys. At least I know what to expect. I rather like Okie Dokie as I can appreciate SOME (but not all) Minimal Techno e.g. I love The Field, but cannot stand Trentemoller or Richie Hawtin. Looking forward to giving Baghdad Batteries a go.
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