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Ballasted Orchestra [VINYL]

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl (7 Jan. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Import
  • ASIN: B00005YRZN
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
Brian McBride and Adam Wiltzie are Stars Of The Lid (SOTL), a two piece unit that hails from Austin, Texas. Theirs is a world of undulating guitar, stripped of its fundamental characteristics and wreathed in all manner of studio effects. The resulting sound is reminiscent of how a sky might sound immediately before a thunderstorm.
The Ballasted Orchestra (released in 1997) was recorded at home on a four track tape machine and as a consequence, there is a noticeable amount of background noise lurking behind the scenes. If this were any other band, I might say that this could be a serious problem but SOTL seem to succeed, for the most part, in incorporating this hiss into the pieces themselves as part of the sound canvass.
The tracks present themselves with titles like 'Central Texas' 'Sun Drugs' & 'Taphead', all alluding to the feeling of a long walk on a deserted road but it is 'Music For Twin Peaks, Episode #30 Pt1 & Pt2' that leaves you in no doubt as to which direction this band were to head. This is the music of an abandoned world, moribund, rusted and beyond use. You could well imagine these songs in a David Lynch or Jim Jarmush production, filling the air with a quiet menace and a rare kind of regret.
Subsequent releases (most notably 'The Tired Sounds Of...') have proven that there is much more mileage in the subtle art of the drone than anyone could have imagined. The Ballasted Orchestra stands as a successful, if embryonic, testament to SOTL's search for the perfect weight.
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Format: Audio CD
Ever since discovering Brian Enos music in the late eighties I have been searching for more that is as good as his stuff. But apart from his infrequent releases and the equally infrequent releases from his web of friends and collaborators - Danial Lanois, Harrold Budd, Micheal Brook, and brother Roger, I was finding very little that came close to Eno.

Relatively recently I have had access to the internet and to Amazon, with its costomer reviews and music fan lists. There are frequent comparisons to Eno in lots of reviews for a number of ambient groups and artists. And lots of albums are discribed as being as beautiful as some of Enos most beautiful music. And I have had quite a few disappointments becuase of these reviews, finding these so called beautiful ambient albums not even remotely close to what they were discribed as being. Some were the heavy beat type of ambient,such as Amber by Autechre, while others, like the very popular 76.49 by Global communication, were very average albums of electronic music. So , I became very weary and cautious.

One name that sounded promising was Stars of the lid, so I checked them out thoroughly not just on Amazon, and bought what most people seemed to think was their best and most recent release - The Tired sounds of. I had high hopes, and , although there are one or two rather depressing tracks on the first disc, I was impressed, and now The Tired sounds of has become one of my most listened to CD's.

I have since bought Gavitational pull Vs the desire for an aquatic life, which is excellent, and most recently The ballasted orchestra, along with Brian McBrides first solo venture - When the detail lost its freedom.

As much as I am a huge fan of Eno, I was often left wishing for more from him.
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Format: Audio CD
A very special album! Lovely relaxing ambient drones with an occasional intriguing dark ambient vibe, this is masterful drone music, quite unlike anything else. Perfect for night time listening on the headphones!
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Format: Audio CD
I first discovered Stars of the Lid about ten years ago when I heard the track Sun Drugs on SomaFM's Drone Zone. Already a big Brian Eno fan, I was struck by just how pared down Lid's music was in comparison to most of Eno's ambient output. From that day on I immersed myself in more of Lid's aural landscapes and now have all of their output.

The Ballasted Orchestra features the aforementioned Sun Drugs and several other blissful drone tracks. There are some dark, slightly ominous moments on this album too, but the headspace they evoke is nonetheless an interesting one. The album ends with an extended, soothing, drone track with subtle layering to bring you back to a restful place.

Sublime.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not what I was expecting form Stars of the Lid. Alway good to be surprised
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