Top positive review
32 people found this helpful
I'm actually on TV
on 12 July 2005
Mine still has the 'Brit Awards Nominee' sticker on the front. I believe this got to number one in the charts, which was dead unprecedented for what was mostly a lot of multi-layered samples with some beats here and there. For some reason it all worked; I have heard bootlegs of the early sessions which led to this album, and there's no magic in the demos. The Orb's later albums were conceptually similar but uniformly rubbish. But U.F.Orb, whether because the band was going the extra mile, or because of some ineffable fairy dust, U.F.Orb actually worked, it was relaxing, funny, mesmerising, an excellent listen with headphones, as background music, and loudly to dance to in the bits which have beats. The samples are all well-chosen and I can still recite most of them; the bit where there is a snippet from Radio Moscow, followed by loud drums, is the best. The second side of the album is noticeably moodier, with 'Close Encounters' sounding as you would expect a song about UFOs to sound.
It's also a nostalgic album, for people in their early 30s. The pre-internet 'Wired'-era computer whizz-bang space-age techno-pagan futurism of it all was mirrored in contemporary releases by the Future Sound of London, System 7 and so forth, and although this kind of ambient space music is now as dated as krautrock was in 1992, it's heartbreaking to listen to. So many dreams and hopes smashed to bits.
Excellent way to show off a hi-fi system, too, because it has quiet bits and loud bits and they all sound top-notch. 'Sticky End' is a short joke track and 'Majesty' is a bit irritating, but it's otherwise an excellent way to spend fifty minutes or so. Shame they didn't include the lengthy 'Blue Room' single as a pack-in or bonus track (it was basically the album version looped a couple of times, with a different bassline).
And it's "Teilhard de Chardin", it took me ages to find that out; he's the one who conceived of a third world, a world of objective contents of thoughts.