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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 January 2016
Simply purchased to replace my old copy which went astray.

As an album, it's o̶k̶a̶y̶ (fantastic); as an icon and in relation to the nostalgia it evokes, I love it.
I̶t̶'̶s̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶g̶r̶e̶a̶t̶e̶s̶t̶ ̶e̶x̶a̶m̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶a̶ ̶g̶e̶n̶r̶e̶ (actually The Orb's music is excellent and kinda genre busting; I was reminded of this obvious fact whilst listening on B00HVLUR54 great quality headphones during a night of programming, and felt it necessary to update this review accordingly), but it is a defining moment in the cultural development of a generation.
There are some wonderful treats like the start of what would be side two of the single vinyl, b̶u̶t̶ ̶o̶v̶e̶r̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶m̶u̶m̶b̶l̶e̶s̶ ̶a̶l̶o̶n̶g̶.

Reviewing art is kind of ridiculous, so I'm not gonna drivel on.

The front of the jewel case had a small crack in it, but the disk was perfect :-)

Updated: 14th May '17 - after remembering why I bought my first copy.
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on 12 May 2016
A DUBBY, TRIPPY, HOUSEY GEM Considering when this made around 1991 it still sounds pretty fresh. Whilst the surreal nature of this production may sound a little 'of the 90's' like Future Sound Of London or Aphex Twin with samples, cross fading sounds and little tricks with the decks they have managed (in my opinion) to create music which surpases trends, modern technology and future music. This is a real gem because it takes you away to another place without being over the top or complicated. It is simple UK dub based surrealism at it's finest. After a few listens I started to realise that I need ALL OF THEIR STUFF! As I do with FSOL and AphexTwin. Bravo to trippy music its where I love to live.
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on 5 August 2017
Quality tunes
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on 7 June 2017
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on 11 November 2011
There are some albums that you know from the first listen are going to be favourites for life and this is what happened for me when I first heard this glorious album almost twenty years ago. The album is undoubtedly ahead of its time and is packed with amazing textures, samples and lush synthysisers. From the opening ethereal drones of O.O.B.E. we are taken on a journey that travels through different tempos and moods whilst flowing effortlessly from start to finish. "UFOrb" ebbs and flows from ambience to dub to techno taking the listener to all sorts of strange places with the melange of different sounds and other-worldly textures. "Blue Room", featured here in a 17 minute edited form is a true masterpiece. Bubbling synths and astral effects make a perfect bedding for Steve Hillage's milky way guitar meanderings before the piece develops into a deep and infectious groove with dubbed out percussion and a superb bassline by Jah Wobble. The journey continues with the dub epic "Towers Of Dub" where harmnonicas, vibes and all manner of sonic delights are sent echoing to some distant place over a smokey groove. "Close Encounters" keeps the underlying textures and ambiences continuing but builds into a hypnotic trance track with spiralling synth motifs exciting the ear. "Majestic" takes the listener into some almost tropical world with layered percussion and echoing flutes and chimes. This album is more than just music it is a voyage that is expertly crafted from start to finish. I am always hearing new things in it and I could not even begin to count how many times I have listened to it. I hope new listeners will find great pleasure in this record, a truly timeless piece of work.
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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.
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on 19 May 2005
This is a condensed version of the original triple vinyl release of 'U.F.Orb', which came 'hermetically sealed' in blue-grey PVC and had to be cut open with knife or scissors - a typically elaborate Paterson/Cauty marketing gimmick that also seemed to say something about how they viewed The Orb as a cultural project. It was as if 'U.F.Orb' was a time capsule, a distillation of the sprawling experiments on 'Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld', a sealed container flung into space to show the rest of the universe what it was like on Earth (or at least in Britain) in 1992.
As a summation of a point in musical time, it's as evocative as 'Revolver' or 'Ziggy Stardust' or 'Sound Affects'. And like all of those, there's something ineffably British about the way The Orb took beats from Detroit, minimalist compositions from New York and dub from Jamaica, and stretched and warped them into a completely new form. If the clubs were full of house and techno, the bedrooms were full of smoke and ambient dub, and The Orb were responsible for much of it.
'U.F.Orb' is their finest achievement, proving that 'Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld' wasn't a novelty record but the herald (along with The KLF's 'Chill Out') of a new genre. The sound here is both denser and more dubby, with more going on but less dependence on the BBC sound effects records and slowed-down house beats that were the backbone of their earlier work. 'Blue Room' (here edited from its 39'58" single length) and 'Towers of Dub' are the standouts, but The Orb's legacy is even more impressive than their music. You can hear it not only in experimental 'dance' music from Shpongle to Monolake, from Portishead to Lemon Jelly; it's embedded in mainstream pop, soundtracks and muzak the world over. And if you still have that triple vinyl release, with the PVC intact, I bet it's worth a fortune.
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on 30 August 2003
I'll be straight, dance is'nt my usual taste. I love rock and indie and my limited ventures into dance have been Progidy, Underworld (the dark hardcore stuff) and the poppy KLF. This is the only other dance album I own but I love it.
This album is beautiful. Ambient soundscapes and sampled effects sweep over you and help you relax. Its easiest for me to compare this to Dark Side Of The Moon or Kid A/OK Computer era Radiohead so I will.
This album shares the same sort of forward vision as those albums and in the same way that those albums are very ambitious and complex this is too. This is where the greatest music comes from and also where the biggest failings come from, when artists try to be ambitious. Fortunately Alex has the talent to make it work.
The album should not be listened to as tracks, it should be listened to as one long experience. The album take different styles such as dub and mixes it with a sort of prototype of trip hop. When voices come in they aid the flow of music rather than lock the music down. The album works because none of the individual factors in it take over, they all work together.
I suppose that because Jimmy Cauty of the KLF founded the Orb with Patterson (and left before this recording), and because when this was recorded ambient dance had'nt progressed as far as it would, this and all of the Orb's records in the first few years will be compare with the KLF's Chillout album. True, both this album and Chillout are classics but they are very different. This Orb album is very influenced by Jamaican Dub, Darkside era Pink Floyd soundscapes and at times very trippy sounds. Chillout may sound a bit basic compared to this but then again, Chillout was the first true ambient dance album.
If you only ever buy one dance album buy this. Alex has extraordinary musical vision and the talent to make it work. Granted, according to all of the reviews I've read the Orb never matched this again. So what, Guns N Roses were crap for a long time but at least they gave us the Appetite For Destruction album.
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on 26 January 2001
From the swirling, outer-space beauty of O.O.B.E. to the simply stunning and very long Blue Room and Towers of Dub, this is the Orb's most assured and most melodic album, with evidence of the weird sound effects and dialogue voiceovers to come in their very good 1997 album Orblivion, although this one is far more memorable probably due to more recognizable tunes and stunning house beats that render any kind of modern dance music anaemic. Stunning!
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on 26 October 2000
The Orb at their best? Yes...Quality songs? Yes...Mad Sounds all over the place? Yes...Well this is my favourite Orb CD, its great...nuff said. But its only got 6 tracks (or songs) on it...shame, however they are all marvelous. I believe that the album's highlights are O.O.B.E which is a great ambient chillout track which makes me cry every time I hear it, then U.F.Orb, a six minute club/techno fest which I love to teeny pieces. Must dash got more reviews to write.
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