Dear reader, I have roughly 23 albums, EPs and remix compilations by the Orb so trust me when I say this totally sucks. It has not been reviewed on allmusic for a reason. It is lacklustre in its approach to the music and lurches aimlessly from style to style with little regard for the listener's comfort. Now I'm no stranger to the sometime structure of b-side material on a record; take a look at the lovingly assembled From The Archives series by FSOL, where even at it's most stylistically disparate, the record still reflects utmost quality due to the fact that the calibre of the music is so damn high all the time (FSOL ROCK). This is thankfully understood and exercised subsequently by whoever releases these records on the brilliant Orbsessions Vol.2, where the consistency of the music is maintained and therefore that CD is amazing!
Although you may feel that you know the Orb and like everything they've done - vocals, Berlin microhouse by way of Detroit Techno, Drum n' Bass and experimental dub and so on - this falls short of combining those styles into a cohesive whole. Mummie Don't and Yungle are the only two worthwhile tracks and they have been bettered by miles on Orblivion and Ultraworld or Ultraworld Aubrey Mixes - most of which are on the expanded Ultraworld Deluxe set anyway. I would insist if you're an Orb fanatic, that you pluck Orbsessions Vol.2 out of the racks, but as for this one, steer well clear. It's disappointing, boring and infuriating. It is the only poor Orb record.
The opener "Mummie Don't" with it's slightly disturbing title sample right up in the mix, backed with ambient melodic loops slightly reminiscent of "Evergrowing Brain", will satisfy fans who have wondered what happened to Orb of old. In fact some of the other samples on this track will be so familiar you'll either be grinning or groaning! But new Orb sinks in with "Sail" (as it's a song). This mix is slightly odd, but the album does gel well, despite the various contributors (mentioned but not linked to any particular track) and different styles. There's even some drum'n'bass tinges, whilst Alex has apparently sampled some of his own material to spice up some of these 'sessions' with his pals. Simple but nice packaging, as we'd expect from Malicious Damage, with reference to a Volume 2 (but as a year on and no sign, maybe not :-(....). Anyway, some of the material is on par with Oobe and UltraWorld, so don't avoid it suspecting it to be an ill-thought out-takes compilation. It is much better than that. Well worth a listen.
How many of the tracks on this disc have never seen the light of day before is quite beyond me.
From the ever so slightly scary "Mummie Don't", which reminds me of the "Charlie says..." adverts of my childhood, to the fantastically-massive-junglist-romp that is "Yungle", which is like the Orb after one too many espresso's, on to the delightfully europoppy "Eurofen", and ending on the ever so slightly creepy "Pluto Calling (Twinkle)" which starts with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, before going onto a post rave sound mush dying off into the ether.
In all a rather astounding collection of works that up till now haven't seen the light of day.
Make sure you check out Volume 2 which has even more Orb gems.