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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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on 10 June 2010
This album really shines through and can be a reminder of great ambient-electronic-techno albums that were released on Pete Namlook's famous Fax label: Jet Chamber , From Within, The Fires of Ork Vol.2 ,Dreamfish , RedEye, Softcore (Atom Heart), Electro Harmonix, Zenith, Datacide II, Sea Biscuit (Spacetime Continuum)..etc etc...also some great music by Thomas Felhmann and early ambient Orb releases.

The Orb return with a excellently produced album showcasing a more deeper, dreamy, beatless, ambient, approach compared to previous album releases by The Orb. A few tracks still retain the classic sound of Orb/Sun Electric/System 7 fusion of gentle ambient & techno that work incredible well when it happens. Titled 'part 3' of the 'Orbsessions' album series, this is in fact a totally new album with newly produced tracks, not a collection of old unreleased tracks put together as with previous Orbsessions albums 1 and 2. The Orb along with fellow collaborator Thomas Felhmann (The Orb are best when T.F/Youth are on-board!); both bring there vast skills creating moods of joy with tranquil atmospheric ambiance and with plenty of quiet chilled depth across the album. Each track plays along with slow changing breezy and spacious soundscapes with deep rich electronic and organic ambient textures, and the occasional gentle beat & rhythm which pop-ups here and there on some tracks. This is a listening experience that will leave the listener in a relaxed state of mind as its calming effect starts to take place within its absorbing gentle moods even when the occasional techno like rhythms do occur. No track is overlong or predictable as tracks constantly evolve and surprise with its slight and obvious changes keeping a nice captivating flow from track to track. Orbsessions 3 flows with confidence and is a majestic achievement for electronic ambient which will certainly please those who enjoyed the quieter chilled moments of The Orb's musical adventures...Recommended!

30.07.1994 ,Jet Chamber,Lideskape
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on 9 September 2009
I absolutely love this album. First listen through and it all blends together perfetly. Not on the same epic scale as earlier releases, but more in line with the recent stuff on Kompakt such as Okie Dokie...I think the whole thing is about 55 mins long, which when you consider they have released singles which are over half that length before gives you an indication they have changed direction away from the long stretching soundscapes, to more minimal pieces. Longest on show is about 8 mins. But, this is good, as you dont always want something that is going to take up 40 mins of your time for one song (such as Blue Room), and just require something to fill the void for a short space of time. This is perfect for that, and there are some real stand out tracks on show here. Personal favourite is number 8, Orban Tumbleweed, a nice gentle breakbeat & bass pattern with ambient sounds, this is wicked. I liked The Dream, but this is better in my opinion. Sound quality is superb as you would expect from Malcicious Damage. Also, this is all brand new material unlike the previous Orbsessions releases, which used old material left in the cutting room from previous releases. I'm just gutted the live performance of this album they are doing in Croydon tomorrow has sold out! :(
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on 25 September 2009
The Orb have always shifted between eclectric brilliance and commercial tom-foolery, so I pre-ordered expecting another compilation of rare outtakes etc.

However this is an ambient affair by Paterson/Fehlmann that occasionally harks back to Alex's earlier ambient excursions, but rarely inspires a smile. It's beautifully packaged (well done Mal Damage team, always spot on) and equallywell produced, the attention to detail in the recordings is really good. However musically it is very much the soundtrack it states it is on the rear cover, so tracks meander nto eachother and don't always develope as much they could.

A thoughtful listen, then.....
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on 6 December 2012
The Orb epitomize diversity - their albums have touched on everything from reggae to drum & bass to techno over the years. And they're pretty competent in most musical styles. But they started out with the dubby Ultraworld, which had a few fairly dreamy ambient tracks, most of which showed up on the Aubrey Mixes release.

Baghdad Batteries reminds me very much of those good old days. It is perfectly pleasant on the ears and, while many of the tracks may not be instantly identifiable, it is easy enough to put it straight back on again and enjoy it for what it is - one of The Orb's best releases in years.
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on 19 September 2010
one of my favourites, the tracks seemlessly melt into eachother, just the right mix of bass, repeating chorus and interesting interludes... absolutley awesome.
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This is an album of new material, despite the Orbsessions label. This is more a return to the minimalistic ambient sound of earlier albums. I can't recall what tracks sounded like what, as it all runs into each other - ambient landscapes give way to chattering beats, mixed low, and then a dub rythmn breaks in. Looped samples and guitar riffs appear and disappear. These changes are the only indication that track has changed. This is more like the Orb I like rather than the failed experiments with poppy songs and loud dance beats.
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on 26 February 2010
At last a proper ambient release...old ORB fans have been waiting for this a long tme. Why do band throw away what made them in the first place?... the Orb were/are about ambient & chilling-out, but along the way they lose the plot, groovy disco beats, female vocalists, it's like buying a Beach Boys album to find no harmonies, it is disapointing and fustrating...so it's nice to have this c.d. ...thank you Alex....AMBIENT STILL RULES IN 2010 !...p.s.when are we going to get a Special Edition of FFWD by the way?.
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on 5 June 2010
On first listens i really didn't like this album. It's quite minimal and more like my least favourite Orb album "Okie Dokie..." than anything else. However over repeated listens it unfolds and expands into a beautiful example of minimal with an Orb twist. Very rewarding if you are prepared to give it time. Just goes to show that even after all these years there is no such thing as a bad Orb album
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on 17 September 2009
Superb album which improves with each listening. For those familiar with their back catalogue, it's more akin to an FFWD volume 2 than an Orbsessions volume 3.
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