16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Pure ambience in CD form,
This review is from: 76:14 (Audio CD)
This is a fantastic album from the era when ambient was at its peak, rank this alongside works like The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld, KLF's Chill Out. Those who know of Tom Middleton will probably know of his work as Cosmos (spacey lovely house), Jedi Knights (nu-school breaks which inspired the likes of Adam Freeland) and his Sound Of The Cosmos mix (which is a blinding exercise in breaks, house and downtempo spread over 3CDs) ... or perhaps the even later Global Communications tracks The Way / The Deep which explored funky cosmic house. This, however, is as far detatched from the housey Middleton as possible. 76:15 follows the 'swirling ambience' template, beatless, seamless and atmospheric ... taking you on a journey from one end of the CD to the other. Take 9:39 for example, full of deep space cosmic bleeps, a hypnotic 'warrooooooom!' bass pulse, and eerie choral synths. Definately swirling ambience. There are some astoundingly beautiful moments on here too. 14:31 is plain gorgeous, a slowly ticking clock keeps the beat of the track while lush orchestral synths create a gorgeous uplifting mood. Its not all totally beatless, 9:25 has a gentle break that helps the track move along. Think Orb's Supanova At The End Of The Universe and you're pretty much there. 7:39 features almost Plaid-y Warp style synths, while 8:07 and 5:23 work hypnotic keys over deep pulsing Sasha style bassline stabs. 12:18 finishes off the album with more dramatic orchestral synth action like in 14:31 ... a top closer.
As you can tell, the entire album is named after the sum of its track times, with each track named after how long it is. Apparently to stop the listener having preconceptions about how the music sounds before they listen to it. A nice idea, this is an album you make your own concept for, your own story ... as opposed to The Orb's journey from Earth to the Ultraworld.
Thanks to the scattering of perkier tracks, the fades between tracks with ocean waves crashing, strange chattering voices, and the sheer lushness and quality of production, the album never gets boring, its a corker. If you're into your electronica, be it a Warp head, Orb fan, Orbial ... whatever, this is one to check! With Middleton being a bit of a funky house and breaks master recently, you could pass this by ... overlook it as 'unworthy'. Don't! Its probably one of the best chill albums you can buy.
If you want things with a bit more bump to them, or in fact something less spacial. Try heading to Middleton's later albums like the Jedi Knights Nu-School Science or the aforemention epic 3CD mix The Sound Of The Cosmos. Both quality.