BadOrb has come and gone before i could get
around to writing about it. Which is sort of a shame really,
but i guess it's my fault. At any rate, i have seen copies of
this sampler in several record stores around the ATL, so i figure
that writing about it is still valid. I would hate to let several
months worth of notes and listenings go to waste...
BadOrb was a project of Dr. LX Patterson, guru of The Orb.
It was to be a label that released limited edition 12" records
of Orb side projects. I think that the anagram loving Dr. Patterson
is involved, in some way, on all of the music that BadOrb put
out, and thus on all of the 16 songs on this 2 CD sampler of
the BadOrb output. In many cases i think Mr. Patterson was just
adding some production help, because some of the songs here
are VERY stylistically different from The Orb. On the other
hand, there is are 2 Orb tracks here, as well as several very
For the most part i found the output of BadOrb to not quite
live up to it's promise. I guess that some of that might be
due to the changes in the music Dr. Patterson has been making
of late, and thus a change in the focus of his interest. But
this sampler is ... good. There are some nice moments, and some
boring swill. Let's examine the nice moments first.
My favorite tune on this disc, in fact one of my favorite electro
tunes in years, is Snowblind by Conduit. This song has
an unstoppable head-bopping riff tearing by with strange synthesizer
overtones. It's simple and very very catchy. I also like Mister
One by Prayerbox. This is a long song, and in fact it has
over 4 minutes of pointless, boring noodling at the beginning
before it goes anywhere. But when the beat kicks in, it becomes
a pretty good dub-influenced number.
Those are the two standouts, i think, although Mister One
could really have used a good edit. Additionally, there are
a couple of very Orb-ike tunes on here. I Am The Wed Worm
(by The Orb itself) is wandering ambience a la O.O.B.E.
or the stuff on The KLF's Chill Out album. Biometric
Electric Rhythms by Autolump is also a decent little ambient
number. Intron by Fusonic is good, but sounds like a
Mouse on Mars outtake from Idiology.
On the other hand, Cool Harbour, also by The Orb, reminds
me of the medium-paced Orb music off of Orbus Terrarum.
It's not as dubby as the music on that album, but has a similar
pace, and the same feel to it. So if you are an Orb fan, the
new tunes here might interest you.
However, i really wanted to write this review so that i could
rant about the things i don't like on this disc.
Firstly, I Think That by Kyle Zeto. I completely understand
why this song is on BadOrb: it is Patterson's stoner humour
gone horribly awry. This song consists of some off-pitch guy
with an acoustic guitar trying to imitate Bucky Fellini-era
Dead Milkmen. It is annoying and whiney and goes on way too
long. URGH! Make the hurting stop!
I also hate the song Barbie Girl by Electric
Chairs, of which there are 2 versions, one per CD! This tune
consists of an annoying wandering beat that never really goes
anywhere coupled with cut up lyrics pasted togther from what
sounds like a wide string of voice synthesis programs. The end
result sounds like a chorus of robots trying to be sexy, and
failing. God i hate this tune (all the more so because i bought
the limited edition 12" off of the website!). However, it is
quite popular on the Orb fan-list, a fact which i once again
chock up to "stoner humour gone terribly awry".
The other tracks on the sampler do not affect me either way:
they are neither atrocious, nor really good. They fall into
the wide range of music that makes up "average". On the whole,
this is a decent sampler. Obsessive Orb fans will want it because
it is saturated with Patterson-ness. Otherwise, i think it is
a good enough listen if you find it in a cut-out bin.