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  Bless You  
  various artists  
  Bad Orb / Shanachie (for US distribution)  
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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 Orb-ish tunes.

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.

Related Links: (this site might be non-functional anytime soon)
, the latest Orb full-length.
BadOrb live -- the LX Patterson set at the start of the last tour was, i have learned since writing the review, a BadOrb tour. I guess he played a lot fo these tunes that night.


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