"Bicycles & Tricycles" CD
Sep 6 - 12 2004
If you listen to the start of Bicycles & Tricycles, and
then skip ahead to the end, you'll notice they are two very different entities.
This is The Orb's first album in three years, and it seems as
if Alex Patterson and co wanted to fit as much as they could on
here. The resulting panoply of styles and genres is quite
enjoyable - everything is done with gloss and precision - but the
album sometimes seems to lack cohesion, becoming a bit disjointed due
to its own eclectic nature.
Bicycles & Tricycles starts off with straightforward,
jazz-infused electro ("Orb Is (Shopping Version)") before
dipping right into very Red Snapper-esque, female-vocals
hip-hop ("Aftermath (Featuring MC Soom T"). Next comes
some tremendously atmospheric electronica ala "Little Fluffy
Clouds" ("The Land of Green Ginger") and a bit of funky
club techno ("Gee Strings"). "Prime Evil"
then follows in full Dust Brothers force, sounding very much
like a track on the Fight Club soundtrack.
At this point, between tracks six and seven, the album really
changes. The album becomes much more atmospheric, and, in turn,
profoundly dark. "Abstractions (Trance Pennine
Express)" and "Kompania (Grooved Ware Mix)" show a
particular devotion to ambient effects and a certain
experimentalism. The results are different - and less
immediately accessible than the album's more straightforward songs -
but, the change is actually quite successful, in a unconventional way. Finale "Dilmun" really seals the
deal; it's a moving, shifting wave of daring ambience.
Overall, Bicycles & Tricycles is a pretty unique record
for The Orb. Its varied, eclectic style is unconventional
but hardly problematic. Don't bother with expectations, as
they'll only be broken - if you love electronic music, this should
already be in your collection.
11 tracks, distributed by Amazon, released