This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.
The Orb: John Roome, Alex Paterson, Simon Phillips.
Ever since its double album ADVENTURES BEYOND THE ULTRAWORLD defined the "ambient house" genre in 1991, the Orb has had a serious legacy to uphold. U.F.ORB and LIVE 93 helped maintain that legacy, but the Orb struggled at times to keep pace with younger, more cutting-edge IDM acts of the '90s and 2000s. 2004's BICYCLES & TRICYCLES finds the group, masterminded by producer/mixologist Alex Paterson, with one foot planted firmly on its early innovations (which resemble the offspring of Brian Eno and a sleepy Chicago house DJ) and the other on the pulse of contemporary techniques.
"Hell's Kitchen," for example, features the lilting melody one expects from the Orb's chill-out ethos, but covered with an almost industrial beat. The dub-influenced "The Land of Green Ginger" and "Tower Twenty Three" give some heady space to the insistent 4/4 that usually dominates the ensemble's tracks. Elsewhere, the Orb is up to its old tricks of techno-touched ambient with floating vocal samples and synth washes, as on the jazzy "Gee Strings." BICYCLES & TRICYCLES proves the knob-twiddling skills of this early electronica act are still significantly up to snuff.
What the critics say...
Mojo (Publisher) (p.114) - 3 stars out of 5 - "The Orb's gently pleasing grooves, with their occasional excursions into prog and techno, still work as aural enhancers for the cannabinoidally-inclined."