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This weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… William Orbit’s Hinterland March 14, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

Hard to choose in a way between Strange Cargo III and this album which succeeded it, Strange Cargo Hinterland. They’re both rather fine. So I’ve included examples from both.

I find it hard to explain the attraction of this music to me. It’s very polite. That much is true. But it’s also melodic. It’s dancey and/or ambient (I note its classified as electronic ambient), but I like the inclusion of guitar. And it’s undeniably of its time. Well, it sure ain’t Seefeel – another favourite, but it’s none the worse for that.

In a way I admire Orbit no end. Here’s a person who has continued to produce music on a continual basis under a variety of names across three decades. More dance oriented? Bass-o-matic from the early 1990s. Synthpop your thing? Check out Torch Song from the early 1980s and mid 1990s. Classical music? Why try his late 1990s album which saw a dancefloor crossover hit with a version of Barber’s Adagio for Strings. Got to admit as regards the last that I’m highly suspicious of classical/electronica crossovers – perhaps that’s a vestige of progs effects on me. Out and out pop, why step forward the man who produced (and co-wrote in part) Madonna’s Ray of LIght, the only example of her output that I can really take in any large dosage. And production and remixing has – for him – included the likes of Kraftwerk and… unfortunately… U2.

So, here is some of his work… a YouTube generated video for the reasonably upbeat “Water from a Vine Leaf” on Strange Cargo III…

This is Gringatcho Demento

And, here’s Montok Point from Hinterland which apparently has a sample from Joe Frank used in it. Joe who? This might enlighten you…

The sample is about 3.53 or so which allows a short respite before the music kicks back in. Well, kicks back in is probably overstating it. This is gentle stuff. Not quite dancefloor filler, more for mellow reflection. But why not?

And here is Say Anything…

And finally Milliontown… a meditation on the reality of Hollywood…

There’s a cracking version of She Cries Your Name, sung by Beth Orton, on this album and later covered – in a much lesser version to my ears – by her on her first solo album, but I can’t find a video for it. Which is a pity.


1. Jim Adcock - September 17, 2009

Got a question, perhaps you might know the answer…

In Million Town there is a short piano riff at about 2:05 and repeated elsewhere in the piece (3:51 for instance). I have this nagging suspicion I have heard that riff before elsewhere. Either it is a sample from sopething else, or a reference to it (either concious or unconcious).

My memore (and how reliable can *that* be?) tells me that the music I am remembering is just the piano with no backbeat, at least the part with that sequence

But I can’t remember where else I have heard it. Would you happen to know what it is from?

I love Hinterland, have for years, but this is the first time I have listened to it in a while.


2. WorldbyStorm - September 17, 2009

Jim, I’m not sure to be honest. The one at around 3.45-3.51 seems to me to be very similar to ones he used on the Torch Song album Toward the Unknown Region… he also seems, and this is just a guess to me to use piano riffs which are quite similar to the soundtrack to Rumblefish by Stewart Copeland. No harm there…


3. Jim Adcock - September 17, 2009

No harm except its going to drive me nuts! 🙂

Great music though, and I’ll be more than happy to keep listening over and over (and over) until I get it figured out…



WorldbyStorm - September 17, 2009

I love those albums too. It is annoying, but seriously listen to Strange Cargo III and then the Rumblefish soundtrack…


4. EamonnCork - September 17, 2009

Good taste yet again. I loved the Bassomatic album when it came out, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Bass, one of the first albums that convinced me the dance bug was worth catching.


5. WorldbyStorm - September 17, 2009

Coincidentally that album and a remix album of the Cure singles which had a William Orbit reworking of Primary i think were the ones which finally made dance click in my head too!


6. Garibaldy - September 17, 2009

Wooaah there. Dance versions of The Cure? Fucked up.


7. WorldbyStorm - September 17, 2009

And how! 🙂


8. Garibaldy - September 17, 2009

Might have cheered the miserable fuckers up though 🙂


9. WorldbyStorm - September 17, 2009

Well, you know, I sort of preferred the remix versions to the originals…


10. This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Astralasia, Pitched Up At The Edge Of Reality « The Cedar Lounge Revolution - June 15, 2012

[…] back to Pitched Up At the Edge of Reality, from sub-Yes cover to not a million miles away from William Orbit, right down to the only a year or two out of date sequenced piano sound, and it’s still […]


11. This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Astralasia « The Cedar Lounge Revolution - June 16, 2012

[…] back to Pitched Up At the Edge of Reality, from sub-Yes cover to not a million miles away from William Orbit, right down to the only a year or two out of date sequenced piano sound, and it’s still […]


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