16 April 2012

Orbital: Wonky, The Flash & Kant

Well, this little slice of meek bile from Fact magazine got to me...

and it ended up in a mostly inconsistent rant about all kinds of things which I've decided against posting. I dunno, I've been busy and I didn't get round to posting it when I wrote it a few days ago and now... well, those kind of blogrants ony have currency when they are...of the moment...

Here's a few disconnected lowlights:

1) ... now most of the (FACT) features seem embarrassing/embarrassed, like those fitful days when every childrens' TV presenter clearly just wanted to be doing T4 or The News At Ten and just mentally squirmed whenever they had to do something genuinely child-like or child-centric*. The mixes stand alone.

2) ...they've done the hard work, broke the back... we still owe these fucking guys...

3) ...and Waving Not Drowning sort of predicted the poppier chunks of Ghost Box:

4) I mentioned it at the time - but nothing swept in to fill the void..

5) I love Shackleton but he tends to make me want to thrown commuters under trains...

6) (Actually, there's something reasonably joyous about Gentleforce but that's a different kind of joy)

7) Death to Emotional Bulimics!

8) ...and the thing I've always loved is that Orbital never seemed remotely experimental; they seemed entirely, utterly mainstream but in a kind of only slightly alternate universe when the mainstream was a good place to be...

"In a recent FACT interview, the brothers revealed they laid out the LP as a wall plan before they started recording. The weakness of this approach to music making is apparent in the album’s structure, and it feels like they felt forced to crowbar in musical styles that sit uncomfortably with their own sound. So we have “the electro-house one” (‘Where Is It Going’), and “the dubstep ones” (‘Distraction’ and ‘Beezlebub’), all as cringe-inducing as you’d expect."

9) The first part is the weirdest criticism of an album I've heard: the idea that planning the album itself can be a weakness. The cult of spontaneity attempting a sucker punch.


...but the key thing is that I can't really hear a bad Orbital album, a bad Orbital track because they are one of those bands that just happened, just flashed at the right moment, with the right people, at the right time... hearing (unexpectedly) the Doctor Who theme at one of my first Orbital gigs is one of the greatest moments in my musical life... it suddenly seemed like I was right, that everyone I knew was right... that we'd won.

Everyone I knew owned the Brown album. And they were all right.

This new album is welcomed with open arms. My children will have to love it. My friends will have to love it. I can't see past it. It may have flaws but I'm playing the fuck out of them, making it as much a memory as the other ones. There's been loads of great stuff released this year but I'll play Wonky more than any of them.

When Kant thought that appreciation of art and culture ought to be at the non-emotional, disinterested, level, he couldn't have been more wrong.


Davey said...

Just loved reading through this. I never get tired of your lovely writing. Cheers!

Loki said...

that's very kind of you to say, cheers

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