Monday, July 12, 2010

Orb: Orblivion; Orbit: Libido Speedway (1997)

(As published in New Zealand's Real Groove ... )


Libido Speedway

From an alphabetical perspective, only Roy Orbison stands between Orb and Orbit. From a musical perspective, however, other differences come into play. Orbit, for instance, has songs like "Nocturnal Autodrive" and "Amp," which pile garage guitar and rabble-rousing choruses atop cool bass riffs and hot Slade ones respectively. Orb, on the other hand, has "tracks" like "Ubiquity" and "Bedouin," which pile computer-generated samples atop computer-generated samples and go sprockety-wockety when they're not going chick-a-wocka or schprrroinnngg! Orbit has songs like "Bicycle Song" and "Carnival," which deal with bicycles and carnivals respectively. Orb, on the other hand, has tracks like "Delta MK II" and "PI," which deal with, you know, like, the void and stuff. Actually, one of Orblivion's tracks, "S.A.L.T.," deals with sex and the Book of Revelation, if I'm hearing the "lyrics" correctly. Another, "Toxygene," begins "Now, wait a minute!" then develops a disco gallop. And "Secrets" begins with a weather forecast before flaaanging off into sheer schwoosh! In other words, Tangerine Dream meets Metal Machine Music--or is it Einsturzende Neubauten? On stage, the three members of Orbit play guitar-bass-drums and sing to clubs full of beer-swigging fans. Orb, on the other hand, plays "raves," its two members generating clackety-schmackety in time to strobe lights that catch the dancers standing around doing nothing until the drugs kick in. Or, to put it another way, Orb diddles while Orbit burns. Ratings: Orbit (7), Orb (2), Orbison (10).

(More Orbit:

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