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The Orb On Mars

Entry 966 posted in: 4. Orb Weavers

Recently The Orb has been remastering, re-editing and most of all re-cashing on their studio albums. Today we have a go at Cydonia. The following review was written for an Orb project of mine that never saw the light of day. and because it is so long I'll keep this intro short.

Cydonia v1 (1998)

After a few false starts in 1998 a new Orb album is announced for March 1999: Cydonia. A track listing is available as well as the names of two possible singles: Once More (in a Jim Cauty 'scourge of the earth' remix) and Ghostdancing. A while later the album is postponed till September, and when that date expires, it is believed to be delayed indefinitely...

That the finished album is lying somewhere in the vaults of the Island record company is a fact. Promotional cd's have been known to circulate among fans and internet record shops advertise a Japanese limited pressing, probably a record of illegitimate origin.

Alex Paterson later explains that the decision not to release Cydonia has been taken over their heads, by Island Records owner Universal. New masters mean new rules and even the once so progressive Island Records can't escape the hit the money and run tactic that seems to be the only marketing plan big third millennium record companies understand nowadays. "One day there'll be just the one label with the one super band, if it goes on like this.", sneers Paterson.

Crying won't help you, baby, and those urging to undergo some Orblike ambient moods have access to two excellent Thomas Fehlmann releases: good fridge. Flowing: ninezer onineight and one to three. Overflow; ninene/nd. The first record has 2 co-operations with Alex Paterson, but these are not among his best. The same can be said of Robert Fripp’s collaboration on the second.

Other millennium rumours go The Orb have been narrowed to a duo. Apparently the ongoing Cydonia story made Andy Hughes leave the building, following the footsteps of early Orbfellas Jim Cauty and Kristian Weston. Some fans speculate that it may have been LX who kicked Andy out because the latter, angry about Island's refusal to release Cydonia, leaked the early mixes to some collectors who weeded the tapes to the public. Alex Paterson: There was a spy in the camp, but we fixed that."

Note: An Orb intimate called Smiley claimed this rumour was not correct. The Orb has never been over protective anyway for its demos, and white labels, (unreleased) remixes and copies have always been circulating between friends, DJ's and collectors. But on the other hand:
"As we were about to release Cydonia, ( ... ) everyone was saying that they'd already heard all the new tracks on MP3 websites. So, we were about to release an album that had already been heard. Needless to say, that all stopped when Andy left. ( ... ) Well, it's obvious isn't it? There was a spy in the camp," growls Paterson, "but we fixed that." (Dreyer, Andrew: Big Noise, 16 November 2001).

A more vicious explanation for the split is Andy's growing interest in booger sugar, but this may have been just another villainous gossip as well. On the other hand, Trash has repeatedly testified about 'coke snorting power hungry money crazed prawn sandwich with black pepper eating scum' circling in and around the band.

Note: a short compilation of Trash's writings about the use of drugs in the band:

"We could get a new manager with a coke habit
And ask him to take all our money
and spunk it right up his nose", (Trash, LX in Bklyn two nights ago, e-mail, 1 Nov 2002)

"People like him (Andy Hughes) and others connected with the orb
Wanted to squeeze it dry for the money the coke and the birds
NOT the music!", (Trash, Nibiru - How to make great handfulls of lovely dosh!!, e-mail, 6 Nov 2002)

"that bitterness could be something to do with the tracks they (The Orb) stole off me... and the 250,000..and (apparently/allegedly) the gear Andy sold to fuel his coke habit...", (Trash, ???, email, 3 Feb 2003).

To end the Andy on drugs rumours, here is a final statement by Rachel, whose Shrine To The Orb has got the approval of the official Orb website: "I dunno what sort of sordid past there might be, but there's absolutely *No Way* Andy has a coke problem - he's a very dedicated father and AFAIK doesn't even touch weed anymore. He's a very together and down to earth guy." Rachel, Andy Hughes, e-mail, 24 May 2002.

Cydonia v2 (2000)

While a lone wolf howls at alt.music.orb, that gets lesser and lesser messages, Alex spends most of his year 2000 in the good old US of A playing DJ sets at several places. And for a change Cydonia v2 is announced for October 2000, then delayed again...

Cydonia v3 (2001)

Finally, in March 2001, nearly three years after the album has been conceited, a partially revised Cydonia enters an already overcrowded market, its impact that of a dry sponge hitting a gong. The times don’t favour The Orb anymore and almost all reviews give the album a less than average rating.

The new Cydonia is more vocal orientated than was the original plan. With more than two years time to play with the original demos some loop-based instrumentals have nearly become pop songs.

That surely is the case with opener Once More, but I can't testify, before god nor the holy bible, that not experiencing it would have left an inexplicable emptiness in my life. Starting with a typical water sample the music soon clashes with the vocals and maybe that is why Aki Omori sings about a 'sound of confusion'. Don't get me wrong: Once More isn't a bad track, but I would never give it an inch of attention without LX's signature on it.

Note: Once More didn't surprise me as some of The Orb's earlier pop singles. The 7" edit of Perpetual Dawn, for instance, with its added vocal track was, in my opinion, far more effective. So were Toxygene and Little Fluffy Clouds. And even Mickey Mars. Anyway, those who know testify that previous Once More versions were less poppy and with less dominating vocals.

A second, and far superior vocal track, Ghostdancing, sung by Nina Walsh, was obviously destined to become single number two. (Don't search for it the track was never released as a single and that's a pity.) Both of them are linked together by a quasi-seamless interlude Promis. The trilogy forms an ambient suite, taking 18 minutes of time, not too short, but sweet nevertheless.

The title of track 4, Turn It Down, undoubtedly is an easy target for a would-be reviewer. Sounding like an 8 and a half minutes crossover between Orblivion's Passing Of Time and U.F.Orb's Blue Room this ambient experiment with a beat fails to fully contradict its title. One gets the feeling that The Orb already has done this track in the past and with better results.

Egnable is announced in the cd-booklet as a track from the lost FFWD sessions. If you have read the previous Orb reviews you may remember that FFWD was a highly experimental album described by some critics as annoying or irritating. Build around a (fake) Linguaphone commercial read by Fil Le Gonidec, Egnable manages to combine both, quite an achievement if one realises that the tune is less than 2 minutes long. It makes one wonder why on earth this lost session tape was ever found back.

Firestar starts with the familiar sound of a radio cycling between stations. A similar effect was used on the Pink Floyd album Wish You Were Here where Have A Cigar fades out until it sounds like a cheap transistor radio. The track suddenly ends, with new stations being searched (and found) on the wave band. After a snippet of Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony, the intro of Wish You Were Here starts. On several live performances during the Seventies, Pink Floyd used a real radio on stage to recreate the 'musique concrete' bit between both tracks.

Note (2008): I haven't got a clue why I couldn't write anything more inspirational about the above track. Probably because there isn't anything more to say about it?

Another Side Of Paradise

A Mile Long Lump Of Lard is a beat bolero, nothing less, nothing more, a truly amazing rhythmical piece, probably the best track on the album, maybe even the best track The Orb has done in ages. Its bombast and pathos reminds this crusty old dinosaur of the Emerson, Lake and Palmer rendition of Prokofiev's Romeo And Juliet and I'm pretty sure nobody would have expected mentioning these boring old farts on an Orb review.

But just when one thinks the action is finally getting somewhere, The Orb & Co decides to have another sing-a-long contest. At their best Centuries and Plum Island sound like a mediocre tune from Grateful Dead goddess Donna Godchaux, at their worst it just sounds like Madonna with a postnatal dip.

There is no Steve Hillage on this album, but a link to times past by is offered by a guest appearance of Guy Pratt who co-signs Hamlet Of Kings. This is one of the very few tracks on this album that intelligently play with samples: flowing water, a harp sound, some tubular bells, a quasi wish-you-were-here guitar lick and the return of the famous Orb train whistle! This track time warps the listener into an atmospheric adventure from the lost Ultraworld.

Note: The thank you section in the cd booklet mentions the couple Guy and Gala. This refers to Guy Pratt who married Gala Wright in October 1996. Gala, born in 1969, is the daughter of Juliette Gale, who was background singer of the London based R&B band Sigma 6. That band would really become famous when a certain Syd Barrett joined and renamed them The Pink Floyd Sound. By then Juliette Gale had already left the troupe but only after she had married the keyboard player Rick Wright.

A remix of Hamlet of Kings will appear a few weeks later on the album Dr Alex Paterson's Voyage Into Paradise. Although the title makes one think that this is a solo record it really is a mixed compilation of 'post club chill out' tracks from the Liquid Sound Design label with Paterson's name glued to it to sell a few copies more.

Note: Orb lovers will find familiar names on Voyage Into Paradise: Youth (M. Glover), Greg Hunter and Trash (K. Weston) are represented on tracks from Kiosk, Dub Trees and a Killing Joke's Requiem remix, the band that more or less started The Orb. For copyright reasons the The Orb is presented as The Rob and The Hamlet Of Kings alternative mix has been retitled to 4 Horseman.

Boundary Stone

Back to Cydonia. Track eleven is called 1.1.1, with its 35 seconds nothing more than a quick, but quite efficient, intro for Thursday's Keeper. Best described as a sample driven oddity it hits the listener as a crossover between LX's Kiss radio tapes and System 7's 7: 7 Expansion (Conspiracy Mix).

The album ends with Terminus, a typical 'German' minimalist track in the Valley tradition. I don't know if this soundscape was originally destined for the second FFWD album but Robert Fripp surely had his mojo working on this. Although the longest track and highly repetitive, it feels less time-consuming than others on the same album. I personally like the discreet wind chimes that sound exactly like those hanging on my porch (the first time I heard the track I thought it was the wind outside playing tricks with the music).

Note (2008): some early pressings of Cydonia had a hidden track called EDM, the 2008 remastered version includes this as well.

Conclusion 1

Reading the above can make you wonder if this album is any good.

In a relaxing kind of way, it rather is... and if you take the effort to let the music grow on you it may well become nested in your favourite Orb Top 5. On a total of 68 minutes and 48 seconds...

It has several gems. A Mile Long Lump Of Lard. Hamlet Of Kings. Terminus. Representing twenty-five and a half of excellent Orbian minutes (37%). Orblivion was a more coherent album on the whole, but the gem tracks are all individually better than those on the previous album.

It has its vocal tracks, and two of these are able to haunt the mind for days long: Ghostdancing and Plum Island. The others, Once More and Centuries, are fillers. The 'Orb In Love' invests twenty-one and a half minutes of our time (31%).

It has its transitional parts, typical album tracks that pass with the stream. Promis. Turn It Down. Thursday's Keeper. Some of them are only used as (short) intros to the next track. Firestar. 1.1.1. (29%).

Egnable is ignorable (3%).

Conclusion 2

Cydonia is probably better than we assume.
Cydonia sings: Once More, Ghostdancing, Centuries, and Plum Island.
Cydonia is ambient: Promis, Hamlet Of Kings, Terminus.
Cydonia is beat: Turn It Down. Thursday's Keeper.
Cydonia is chant: A Mile Lump Of Lard.
Cydonia is a concept: A Martian northern summer in the afternoon. A cold northern winter in Battersea. Et In Arcadia Ego. (These lines can be found on the cd booklet.)

Martian trivia

Arcadia Planitia and Cydonia Planitia can be found on the planet Mars. Cydonia (41 north latitude, 10° west longitude) is known for its collossal 'human face' photographed by the Viking spacecraft in the mid-to-late 1970s. The Cydonia area contains other strange objects as well. One of them is a five-sided 'pyramid' and there is an artificial looking rock structure that has been called the 'fortress'. Close to it the 'city' that also contains some pyramidal rock structures. Believers say these artefacts proof that there was once life on Mars, while the non-believers argue that is it all some weird cosmological trickery.

Masonic trivia

Et In Arcadio Ego is a painting of Giovanni Francesco Guercino (1618). Apparently this was a secret phrase in the esoteric and Masonic societies of those days (Arcadian myths had already been noted down by the Neapolitan poet Jacopo Sannazaro in 1501). A few years later the French painter Nicolas Poussin further elaborated on the theme, titling some of his work Et In Arcadio Ego and Les Bergers d'Arcadie (The Arcadian Shepherds (1629)).

The phrase was the official device of the French Plantard family who claim to descent from the Merovingian king Sigisbert IV (676-758), whose bloodline may go back to the Old Testamentary king David. It is believed that the Plantards have been active in the Templars, the Rosicrusians, in freemasonry and in any other (French) secret organisation you can stick your finger in. Pierre Plantard de Saint Clair became an immediate occult superstar when the authors of an esoteric bestseller wrote he was the Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, the alleged guardians of the Holy Grail. (Baigent, Michael; Leigh, Richard and Lincoln, Henry: The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail, Corgi Books, London, 1982).

69 69 69 69 69 79 79 40

The 2008 version of Cydonia contains the following rare or previously unreleased mixes:

Disk One

EDM: a hidden track that was previously only available on the (first?) UK release and that is now included on the remastered version.

Disk Two

Centuries (eurofen mix). Previously released on Orbsessions vol.1.
Ghostdancing (version). Instrumental version.
Hamlet of Kings (version).
Firestar (front bits).
Centuries (wine, woman & king mix). Slow and dubby.
Once More (scourge of the earth mix). Previously released on a 12” promo single.
Plum Island (flat mix).
Promis (version).
Once More (bedrock edit 2). Previously released as a single.
Turn It Down (long version).
Terminus (andy's mix). Faster version with additional beat and sounds.

If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: The Orb Lives On


open Theme Hospital - 3 different ones

Entry 972 posted in: 3. Gamebits

No vomiting in the corridors please! Anybody who has read this blog knows that I am a fan of Transport Tycoon Deluxe and that since more than a decade ago. It is probably the best game in the world and thanks to the Open TTD project the game is doubtless more popular than ever. Open TTD used reverse engineering to recreate the DOS game from scratch and to export it to other platforms, including those that are not Microsoft friendly. Since a couple of years aficionados are busy finding ways to replace the original 8bpp graphics with newly created 32bpp ones. This is not only done because the game will look more modern that way but also because the old graphics are, in theory at least, copyrighted by the initial creator of the game Chris Sawyer.

Slowly the game is evolving into something new but a bit too slow if you ask me. It is a pity that nobody thought of creating a slick utility to create your own vehicles or buildings for the game. There isn’t even an Idiots Guide how the coding of the graphic objects works, so it is quite difficult to find new recruits. Volunteers first have to struggle through old forum posts from a different version of the game (the so-called TTDL patch) and need to muddle through a swamp of page-long threads from there. Some links providing must-read help files or dos-utilities (to unpack tiled graphics and reveal the code behind it) no longer exist, so all you can do is to waddle a few days more through old forum posts hoping somebody has revealed the answer to your question. Do I sound a bit depressed here? Yes, but you can blame that on the season.

But there is now finally a realistic chance that another remake from the last century will try to push Transport Tycoon from its spot. I’m of course talking of Theme Hospital.

Somewhere in 2006 it was announced on Sourceforge that an Open Source 3D version of the game was going to be made: Open Source Theme Hospital Clone Announced.

About a year later the TH community was thrilled to see a commercial follow-up appearing on the game market: Hospital Tycoon. The game was a dud and for one reason or another the makers released what could be best described as a buggy beta version. You can now buy Hospital Tycoon at 5 Euro a piece in warehouses around the world. But even at that price it isn’t particulary a good buy: Theme Hospital Tycoon.

Time for a new venture. Round Donut launched a website, a forum and the promise to release an open source 3D version of open theme hospital very soon. That was in 2007 as well: Donuts and doctors.

As you have probably figured out by now Round Donut couldn’t keep its promise and all the website can offer to download today is a tacky logo of the soon-to-be-released game. Some developers found work or had to devote more time to their studies or needed to babysit their grandmother on Wednesday afternoons, whatever the reason is, the first line of coding for the second open source project still has to written. (If you read this, guys, no hard feelings, I know you’ve tried, it just didn’t work out,…)

By pure frustration I started to browse the web and found a blog entry from Alexander Gitter who had used reverse engineering on the original files, just to see if he could recreate the original graphics: Much Ado (the sequel).

Now its about time for a bit of narcissism: I mailed the bloke, put his blog entry on the Round Donut forum and let the virus spread. Out of it grew a new project, the third if my count is exact that will now try to reverse the game to the 22nd century à façon de Open Transport Tycoon. It's name: openTH. The fact that a third project was founded brought some life back into the second and perhaps we will see two versions of an open source version of Theme Hospital in the future.

But hold it for a minute. Let us all sit down for a while and recapitulate. So a third Open Theme Hospital was founded because the second was virtually dead, right?
But because the third project started this gave the comatose second Open Theme Hospital at Round Donut a new boost to start all over again, right?
So now we have two Open Theme Hospital projects running at the same time, right?
We have three.

OpenTH wasn’t running for a week when somebody came up with yet another openTH clone project. Named openTH, to add confusion to the previous one that bares exactly the same name, it can (also) be found at Sourceforge. And of course it also has its own forum.

As there is now a busload of would-be programmers around the good news is that discrete negotiations are being held to join forces and to merge into one big project. To be continued...

If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Tycooning 


When the right one walks out of the door...

Entry 981 posted in: 5. The Pink Thing

Huug Schipper 1974 It has been a sad week for us, music lovers. Rick Wright, one of the founding fathers of the band Pink Floyd, died of cancer. Wright was a member of the 1963 R&B cover band Sigma 6 that would grow, a couple of years later, into the next hip thing when Syd Barrett joined the gang. The hip thing would soon become a monster, a gravy train, a dinosaur, it had its up and downs, it was praised and loathed by the so-called serious music press.

I am not good at obituaries, and who am I to write one anyway, so I’ll pass the word to David Gilmour, not only a colleague but also close friend of him.

In the welter of arguments about who or what was Pink Floyd, Rick's enormous input was frequently forgotten.
He was gentle, unassuming and private but his soulful voice and playing were vital, magical components of our most recognised Pink Floyd sound.
I have never played with anyone quite like him. The blend of his and my voices and our musical telepathy reached their first major flowering in 1971 on 'Echoes'. In my view all the greatest PF moments are the ones where he is in full flow. After all, without 'Us and Them' and 'The Great Gig In The Sky', both of which he wrote, what would 'The Dark Side Of The Moon' have been? Without his quiet touch the Album 'Wish You Were Here' would not quite have worked.
In our middle years, for many reasons he lost his way for a while, but in the early Nineties, with 'The Division Bell', his vitality, spark and humour returned to him and then the audience reaction to his appearances on my tour in 2006 was hugely uplifting and it's a mark of his modesty that those standing ovations came as a huge surprise to him, (though not to the rest of us).
Taken from: http://www.davidgilmour.com/

I admit I was one of those many fans who sheered louder for Rick than for the others on David’s last tour. Hearing him sing Echoes with David was probably my best Floydian encounter ever, topping Dogs that Roger Waters used (and still uses) to sing on his solo tours.

Roger Waters, normally a man of many words, has put the following appropriate statement on his website:

Taken from: http://www.roger-waters.com/

Julianindica wrote some great stuff about Wright at Late Night:

Wright’s keyboard style had a unique melancholic grandeur. He had an ear for exotic sounds, bringing in Middle Eastern Phrygian scales into his mix. Never one to play lightning fast or pound the notes out, Wright conjured up his unique style with patience. What was left out was as important as what stayed in, and Wright took a calm and methodical approach. The influence of Davis sideman Bill Evans introspective, melancholic piano was strong. Modal jazz had minimal chords and relied on melody and intervals of different modes. A slow harmonic rhythm opened space in the music, in contrast to bebop’s frenzy.
The full text can be found at Late Night.

The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say...

Wright related comments can be found at the following places on this blog:

The Rough Guide To Pink Floyd

Easter Eggs Lost On An Island

Random Blueß aka sucking for statistics
John Lennon called him 'Normal'....
The Orb On Mars

Rick Wright portrait by Huug Schipper (1974) from the (unauthorisedl) The Pink Floyd Songbook, ca. 1978.



Entry 991 posted in: 1. General Mish Mash, 2. DNA, 5. The Pink Thing

Wicker Ass This week, sad week, brought me scattered thoughts, feelings and sensations. Let me empty my cerebral scrapbook first before I continue with the subject of the day. Activate cynical mood warning…


Three weeks ago a Belgian soldier was killed in Lebanon attempting to dismantle an Israeli bomb. He was posthumously decorated and the big shots praised him for his bravery. Strange enough nobody from the Belgian government had the guts to convene the Israeli ambassador and to officially demand for an explanation what the fuck these bombs were doing there and how on Earth they were going to indemnify the Blue Helmets, the family of the deceased soldier and last but not least the hundreds of innocent victims who have been mutilated and killed and will still be mutilated and killed for years after the initial conflict has taken place.

Whenever a believer of the true Zion faith discovers a swastika on a wall a mind-boggling tidal wave of complaints hits the media. One of the silliest moments of an anti-Semite counter reaction took place decades ago when the Belgian-Israeli Weekly accused Albert Uderzo to be racist because he had caricatured a Jew in Asterix and the Black Gold.

Don’t get me wrong. The Jewish people have suffered a lot, especially in the last century, and I’m not here to minimise or contradict the Holocaust or anti-Semitism. But I don’t like the fact that these historical barbarisms are still used today as a scapegoat to defend military actions against civilians. Just make the following headbirth: what do you think the international reaction would be if a Blue Helmet was be killed in Afghanistan by a Taliban cluster bomb? Catch my drift?

I needed to get this off my chest.


Some silly people bombard my mailboxes with funny PowerPoint presentations, funny jokes, funny movies and the odd portion of pornographic material. Depending on the mood I’m in I just delete the crap (with exception of the pornographic material, I confess) and nod very friendly when I meet the senders, mostly at the local pub, when they feel it necessary to loudly analyse what they send me a couple of days before.

This one nearly made me piss my pants: Statue of St George falls and gets beheaded in a church.

But it also made place for another headbirth. Why do I find this Christian blasphemous act rather funny and the bombing of the Afghan Buddhas of Bamyan not?


A second movie that cracked me up involves a hidden camera prank that turns bad. A moron with a bucketful of paint decorates a parked car and is promptly attacked by its owner. When the nose bleeding actor explains that the scene was set up for the general amusement of the tv glotzing community this isn’t appreciated by the victim, quite the contrary. The man doesn't feel invited to laugh in front of the camera and kicks the prankster a bit more. I sincerely hope the authorities gave the mental bloke a medal instead of a fine. But at the same time a little silly bird keeps on fluttering in my head.

Time for a headbirth. What if the beating was a scenario driven thing as well? These days it is so hard to trust television.


My Live In Gdansk cd/dvd/goodies box arrived yesterday and although I pissed on the concept a couple of weeks ago the situation has somewhat changed since then. Rick Wright, the quietest of the brothers Floyd, is no longer among us and thus this 5 double disc is more or less his musical testament. Friday evening I watched Echoes on disc 3 and cried a bit, alone in front of the computer screen. Thank God my webcam is broken or it would’ve been a hidden camera item all over the world. (Now on YouTube: grown man cries in front of a Pink Floyd song.) The close ups of Ricks Wright’s fingers floating forever and ever over the keyboard keys only strengthened me in my belief that the man was a fucking genius. The last track on the DVD is the obligatory Comfy Numb. Rick sings the parts that are normally done by Roger Waters. Justice is done.

This reminds me of the unchecked fact that somebody, EMI probably, waved a bucketful of dollars in front of the Floyd politely informing if they were interested in doing a sequel to Dark Side of The Moon. Apparently they all said no.

Headbirth: although Roger Waters did sing about a surrogate band in the Eighties he apparently doesn’t realise that the Floyd songs he does on his live shows sound more like a tribute band than anything else.


What is it with these sequels and remakes anyway? Those who know me know I am a bit a fan of the original The Wicker Man, a cult horror movie from the early Seventies. The protagonist is a 30 years virgin policeman, not even a wanker, who gets lured to an island where Christopher Lee, dressed like Neil the hippie from The Young Ones, is a pagan high priest. Although the women on the island have the tendency to dance naked in the daylight, dance naked in the moonlight and even dance naked when there is no distinctive source of light present, singing Scottish folksongs, the copper refuses to get involved. When the town’s main hottie, played by Britt Ekland, juggles her bare buttocks in front of him, he still refuses to spill his seed on the ground and thus he is exactly the right spicy man to be sacrificed to their sun god.

Recently I came across the American remake with Nicolas Cage. Frankly, I don’t like the guy and in this movie Cage proves once again that he is not a method actor but merely uses screaming as a method. Somebody should explain him that modern movie sets have hi-tech microphones that can record sweet whispers as well.

HB: Why do people make remakes and sequels if they already know for sure that the result will be worse than the original? Is this some kind of a postmodernism thing?


Part 5 was a mere intermezzo, because the real message is here: Eoin Colfer, his name reveals that he probably has been living on The Wicker Man island for too long, has been commissioned by Penguin books and the Adams family to write the sixth sequel of the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy trilogy. The book will be titled And Another Thing and will resuscitate Arthur Dent, Zaphod Beeblebrox and Ford Prefect. I’m not sure about Marvin, the paranoid android, as he did the decent thing of dying in So Long And Thanks For All The Fish, but we can’t be too sure with all these parallel universes floating around, can we?

Kopfgeburten. Should I be happy or should I be sad with this news? I’m not sure and I don’t really care.

If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Ringmaster  


Where did she go?

Entry 996 posted in: The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit

On September the 17th the Croydon Guardian, a weekly free local newspaper...

2008 newspaper article about the whereabouts of Iggy
interviews with Antony Stern and Jeff Dexter who still remember Iggy
new Iggy picture (by Anthony Stern)

The Holy Church Of Iggy the Inuit


zORBa, the G|r|eek

Entry 1006 posted in: 4. Orb Weavers

The (origina) Peel Sessions The Orb hasn’t been sitting still the past year. In February they released a new album, called The Dream and five disks of their back catalogue have been re-released, with extra tracks to draw the money out of the collector’s pocket.

Not that long ago they already had unleashed two rarities albums called Orbsessions One and Two and an ambient volume in the The Art Of Chill collection (a previous volume of that same collection, mixed by Steve Hillage from System7, also contained a Paterson collaboration). March also saw a promo-mix-cd called The Orb vs Freeze, containing 3 unreleased tracks, only available as an extra with a Greek music magazine.

But the best was yet to come and this week saw the release of The BBC Sessions 1989-2001. Of course completists have been complaining that not all Orb sessions (especially those with John Peel) have been put on the double cd set, so the original ‘working’ title of the compilation (The Complete BBC Sessions) had to be shortened a bit (Amazon USA however is still advertising it as the complete sessions).

It obviously starts with A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Underworld (Loving You). Did I just wrote underworld? Seems that there is a typo on the cover. The track in question is of course titled: A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Ultraworld (Loving You). I once compared this ambient pièce de résistance to Pink Floyd’s A Saucerful Of Secrets. This BBC version uses samples from Minnie Riperton’s Loving You, Grace Jones’ Slave To The Rhythm and Pink Floyd’s Shine On You Crazy Diamond. For obvious, copyright, reasons the tracks isn’t credited to Jimmy Cauty and Alex Paterson alone, like it used to be when it was first released, but to a Pleiades of composers and authors, in alphabetical order:
Jimmy Cauty
Simon Darlow
Trevor Horn
Stephen Lipson
Alex Paterson
Minnie Riperton
Richard Rudolph
Bruce Wolley.

From the 17 tracks on the album 5 come from The Orb’s debut, 2 (3 if one counts Assassin as well) from U.F.Orb , 3 from Orbus Terrarum, one from Orblivion and 3 from Cydonia.

The collector will find it amusing that the Stooges cover of No Fun is added as well (a reminder of the days that Alex Paterson was a roadie for Killing Joke and used to sing that song to test the PA) and a live rendition of an excellent, and mostly forgotten ambient tune by The Orb I Am The Red Worm that was originally issued (in very limited form) on the Badorb label.

All in all this double cd is a nice greatest hits compilation, if one can use the term hits for The Orb, classic tunes would perhaps be more appropriate. Now if only I could find the time to give The Dream a spin.

If you liked this post - you might be interested in this as well: Apples and Oranges 



iPod Random Generator September 2008

Entry 1024 posted in: 9. I, Pod

I want candy!

Also in 2008 my MySpace page will contain some useless iPod statistics. This year however my iPod will always stay in shuffle mode, in other words: the machine will decide what songs will be played. For more information: Random Blueß aka sucking for statistics.

At the end of each month I will publish the ten most popular songs of the year and the ten most popular songs of the past month.

For the top 10 list of the songs I've been listening to in 2008 go to http://www.myspace.com/atagong.

For the top 10 list of the songs I've been listening to in September, go to the MySpace blog section.

If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: iPod Random Generator August 2008