A man's voice announces "One Atomsecond" and a foreboding yet exquisite dark ambient loop session follows. Having been exposed to several Atom Heart solo albums in the past (VSVN, Softcore, Shellglove, live at sel i/s/c), I had anticipated another collection of quirky, hypersequenced, and electroblipafied songs that would contain the occasional appealing weaving melodies. To Orange, this description does not apply. Track 1 seems like it would fit right in with some of the softly grinding beatless essays presented on the 2CD Isolationism. During the course of the track, a rhythm makes an slight appearance, but keeps its distance, much in the same vein as some of Polar Sequences. Track 2, "Ode to BG," starts out with a brash horn sound that reminds me of someone being clobbered on an old episode of Batman & Robin... but in slow motion. This continues for a minute or two, and threatens to be oppressively simple, but before long other more intriguing sounds fade in. Some notes echo a fragmented yet suspenseful melody which continues to evolve in its own subtle way and blink to the left and right. Darkly diabolical and profoundly hypnotic in headphones. Track 3, "Cobal <1>," dives into a slightly more layered territory consisting of a low synth hum which serves as a background for a strange bleepy sound which conjures images of slowly bubbling water and feathery artificial wildlife trying desperately to communicate with you. Almost Coilish in nature. Track 4, "Rainecho," starts with an intro containing segments of violin concertos. The intro gives way to a organic hollow pipe riff that rapidly blinks on and off in almost unpredictable ways. A solid pseudo-4-on-da-floor rhythm fades to the fore. Aerobic drum machine toms betray the advice on the inside of the CD cover: "Listen in low volume." Hell, at high dB levels this track has the neighbors gettin' down. "Cobal <2>," the final track, initially bears little resemblance to its predecessor. It starts with some abstract synth waves blending chaotically and some hi-hats fade in. Wiggly pitch shifted notes slide left and right. It sounds like it could develop into another good 4-on-the-floor, but instead this trails off and another slower rhythm fades in, layered with some choir-like samples triggered in the same manner as some old school Severed Heads. You know, the lo-fi kind that drives off all but the intensively curious (like The Bladders of One Thousand Bedouin). This too disappears and more loops fill their places, slower and slower. After this 3rd section it sounds like the track might end. Instead we return to the dark ambient cave from which we initially emerged. A drone howls like a ghost ship horn and the artificial birdcalls fade in again (hence Cobal <2>). This track actually sounds like 3 or 4 tracks mixed in, one at a time. Overall, a pleasantly pensive listen. This type of album blends sounds from the past without sounding at all "dated." Though it was released in early '94, it will certainly sound fresh for years to come.
(review by [email protected])