The Orb - The Cow Remixes - Sin in Space Pt. 3 - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Orb - The Cow Remixes - Sin in Space Pt. 3

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:9 Release Date:2017-03-03

After the retro-ambient stylings of their latest release, COW: Chill Out, World!, The Orb have handed over some tracks for remixing on their follow-up EP, The COW Remixes, and the results sound even more true to form than the original songs. Although it only contains four tracks, their extended lengths plump the set up to just under forty minutes, making it almost as long as the album itself. And these mixes do pretty much everything right. The longer times let each song develop and hang out in its space, rather than departing too soon, as was the case with many of the original songs.

'9 Elms Over River Eno (The Field Remix)' is a fantastic example of this, spreading out like cosmic honey over nine minutes of ambient bliss. While the original song was solid and very much in the vein of early 90s Orb, it was a bit sparse in places. The remix fills in all the gaps and gives the whole thing a feeling of a continuous flowing journey, rather than of signposts in space. '4am Exhale (Dave DK Accelerator Mix)' has a very Spacetime Continuum flavor circa Emit Ecaps, with lots of dim, moody layers and some hypnotic synth oscillations spinning out the melody. This is another clear case of improving the original, which felt a bit aimless at times.

'5th Dimension (Jörg Burger Dschungeloper Mix)' also improves on the original. A deep, spacey pad sets the stage, along with the ambient staple of chirping birds. Then a mild key melody inserts itself into the mix for a while before letting the relaxing beats (not present in the source material) and pads take center stage again. 'Wireless (Leandro Fresco Mix)' is another piece of joyous ambient meditation, which a quietly warbling metallic bassline and a delightful, echoing guitar melody underlaid with the wispiest of pads. After a timeless span of this, the song dissolves a bit more, with fading horns floating around in the background, and some classic sound effects and voice recordings that point directly back to the band's seminal U.F. Orb. It's just wonderful and somehow pure, and happily the longest track in the set, clocking in at a whopping fourteen and a half minutes.

Honestly, if I had to recommend either this or the album that spawned it, there would be no contest. Despite, or perhaps even because of, the fact that this is all remixes, it solidly hits the mark of the gorgeous ambient of super old-school Orb. The album is not bad, but this is really what I want. It's like the comfort food of ambient music. I can't recommend it enough for fans of the genre.

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I love coming back to my old reviews to figure out what I should be listening to. This still holds up almost three years later.

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  • 06/17/2018
  • By Joseph Majsterski