orbitronik: my computer my stereo

orb-mcms.jpg (9k) orbitronik: my computer my stereo
(Thousand - 1999)

It doesn't take a digital brain to perceive the electro-computerized influences which energize the binary beatfests of my computer my stereo. Reveling in creative desktop experimentationalism (with an agenda), the two creators have never actually met, though obviously their minds have... in creating a body of computerized tunes that seeks to both satirize AND improve upon the cliches of modern e-music. Hence the decidedly overt name of orbitronik...

I suppose the trouble with having two goals is that the listener can't be absolutely sure which parts are parody and which parts are improvements. Some obviously overused elements occur, but are skillfully-enough applied that e-music fans aren't going to take offense, and in fact will be grooving right along as familiar tricks are updated.

Thick churning strands wind through star (v2.0) (9:52) to be pounded by slow techno beats, a swirling robotic voice and a couple of visitations from Obi Wan Kenobi... sinuous basslines and spacey bleeps accentuate this initial voyage into electronica, the orbitronik way. A cool lounge-groove sidles through sizably bent spiritualist, with a few interesting detours along its route, including some agile bass and beat manuevers. Deconstructed vocals phase in and out of mid-tempo (you're so) anxious (for my astrological luv), backed by shifting electronics and scritchy interference.

spreading the virus of conversation is practically an orgy of e-sounds, reveling in explosive electrons, pummeling beats and quirky squawks. Big round analog bloops and electrotones enter the inventive anti-nueral suite, where dozens of spacey adornments twinkle and shine amid lightly grooving rhythms.

My favorites are the two tracks recorded live in 100% granular synthesis mode... granul plastiq wavers hypnotically, periodically injected with a sparking rhythm and infectuous beats; bleepier territories are entered, underlain by growling digital basslines, with everything erupting in a climactic granular-techno-showdown, then buzzing out into particularly consortium, which begins more "microscopically" to be quickly pummeled by various raging drumbeats and ripped by wicked guitarsqueal distortions. Gritty high speed explorations zip through unknowable digital realms... cool!

unplugged (eXTraCt) (0:44) offers a brief behind-the-scenes one-man chatter which leads into the grungy intro of bigfoot discovered (deep space version), a beatless mass of sonic distortions which blow in as a howling electron storm. Squawling torrents of voidnoise are joined by big synth waves which become the untitled piece which shuts down My Computer...; easy beats back the giant wavering loops, topped by higher radiant sweeps and tinkles.

It seems to me that while Scott Gibbons and Brian Ladd (both claiming to be non-fans of rave/techno) were reinventing the electronic beast, they were bitten by it... Prank or not, orbitronik have booted up some serious electronica with my computer my stereo (mastered by Vapourspace's Mark Gage) and warrants un appreciative 8.8 from my computer and stereo. Stick it on yours...

The folks at Thousand recommend filing this under "Electro-Pop", but I think we need to get the word "intelligent" in there somewhere.


This review posted May 29, 2000

AmbiEntrance © 2000-1997 by David J Opdyke (except CD cover art, rights retained by original owners).