When it comes to re-mixes of other artists' work, you never quite know what you're going to get from The Orb's "ever pulsating brain" Dr. Alex Paterson. The two "Auntie Aubrey's Excursions Beyond the Call of Duty" were typically unusual, mind bending and disorientingly surprising. Paterson's approach is truly eclectic, in the best sense of the word. If you're looking for a slick, smooth, homogenous flow with NO surprises you won't find it in the "Aubreys" nor here either. What you WILL find, on these two discs, is one of the most elegantly arranged, time-spanning representations of some of the best ambient and chill tracks recorded, with hand-clapping surprises and delights.
Paterson, as any Orb afficianado will tell you, infuses everything he touches with truly anarchic and classically British humour, satorially brilliant flashes of breath-taking insight and a hugely BROAD range of tastes. While Dub is his main muse in musical forms there is a fantastic spectrum of styles and approaches represented here. I think he took his commission quite seriously and sought to produce an album truly deserving the title, "The Art of Chill". He achieved it brilliantly.
He opens the 2-disc set with David Bowie and Brian Eno's 1977 classic "Warszawa" from their ground-breaking album "Low". It is an evocative overture to the album. From there on he first calms and spaces you out, warms you up and then the delightul little surprises begin. The inclusion of Mad Professor's wonderfully "insane" "Dub Power" from ages ago is genius. He tips a big hat to Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy ( System 7 ) with the inclusion of the both personally and historically classic "Garden of Paradise". Notables to follow are Gudrun Gut's "Tip Tip" and the deeply emotional and powerful "Beyond Light" by Transmission, a climax that he builds up to and glides effortlessly down from with the wonderfully unexpected addition of Brian Eno's "Taking Tiger Mountain" and his own "Falkenbruck". Penquin Cafe Orchestra's track is so sweetly sad like a lonely, wistful Sunday and while not at all what one would expect on a "chill" CD, it being performed all on real instruments, most of them even acoustic, it's place in Paterson's set is one of his deft strokes of genius.
And that's just the first disc!
Disc 2 is no less surprising, mind expanding and tasteful. It takes you even further out, washing you over with such shifts and breezes you come to the end feeling like you've come home from a rich and unique journey.
Paterson is a master of his own craft AND one of the biggest and TRUEST fans of genuinely good music in the business. It shows on The Orb releases and even more on sets like this. It is one of his greatest strengths. So kudos to the good Doctor and to Platipus for THEIR great taste and foresight in getting LX Paterson to do something for them that he is also REALLY REALLY good at.
This thing is a Treasure.