The magic of the mid-60s psychedelic movement was the fact that this kind of mind-expanding sonic experimentation hadn’t been done before. Nobody was trying to reproduce anything old. So this unashamed retro-homage to all things hippy by the duo formerly known as Future Sound Of London is a tricky one. It’s the sound of London – nearly 40 years ago, except painstakingly recreated with modern technology. Original pioneers like Hapshash and the Coloured Coat just went where the creative urges and drugs took them, on four-track tape. Innocent, innovative and dangerous. There weren’t proper synthesisers then, just experiments on the most basic equipment. The title suggests The Orb, and there are hallucinogenic surface similarities, but that’s where any similarity ends. The Orb succeeded because they never lost their surreal sense of humour and punk edge. Next to this noodlathon with track titles like ‘Emptiness Is Nothingness’ and ‘The World Is Full Of Plankton’, The Orb seem like Hawkwind There are moments of impressive knob-twiddling and it’s perfectly pleasant when you’re in the bath, but it can never reach the heights it aspires to because of the sort of pretentions which got you labelled ‘hippy shit’ back in the day. Never mind punk rock, this is like acid house never happened.

3 Out Of 5

Reviewed By: KRIS NEEDS