William Orbit Hello Waveforms

[Sanctuary/EMI; 2006]

Styles: chill, ambient, electronica
Others: Moby, Sia, Télépopmusik, Lemon Jelly, Kraftwerk, Air

It doesn't get much bigger than William Orbit when it comes to producers. Not only is he responsible for guiding Madonna's all-time best album (or least worst, depending) in Ray Of Light, but he's put in time behind a console for the likes of Blur's 13, U2's "Electrical Storm" single, DJ immortal Sasha, Erasure, No Doubt, Beth Orton, Peter Gabriel, Depeche Mode, and the list goes on and on. However, this is definitely not a case of "those who can't do," despite the fact both his parents were teachers. Though this is Orbit's first album in six years, the London-based knob-twiddler has been collaborating and releasing original works since the mid-'80s. Making up for this recent gap, he also plans to release a companion to Waveforms later this year, which I sincerely look forward to, if only for the Beck track. There aren't a great deal of people making chill this good any more. Hello Waveforms is a delicate mix of organic instrumentation (mainly in the form of light acoustic guitars) and sparsely-used, breathy vocals contributed here by the likes of The Sugababes and fellow former Strange Cargo member Laurie Mayor, surrounded by rich ambient sounds and downtempo beats electronically polished by hands with two decades of experience. I can say without reservation that this album is far more deserving of the success attributed to at least half of the people William Orbit has worked with. Limp Bizkit, I'm looking in your direction... and I really don't want to be. William, man, don't waste another six years on those pricks. Your work is far more worthwhile.

1. Sea Green
2. Humming Chorus
3. Surfin'
4. You Know Too Much About Flying Saucers
5. Spiral
6. Who Owns The Octopus?
7. Bubble Universe
8. Fragmosia
9. Firebrand
10. They Live In The Sky
11. Colours From Nowhere

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