Artist: William Orbit
Album: Pieces In A Modern Style

Label: Maverick

Pieces In A Modern Style   William Orbit
William Orbit, one of today's biggest proponents of the analogue synth sound, is known by most due to his recent mainstream production credits with, among others, Beth Orton (Trailer Park) and Madonna (Ray Of Light). Aside from the superficial benefit of realizing smash hit albums, Orbit's true success lies in almost singlehandedly raising the genre of Electronica to a legitimate pop music form. It follows that the lesser known styles of Electronic Music (presented on STAR'S END) were upped a notch or two through association.

The release of Switched On Bach helped bring EM into the consciousness of a curious public some 30 years ago. On Pieces In A Modern Style, William Orbit carries on the age old EM tradition of arranging classical music to perfom on sythesizers. What makes this album stand out from the 100 plus like releases is Orbit's intuitive approach to the music.

The CD opens with a straight-ahead rendition of "Adagio For Strings", a display meant to impress us with Orbit's craft as a musican and command of Barber's composition. What follows is a remarkable interpolation. On Pieces In A Modern Style Orbit demonstrates an ability to translate, transform and ultimately make each of the pieces his own. The familiar harmonies and melodies remain, it's the perspective that has been altered. "In A Landscape" becomes a bouncey jaunt, "Ogive Number 1" adds chopper fx and cyclical arpeggiations and dark electronic percussion augment "Triple Concerto".

The audience for this album will enjoy re-experiencing the 11 classics presented, each with its own individual interpertation, flair and style true to the original yet including Orbit's signature timbres and atmosphere.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END

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