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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Strange Cargo III

William Orbit

1993

Strange Cargo III
Album Summary

Strange Cargo III is the fourth album by electronic instrumentalist William Orbit. It is the third in a series of similarly titled albums: Strange Cargo, Strange Cargo II and Strange Cargo Hinterland. The album was performed, produced and mixed by William Orbit at Guerilla Studios, London. Mark Rutherford and Sugar J co-performed "Deus Ex Machina" with William Orbit, with Rutherford also co-writing the song. Rico Conning contributed flexible bleeps and roadhouse piano on "Time to get Wize", spiky piano and strings on "The Story of Light" and additional programming on "A Touch of the Night".The album was featured in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.81

Votes

10814

Genres

  • Electronica

Reviews

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Thu Mar 25 2021
4

I often wonder whether albums like this are made for people to actually enjoy....or whether they're made for hi-fi nerds to boast about how great the plinky-plonks sound through their speakers (they sounded awesome through mine)

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Mon Feb 06 2023
2

Man, this started off so promising…Some processed guitar creating an ethereal ambient soundscape. Then like 30 seconds in, forget about that guitar, here’s some hard-panned arpeggiated synth out of nowhere. No build up, just whiplash. This dude killed his own vibe in first minute of the record. I’m gonna try not to let my disappointment at that production choice ruin my listen, but man, William Orbit, you played yourself hard. Could’ve been a good song, if you let it breathe. I get why the generator is recommend this record, I’ve given two Air records 5 stars and this is generally in a similar ball park and might be considered a predecessor, stylistically. There’s something that Air has, though, that William Orbit lacks. Air feels very deliberate, their songs unfold smoothly and don’t try to do too much. These songs on Strange Cargo III are clunky as fuck. …and honestly after the fifth song just started, I’m here thinking “I’ve just heard this one, haven’t I?”. Not a good sign on an hour long, 11 track LP. Maybe I should have taken ecstasy back in the 90’s, perhaps that was the key to unlocking an appreciation for this type of music. I don’t know, but so far, 210 records in, I’ve found the vast majority of 90’s electronica on this list to range anywhere from highly annoying to completely underwhelming. This record falls exactly in the middle of that spectrum. It’s like the worst of both worlds. If it was just annoying, it’d be one thing; I could just turn it off. As it is, there’s enough of a glimmer of “good” to keep me thinking that William Orbit might get it together and turn this into a decent record by the end. Spoiler Alert: He doesn’t.

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Wed Jun 23 2021
1

So then, mood music. Not often my thing, especially this version, which dumbly apes what they think 'peaceful' sounds like without realising that isn't enough to make people feel at peace. Broad brush approaches only creates greater distance from the listener. As with lyrics, specificity is what allows them to grab hold of the song, clamber in and find their own way to those feelings. These sounds are so washed out with generalisations that there's no chance of that.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

I was not prepared for how much I would love this album. Like, I thought "oh hahah college raves and video games soundtracks." Then it played and I can't describe how immediately I loved it. Track after track, too. Listened to it twice because I didn't want it to end. So, I guess I should listen to William Orbit more and just let go of the electronica stigma.

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Thu Feb 25 2021
4

Another pleasant surprise, some enjoyable Electronica dance music.

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Wed May 19 2021
4

It was a trip listen to it with my eyes closed on my way home back from work. Great tracks overall

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Fri Feb 18 2022
4

In the early 90s I was a DJ at this local, publicly-funded, alternative radio station. Certain songs were in rotation and we had to play those at certain times so that they got played a specific number of times per day. If there was time left before the next required song we could pick out a song of our choice that wasn't in rotation as long as it fit in with the format. Because of this I hated having to play long songs, I wanted the world (or at least the part of Western New York State that was in our small listening area) to hear what amazing taste I had. "Water From a Vine Leaf" the seven minute leadoff track from this album was my bete noire. Now when I listen to it and the rest of "Strange Cargo III," especially on some good headphones I really appreciate it.

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Mon Jul 12 2021
3

Das pendelt erstmal so rum zwischen ganz interessant (hätte ich damals noch besser gefunden als z.B. Orbital) und zeitlos schlimmer Esoterik. Findet sich dann, nachdem man sich hörbar deutlich bei Andrew Weatherall und The Orb bedient hat aber letztlich in so Ralf Hildenbeutel/Sven Väthschem Ibizasphärengedudel, das damals sicher nicht weh tat, anschließend aber auch nicht gut gealtert ist. Und dann hört man auch schon raus, was er 6 Jahre später auf z.B. Madonnas Ray of Light perfektioniert hat. Naja. So wegweisend finde ich dieses Album jedenfalls nicht. 2,7 reichen völlig aus.

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Thu Nov 10 2022
1

No wonder it’s not available in Apple Music in the US.

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Mon Nov 28 2022
1

It’s music, I guess. I’m sure someone likes it

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Fri Feb 26 2021
5

Cool electronic sound. Actually listened to it twice.

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Wed Dec 15 2021
5

Excelente disco! El primer 5!! Aca esta la base del lo que fue ese tremendo disco de Madonna, Ray of Ligth.

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Sun Jan 02 2022
5

I am here for William and his Strange melodies. Brian Eno-esque in all the right ways, with a little bit of world music vocals and groovy Thievery Corporation beats.

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Fri Feb 25 2022
5

skemmtilegt að studera þennan gaur

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Thu May 05 2022
5

Really good but he absolutely blue balled me with those first two songs, my expectations were set at Groove Armada style bang fest but it was more of a freaky experimental electronic exploration - not saying I didn't enjoy the journey but I think the first couple of songs would've been better placed dispersed throughout rather than as false expectation setters at the start. GIVE ME MORE BANGERS, WILLIAM

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Thu Sep 01 2022
5

This is what I came here for.

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Mon Mar 27 2023
5

Me encantó, todas sus canciones encajan de excelente manera

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Sat Sep 02 2023
5

I guess this is my jam. Never heard this before, but this is the kind of music that just fits a perfect night of thinking or working or chilling. An ambient, trancey vibe that doesn't stick itself out to far, but are all smooth and cool.

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Tue Oct 24 2023
5

Awesome album . loved it very much

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Thu Oct 26 2023
5

Fabulous electronic music. Loved the groove.

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Thu Oct 26 2023
5

I listened to this at work and started it over as soon as it finished. Very pleasant background music. I listened again during my walking/bus commute and was pleased that it held up in that context as well. Some tracks are a mellow dance groove, some are gentle and floaty, some are noisy but with a thumping bass line. I can hear some of you asking, how much electronica do we need? And I say, lots!

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Thu Oct 26 2023
5

When I first listened, I was a bit distracted trying to focus on other tasks at the same time. I liked what I had heard, but did I love it? I don't know, I needed a second listen. On second listen, it was much more clear...Love it is.

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Mon Nov 27 2023
5

It's pretty great. I liked Water from a Vine Leaf, Time to Get Wise, The Story of Light, and many others.

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Fri Dec 01 2023
5

really enjoyed the whole album

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Wed Feb 14 2024
5

Favorites: Water from a Vine Leaf, A Touch of the Night, Gringatcho Demento. Excellent mostly non-vocal trance.

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Wed Feb 21 2024
5

Excellent! Inspiring. Really loved this.

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Fri Mar 08 2024
5

What an awesome surprise this album has been! I wasn't sure what to anticipate with no knowledge of this artist at all, but I’m thoroughly impressed. As a fan of instrumental music, I'm happy to incorporate this album into my rotation and explore William Orbit's work. After listening to the first few tracks, I thought the sound reminded me of some of Madonna's work in the 90's. Turns out, he worked with her in that era. How interesting! Replay: "Water From a Vine Leaf," "Time to Get Wize," "Gringatcho Demento," and honestly almost every track from this album. Skip: "Deus Ex Machina"

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Fri Mar 22 2024
5

Muy buen disco. Una de las pocas músicas ambientales que escucharía genuinamente.

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Wed Mar 27 2024
5

Ambient enough to use as background noise but interesting enough to pay attention to as a stand alone experience. Great working/study music

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Sun Jan 24 2021
4

Super triply, great music to sample, intense ass vibes 4.5/5

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Thu Mar 18 2021
4

This was very chill as I drove in the wet in the city. Like

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Thu Mar 18 2021
4

Pretty good electronic music

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Wed Jun 02 2021
4

Good background music, not much more

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Wed Jul 21 2021
4

Perfectly decent, spacey 90s electronica with dance, dub, trip-hop, world and new-age influences. Its sound and mood is such that it still holds up quite well almost 30 years after it was released. This one really grew on me.

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Fri May 28 2021
4

awesome psychedelic record with liquid rhythms, expressive synths, and groovy bass lines. love hearing the predecessors to some of my favorite modern psychedelic artists.

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Thu Jul 29 2021
4

Surprised to enjoy this. Quite relaxed sound nice and easy listen

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Thu Sep 02 2021
4

Not my usual kind of music, but I really enjoyed it. Also very good for concentrating at work.

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Fri Oct 29 2021
4

Great electronic stuff here. Bonus points for the vocals. Favorites: Water From A Vine Leaf, Harry Flowers, The Story Of Light

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Thu Oct 14 2021
4

Enjoyed this immensely remembered some of the tunes on here from amvient mixes back in the day. Took me back and to far of chilledness.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
4

Pretty good listening, some of the tracks definitely would've been better without vocals tho. Favorite track is probably A Touch of the Night.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

Ugh, this album isn’t on Apple Music. Damn them for not having obscure, non-charted electronic music. They have a bunch of his other albums…wtf? So I have to listen on YouTube, which is painful. First world problems. I like the bass heavy beats throughout the album. This is the first album that got my house rattling with the surround sound system I got a couple months back. The accompanying videos on YouTube are a trip. There are a lot of nature scenes. Also quite a bit of shaky camera work. I can’t tell if the videos add or detract from the music. I’m not a fan of the Nine-Inch-Nails-esque electronic drum on Into the Paradise and A Hazy Shade of Random, but that’s not going to bring this album down. There’s a lot of good shit here. An interesting find for sure. I’m starting to conclude that I’m into ambient music. Not all of it, no way (looking at you Brian Eno). But there is a subset that gets me going.

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Mon Dec 06 2021
4

Feels quite long but great for programming.

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Fri Dec 24 2021
4

Okay, I like this. It's chill and electronic and perfect music to use as background noise while writing.

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Tue Jan 18 2022
4

Sounds like 90's techno trip hop rave

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

Inventive, original and very interesting. I was pretty familiar with this already but it's - despite its listenability and general awesomeness - not an album that finds its way onto the regular playlists round these parts. I am thinking I should probably endeavour to rectify that.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
4

I liked this, textural and cool

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

De hoes van dit album gaf me het idee dat we klassieke muziek voorgeschoteld gingen krijgen. Heel interessant, maar deze "ambient" muziek vind ik vele malen leuker. Heerlijk album! ****

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Sun Feb 27 2022
4

4.5/5. Very 90s’ laser tag, but low key a banger

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Thu Mar 03 2022
4

I quite liked this one. The ambient stuff has a good groove and when they kick it up a notch it really moves. Good to see Beth Orton singing on this album. She has had special guest appearances on a number of the albums on the 1001.

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Thu Apr 07 2022
4

Kind of weird and ambient, but in a way I kinda liked. It reminded me of video game music for some reason.

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Wed Jun 01 2022
4

8/10. I liked this. Not the most exciting to get for my 500th album, but a solid inclusion.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
4

25/08/2022 William Orbit – Strange Cargo III 4/5 Electronica has become one of my favourite genres together with folk, indie and pop, and it’s great to listen to the seed of what that style is today. Strange Cargo III is a very early 90’s electronica album, with all that that implies. It is enjoyable, at least for me, but knowing how the genre have evolved with time and technological progress, it sounds a bit simple and not fully developed sometimes. However, it is very chill and well built on its context, and it doesn’t have a low point across the whole album. Water From A Vine Leaf – 4.5/5 Surprisingly good for its length: 7 minutes that doesn’t become a tedious listen. Its first half develops a good beat, and the second evolves a bit with variation and the inclusion of a singer. Very enjoyable. Into The Paradise – 4.5/5 This album is quite interesting. Some songs are built similar to modern electronic music, like they are intended to sound in a club (mostly because their structure and duration). But they aren’t that danceable and are rather slow, at least to current standards (It is probably my age thinking). This is one of the cases, and I quite like it. It becomes a fairly “sexy” song thanks to the voice and the beat. Time To Get Wize – 3/5 more of a “generic song”, still good. Harry Flowers – 4/5 This is a song that breaks the consistency of the album so far, sounding more like the soundtrack of a movie or a videogame, and leaning more into the ambient/relaxing music. A Touch Of The Night – 4/5 Very intriguing melody, and great bass/drums combination. It almost sounds like club music from outer space. The Story Of Light – 4 /5 Good build-up, to become a great hit to dance to (slowly?). Interesting sounds, and the included singer gives it a good touch. Gringatcho Demento – 4/5 Another song that builds-up to a good beat and instrumentation. This one has a surprising guitar solo in the middle. A Hazy Shade Of Random – 4.5/5 Mostly slow songs that evolves into a impressive beat. My favourite song of the album. Best Friend, Paranoia – 2.5/5 It follows a similar structure and composition, but it gets stuck in the middle between a high energy and low energy song. The Monkey King – 2/5 Probably the weakest song of the album. Another one that breaks the general pattern, becoming an ambient track. It doesn’t generates a good enough atmosphere for me. Deus Ex Machina – 2/5 Similar to the previous one, it doesn’t make it for me. Water Babies – 3.5/5 This one follow similarly to the 2 before, but it builds up a cute melody that becomes more and more complex until it fades our. A good way to close the album.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
4

Never would have connected with this at the time but I've really come to enjoy this sort of ambient electronic trippy music. The only critique - and it's not much of one - is that it's much more of a mood/feel than a collection of what we traditionally think of as "songs" - so I don't necessarily have a favourite but this has been great to loop and work all day to. I'll listen to this again in the right atmosphere for sure. So it's tough to "rank" this and though I'd never make this anything close to a favourite album or genre, I'm giving this 4 stars for hitting the exact buttons it means to. 7/10 4 stars.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
4

I listened to this while working, and I have to say, it's great for that purpose. Honestly a really enjoyable album for me, but I love the atmospheric instrumental stuff. Solid 4/5.

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Fri Sep 23 2022
4

I love some of the tribalbeat sounds in this, and found it to be a pleasant surprise on what I expected to be a bland work.

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Wed Sep 28 2022
4

Muy bien, no me lo esperaba, toque así tipo Oldfield

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Wed Oct 12 2022
4

Weird. Spacey. Fun to listen to. Electronic without being intrusive and annoying. I like a the juice.

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Thu Oct 27 2022
4

Really nice flow. Relaxing, made me sleepy but in a good way. Then it sort of falls apart at the end.

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Fri Nov 04 2022
4

Not a fan of electronic, but I'd listen to this again for sure.

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Thu Dec 01 2022
4

Hell yeah, there's not enough of this type of music on this list (at least not that I've seen yet!)

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Tue Dec 13 2022
4

Great music to work too. Bass lines are killer. Would listen again

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Fri Dec 30 2022
4

electronic weirdness, love it

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Fri Jan 20 2023
4

This was a bit of an eye-opening album for me when I first heard it; I hadn't heard that combination of atmospheric electronica combined with beats and new agey progressions before. It served as frequent background to my study time in college, and prompted me to get Madonna's "Ray of Light" when it came out despite never having picked up any of her previous albums.

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Fri Jan 20 2023
4

I immediately dug this record. Its mashing of dub, 1990s house, and ambient holds strange powers over me, and William Orbit knows it. A fitting album title and accompanying album art. Very strange to hear Beth Orton’s voice hear too (read she was Orbit’s gf at the time). The ambient stuff is especially cryptic. I feel like I’m on drugs. I just want to lie down in the wet mud with my eyes closed and listen to this all day. There are a lot of ideas on this record. But somehow it retains its consistency and form. Never sounds scattered. Just, yeah, lots of ideas. This is music for a brainstorm. I’m going to give it a 4 but it honestly could be a 5. I just need more time with it. This album comes to me completely context-less. I have no references. Well, one: maybe the KLF. Otherwise, I can’t place it and it’s marvelous.

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Fri Jan 20 2023
4

I have never heard of Billy Orbs. Had no expectations going in. There’s some pretty insane sound design on this album. LOVE all the synth stuff. This dub track is sexy. It’s time to get wiZe, baby. There are so many cool little one-off moments on this record that made me go “cool!”. Just little moments here and there where he pulls out some random synth for 5 notes, plays some slick riff on the guitar, plays some strange ethereal pad, hits some groovy thick ass bass lick. A Touch of the Night is perfectly named. It’s got just a little bit of the sinister in there. So very percussive and clicky. My favorite! And who could forget those laserbeams!? I totally just feel like I am in space. Definitely getting a Screamadelica adjacent vibe from this listen. The checkout scanner bleep in the background of A Hazy Shade of Random is wonderful. The bleeping life support that drives the buzzy synth along competing with the beautiful pads and piano riffage that comes in like I’m standing in a Great Fairy Fountain about to get my magic upgrade. You know what? I get this feeling Koji Kondo heard The Monkey King, the intro sounds so much like the music for the Forest Temple. I really enjoyed the production on this album. Lots of immersive panning, tangible percussive instruments that come in with a crispness, samples from this or that movie, sound design that really puts you in whatever scene Orbit was trying to craft which I assume is somewhere between deep space, a murky cave, and the middle of the desert (all while somehow being inside of a cop car patrolling the rainy streets of some dystopian society). Will definitely revisit this album and likely more of Orbit’s discography!

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Fri Jan 20 2023
4

Preface: I took a 25mg edible and then spoke to my parents for an hour to let it kick in. Started really hitting when I put this on. I had no idea. Water From A Vines Leaf - I am so fucking hyped right now. Instantly. I just want to crank the bass up for this. I will but only for a little. “Four young girls getting water from a vine leaf. Dropping it on my tongue.” Into The Paradise - This is just good fucking vibes. Time To Get Size - Switch up. Still so sick. This piano is hitting right now. FUCK. “Rico Conning contributed flexible bleeps and roadhouse piano on "Time to get Wize” . The fact that there’s something called flexible bleeps is wild to me. Harry Flowers - Dub bass line. Crank it again. A Touch Of The Night - What an end. The Story Of Light - “Let your love shine down on me.” Damn. Gringatcho Demento - During this song, I learned my friend might move to New York. The stoke levels are high. Another groove. A Hazy Shade Of Random - The song title is accurate. Dead accurate. Best Friend, Paranoia - I’m trying to think of what Linkin Park song this sounds like? Or vice versa. The Monkey King - Honestly kind of spaced out for this one. Was eating a snack. Will go back and listen later. Deus Ex Machina - Someone was strumming some strings and now I’m lost in space. Water Babies - The Journey is coming to an end. What a pleasant send off. Epilogue - Currently the morning after the above. I listened to The Monkey King again and recognize why I may have spaced out during this song. Very mellow and soft in sound. I’d put this somewhere between a 3 and a 4, but give it the 4 for the experience.

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Fri Jan 20 2023
4

I generally like the mood and atmosphere of this. The dialogue samples on "Deus Ex Machina" kinda break the vibe a bit, but other than that, a pretty smooth ride. Nice headphone music.

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Fri Jan 20 2023
4

Mais uma grata descoberta de opção para audição de música ambient e eletrônica. A sequência desenvolve uma atmosfera envolvida numa série de camadas sonoras constituindo a energia melódica supreendente.

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Wed Mar 15 2023
4

This was really weird, I thought at first I wasn't going to enjoy this album, then as I listened on it grew on me, its tranquil at time, and could also be quite spooky and mysterious

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Fri Mar 17 2023
4

real good electronica. found it interesting throughout. if you don't like electronica then don't bother. if you do, this may be a find or a mainstay already.

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Fri Mar 24 2023
4

Whoa, this album was cool as hell. Really dug it. It wasn't obtrusive at all, but it was consistently pretty engaging. Will definitely listen again. Standouts: Water From A Vine Leaf, Into The Paradise, Harry Flowers, Best Friend, Paranoia

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Thu Apr 06 2023
4

I kinda got into this one more than I thought I would. Considering it seemed pretty out of the blue just like the previous album, listening to this made for a pretty fun tram ride home - banging beats and cool vibes, happy I heard this one. Probably not the most incredible thing I’ll hear from this whole list but pretty groovy. Three and a half stars. Fave track: The Story of Light

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Fri Apr 07 2023
4

A bit bizarre but interesting album. I think that I have never heard anything like this. Tribal like singings were kinda hypnotizing. Electronic music sometimes made athmosphere unsettling

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Wed Apr 12 2023
4

Loving this album!! It's very Massive Attackish. This was a great album! Loved the ambience and the eeriness.

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Sat Apr 29 2023
4

House, trance. Está bien. Un 4.

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Mon May 22 2023
4

Pretty smooth and groovy, an enjoyable listen

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