17 Jan

Isn’t of talking about musical genres in my new theme as I eluded to in yesterday’s post, I find myself thinking about something far different. This new theme will be about bands that are considered “ahead of their time”. I have heard that phrase bandied about many times in my life but of all the bands that have earned such praise, which ones were truly deserving of such a claim.

To begin, I tossed the phrase into wikipedia to see what came up. Of course, the encyclopedia of the people was bound to have this subjective claim in several articles. Many of the bands that have this claim in their entries are bands that I’ve never heard hide nor hair of which means that either they really were ahead of their time or that people use the claim as a way to justify obscurity. I’m willing to bet on the latter. The first band that I saw in my searching that I knew is The Orb.

The Orb is an electronic band from England. Their wikipedia entry includes this statement: Progressive-Sounds describe them as “ahead of their time” and NME notes them as “not entirely incompatible with contemporary chilling.”. But are they truly the music of the future? When they came out with their song “Little Fluffy Clouds” in 1990, the song did make a very big splash. It definitely had elements that could be better suited for the MTV AMP set, which didn’t begin for another 7 years. But at the same time, there are elements of it that are so derivative for the time. If I heard “Little Fluffy Clouds” on a mixtape between Utah Saints’ “Something Good” and EMF’s “Lies”, I wouldn’t bat an eyelash.

But then again, the article isn’t referring to the whole Orb catalog as ahead of its time. Nope. Just their remix of The Grid’s “Crystal Clear”. Are they ahead of their time remixers? Can there be such a thing? That’s kind of life saying “fortune telling historian”. I think my first search for a band “ahead of their time” has come up short. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy one of the world’s best electronica groups.

foto constantin falk

Song 791- “Little Fluffy Clouds” by The Orb


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