Imagine a smooth, well-engineered train ride. You glide along, half-watching the countryside slip past the window, awake but not really focussed on anything in particular, enjoying a comfortable rhythmic ambience that rarely intrudes upon whatever reverie colours your mind. Such is the seamless swish of Metallic Spheres.
The Orb mapped this journey, laying down tracks of Youth’s subterranean bass and inviting first class passenger David Gilmour to spin some liquid runs and fills. This task he acquits with fluid grace on slide or Strat, without ever really getting a full head of steam, without ever raising a solitary bead of perspiration.
Although five songs are listed on each side, this train don’t stop; the music segues seamlessly across the 28 minute Metallic side and, without pause, the 20 minute Spheres side. There’s a passage mid-way through part two that briefly flexes its muscles and evokes ‘Echoes’ era Floyd, but mostly it cruises without any danger of going off the rails.
Ultimately that’s the problem with Metallic Spheres; there is little urgency, minimal friction, no adventure. Like the repetitive background slivers of Gilmour’s voice singing a re-worked line from CSN’s ‘Chicago’, it’s familiar but dreamlike; enjoyable but not quite memorable.
The #200wordchallenge was the brainchild of Mike Ladano. See the whole list here.
One more Vinyl Connection contribution in a couple of days.