WILLIAM ORBIT -- The Best of Strange Cargos (IRS)

In 1987, IRS founder Miles Copeland started a new label called No Speak. The artists on the No Speak label were mainly musicians who had been in classic rock bands, no longer at the height of their success. Each performer was allowed to create an album of new music. There were only two stipulations for the label - the songs had to be instrumental, and no 'new-age' music was allowed. Copeland wanted the music on his new label to be something to grab your attention, not the kind of music you'd put on as a cure for insomnia.

Multi-instrumentalist/producer/remix wizard, William Orbit, was one of the first artists signed to the No Speak label. Orbit has worked with several major artists over the years (Sting, Madonna, Peter Gabriel, etc.), but never achieved the same success on his own. Since the start of the label (which is no longer in existence), Orbit released three Strange Cargo albums and an EP. The Best of Strange Cargos is a sampling of tracks from the three CDs and the EP.

This compilation covers a wide spectrum of musical styles. From acoustic tracks, such as "Via Caliente", to rockers like "Fire and Mercy", to the electronic (almost techno) sound of "Ruby Heart", there is something for everyone on this CD. If you want to hear something a bit more ethereal, check out "Love My Way". If you like your music more on the 'trippy' side, listen to "Gringatcho Demento". The song evokes images of being in the tropics on hallucinogens. If your musical tastes lean more toward dance or hip-hop, check out "Atom Dream", or "The Story of Light" (one of the few tracks on the CD with vocals).

The Best of Strange Cargos showcases eight years in the solo career of one of the most interesting (albeit relatively unknown) musicians around today - William Orbit.

© 1996 Steve Marshall