Orbital - Snivilisation

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I can't find a thread dedicated to Snivilisation here to save my life.

This was the "difficult" album for me with them, the one in which they turned a corner I wasn't prepared to hear them turn. I promptly fell out of love with Orbital for many years.

But it sure as hell sound great now.

Bimble, Saturday, 24 March 2007 02:30 (twelve years ago) link

One of those albums I love listening to on headphones but didn't want to hear live at the gigs.
It's a great album though.

Brigadier Lethbridge-Pfunkboy, Saturday, 24 March 2007 02:40 (twelve years ago) link

Possibly my favourite Orbital album; the second one I got, after In Sides. Totally fascinating. Shame about the heavy-metal mood-breaker, but that cheekiness was always part of them.

Scik Mouthy, Saturday, 24 March 2007 07:15 (twelve years ago) link

agreed, i love this album.
you should track down the new PH stuff.
http://paulhartnoll.com/
new single wih Robert Smith is lovely, but the 'remember 1992' remix is pure class

mark e, Saturday, 24 March 2007 10:58 (twelve years ago) link

Fuck! I'm glad you reminded me of that! I had read about new PH stuff and forgot...

Bimble, Sunday, 25 March 2007 04:36 (twelve years ago) link

nine months pass...

sounding real big tonight.

'sad but true', fucking 'attached', 'are we here'...

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Wednesday, 2 January 2008 20:31 (twelve years ago) link

i hate 'Philosophy By Numbers' apart from the first couple of minutes and the very end. 'Science Fiction' is v dull. the rest is awes.

blueski, Wednesday, 2 January 2008 20:42 (twelve years ago) link

"quality seconds" is terrible

El Tomboto, Wednesday, 2 January 2008 20:45 (twelve years ago) link

used to be my alarm call theme at college

blueski, Wednesday, 2 January 2008 20:47 (twelve years ago) link

Not Chime?

Herman G. Neuname, Wednesday, 2 January 2008 20:49 (twelve years ago) link

This has such a spectacular opening minute.

lukas, Wednesday, 2 January 2008 21:23 (twelve years ago) link

"Keine Trink Wasser" has to be the highlight for me. "Attached" sounds a bit Orbital by numbers but KTW is just something else... even now, hearing makes me feel just a little like I've discovered a brand new colour.

ledge, Wednesday, 2 January 2008 23:52 (twelve years ago) link

nine months pass...

Just pulled out the EP of the "Are We Here" mixes (might have been released in a different form in the UK, I'm not sure). Totally forgot how good this was!

Dracula Tells Superman What To Do (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Sunday, 12 October 2008 23:40 (eleven years ago) link

five years pass...

Used this album as an excuse to ponder the current Britpop love-in narrative of 1994 that the media are trotting out, and ruminate on who writes shared cultural histories - http://exeterrecordclub.com/2014/04/09/orbital-snivilisation-round-11-nicks-choice/

i reject your shiny expensive consumerist stereo system (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 9 April 2014 14:17 (five years ago) link

That was a good read. I didn't discover Orbital until 2002 or so but Snivilisation was definitely the album of theirs that made me feel like they had so much more going on than nearly any other UK 90's act (save maybe Underworld?)

frogbs, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 16:18 (five years ago) link

I don't think that dance music in 1994 (or album-centric dance in general) is really an anniversary worth celebrating and the 20th anniversary of acid house passed with a fair bit of commentary. Nothing compared to this ridiculous Britpop thing though. '20 years since Leftism' is not really a banner anyone's going to rally under, even/especially people who like dance music.

The death of Frankie Knuckles getting a slot on ITV evening news felt like a big deal though, in terms of how cultural history gets written.

Never really liked Snivilisation that much, monumental twin peaks of Forever/Are We Here notwithstanding.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 16:23 (five years ago) link

Or to put it another way, it feels like you're bemoaning that 90s dance isn't commemorated like 90s rock on the terms already set out and established by rock music, with exclusive reference to album artists. All of which feels to me like it would be totally the wrong way to commemorate it in any case.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 17:07 (five years ago) link

^^^^^^^

Tim F, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 20:20 (five years ago) link

Snivilisation, in that sense, as i remember it, made a splash precisely because rock(ist) crits suddenly smothered it with "ooh look dance music can be like rock music hooray"

twistent consistent (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 9 April 2014 20:50 (five years ago) link

and specifically like prog rock insofar as it was a concept album. The first dance concept album perhaps?

Angkor Waht (Neil S), Wednesday, 9 April 2014 20:54 (five years ago) link

sorry for rockist concerns with "the album" btw

Angkor Waht (Neil S), Wednesday, 9 April 2014 20:54 (five years ago) link

Yeah both that and UW's dubnobasswithmyheadman felt like they went a bit into progrock space. I can't think of albums prior to those where the songs had such dynamic structures that would build the way these ones did. Though Orbital 2 played around a bit in this space.

frogbs, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 20:58 (five years ago) link

I never listened to this record because of the title.

Spencer Chow, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 21:12 (five years ago) link

It's also worth pointing out that the Britpop anniversary is being flogged because a) Britpop itself was a media event as much as a musical one, in a way that jungle or acid house (bar the Sun campaign) weren't, and b) the media is now run by people who were into Britpop in their youth and in some cases actively involved in it, and are milking their last moments of feeling relevant.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 22:27 (five years ago) link

Interesting that you mention hip-hop at all by the way, because there really isn't any music that references, reinforces and sometimes regurgitates its own canon as much as hip-hop. It doesn't need British taste makers to do it as well.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 22:30 (five years ago) link

Wait hold up Matt can I just stop you on your failure to acknowledge the awesomeness of "Sad But True".

Tim F, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 22:55 (five years ago) link

Kein Trink Wasser is amazing as well

Angkor Waht (Neil S), Thursday, 10 April 2014 08:03 (five years ago) link

I heard the remix (Sad But New) first, and so when I eventually got round to Sniv it felt really clunky and heavy-handed in comparison.

Matt DC, Thursday, 10 April 2014 08:54 (five years ago) link

But surely the rise of album oriented dance in 94 shouldn't be ignored as a thing in its own right? Whether it irks you as a dance fan or not, the acceptance of dance music by the mainstream/alternative press and fanship played a significant part in dance music's legacy? There's no denying '94 as a banner year for these kinds of albums - Dummy, Dubnobasswithmyheadman, SAW II, Jilted Generation, Snivilisation - and the thing that's missing from a lot of the Britpop rosie-specticles being written now is exactly how much dance music played a factor in this era. Select, which was always considered THE Britpop magazine had excellent dance music coverage and I personally see this co-mingling as a really important part in how dance music came to be perceived and went on to develop.

1 pONO 3v3Ry+h1n G!!!1 (dog latin), Thursday, 10 April 2014 11:39 (five years ago) link

i don't hear much legacy from album-oriented dance in any of the worthwhile dance genres in 2014 tbh

twistent consistent (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 10 April 2014 11:41 (five years ago) link

and i like plenty of album/bedroom/headphone dance music but i don't think it has particularly grown or spread out tentacles of influence in the last 20 years

twistent consistent (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 10 April 2014 11:42 (five years ago) link

Add Protection to the list.

It's Pablum Time with (NickB), Thursday, 10 April 2014 11:49 (five years ago) link

It was a pivotal year for dance: I think for outsiders, prior to '94 dance music was largely perceived as being music for children, drug addicts and criminals; post '94, post CJB, it had been assimilated into wider culture as 'proper music' which could be marketed to adults and people who had enough money to spend on albums and club nights. For better or worse '94 was the year dance music became 'safe' to touch. I think before this time, music execs and mainstream journos had rather strange ideas of what to do with it. One of the first albums I bought was Now Dance '91 and I'd say only about half of it would be considered dance music these days.

I think what I'm trying to say is that the '94 watershed had wider commercial implications for dance music, a knock on effect that atomised it into overground, underground and middlebrow pathways which would go on to influence each other over the coming years and decades.

1 pONO 3v3Ry+h1n G!!!1 (dog latin), Thursday, 10 April 2014 11:54 (five years ago) link

nah

all that happened then was that rockist writers started hating it less

nashwan, Thursday, 10 April 2014 12:03 (five years ago) link

matt dc otm

the britpop 1994 commemoration is so much desperate bullshit in the first place

lex pretend, Thursday, 10 April 2014 12:14 (five years ago) link

not sure "desperation" comes into it really, it'll be a ratings-winner for 6music et al (however conservative and boring we might find it)

Angkor Waht (Neil S), Thursday, 10 April 2014 12:20 (five years ago) link

Being strictly objective here, 1994 changed British rock (wrt underground/mainstream relationship and commercial expectations) as fundamentally as Nevermind did US rock. Even if you hate all the records, not to mark the anniversary would be bizarre.

And dog latin's right about 94 being a watershed for dance albums and live shows: Prodigy, Underworld, Chems, Orbital at Glastonbury, plus the Portishead/Protection/Tricky/MoWax axis. Duke Dumont and Gorgon City might not be legacies of that but Disclosure certainly are.

What is wrong with songs? Absolutely nothing. Songs are great. (DL), Thursday, 10 April 2014 12:25 (five years ago) link

I'm fascinated by the violence of the reactions to the Britpop anniversary, here and on Facebook. I can't think of another music anniversary that's sparked such scorn.

What is wrong with songs? Absolutely nothing. Songs are great. (DL), Thursday, 10 April 2014 12:28 (five years ago) link

problem for me it's Britpop EVERY DAY on 6music anyway, going on about it even more is all a bit ludicrous. But I find it hard to get angry about, even when they play Marion and 60ft Dolls. I should probably listen to another station!

Angkor Waht (Neil S), Thursday, 10 April 2014 12:29 (five years ago) link

"Britpop day"

Angkor Waht (Neil S), Thursday, 10 April 2014 12:30 (five years ago) link

Not listening to 6Music this week has been a good move. For me the mid-90s was a bit of Britpop (Blur, Pulp, Elastica), a few US bands (Pavement, NIN, Smashing Pumpkins) and a lot of dance music and hip hop so I keep forgetting about the hordes of Britpop seat-fillers.

What is wrong with songs? Absolutely nothing. Songs are great. (DL), Thursday, 10 April 2014 12:33 (five years ago) link

My point isn't that we should have some kind of celebration of album-oriented dance music (uergh) in the same way as the Britpop celebrations that are happening right now, as if they're separate entities; rather that, for me, if you're going to celebrate Britpop properly you need to include all the dance music, 'trip hop' (for want of a better name), etc etc that was happening at the same time and seemed to be equally as important to the state of the nation and the nation's pop music at the time. But of course Britpop isn't just 'British pop' anymore; it's a micro-specific scene, and I think that's a (negative) tightening of understanding that's happened over two decades rather than how the term was used (when it was used) 20 years ago. I may be misremembering, but Chemical Brothers, for example, felt like part of whatever Britpop was way more than a lot of the guitar bands that are getting airtime now. But this is a perspective from way outside London.

It's also worth pointing out that the Britpop anniversary is being flogged because a) Britpop itself was a media event as much as a musical one, in a way that jungle or acid house (bar the Sun campaign) weren't, and b) the media is now run by people who were into Britpop in their youth and in some cases actively involved in it, and are milking their last moments of feeling relevant.

This is exactly what I'm addressing in the last paragraph

i reject your shiny expensive consumerist stereo system (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 10 April 2014 13:06 (five years ago) link

tbh while i think of chemical bros and orbital as a bit before my time, dance awakening wise, as a casual fan i'm pretty glad they're NOT lumped in with britpop's utter grimness any more. be thankful they're not being "celebrated" alongside sleeper and mesnwear and cast

Not listening to 6Music this week has beenever is a good move.

lex pretend, Thursday, 10 April 2014 13:17 (five years ago) link

6Music fringe shows are often very good, even you might like some of them Lex, e.g. weekly resident mixes from Goldie, Weatherall, Kevin Saunderson.

Angkor Waht (Neil S), Thursday, 10 April 2014 13:20 (five years ago) link

Can someone explain why it's this week that people are marking out to be Britpop revival week exactly?

I'm also interested in the backlash. I was there at the time, part of the target audience of 14y/o white middle class suburban kids and a huge fan of Blur, of Oasis, of Pulp and Supergrass and the Bluetones and all those others. But those aren't the bands that made music exciting, not in themselves, because my friends and I were also listening to the grunge bands of previous years, to trip hop, to drum'n'bass and hip hop and things like Black Grape (I guess).
We were aware that Britpop was a thing but no one, not even the most narrow-minded kids, listened to it exclusively. And also in 1994, Britpop had yet to reveal its most unsavoury side. This was before Oasis vs Blur and the caustic media attention slathered on those two acts, so for a short while it didn't seem to be seen as such a cynical scene as it's made out to be.
All the same by '95, there was definitely a sense of 'LOL Britpop' in the air, similar in many ways to how grunge was seen for a very long time as a genre of po-faced moaners. Surprised to find that grunge has fared better in its reputation than Britpop. But those who say that Britpop never went away are entirely correct.

1 pONO 3v3Ry+h1n G!!!1 (dog latin), Thursday, 10 April 2014 13:26 (five years ago) link

My point isn't that we should have some kind of celebration of album-oriented dance music (uergh) in the same way as the Britpop celebrations that are happening right now, as if they're separate entities; rather that, for me, if you're going to celebrate Britpop properly you need to include all the dance music, 'trip hop' (for want of a better name), etc etc that was happening at the same time and seemed to be equally as important to the state of the nation and the nation's pop music at the time. But of course Britpop isn't just 'British pop' anymore; it's a micro-specific scene, and I think that's a (negative) tightening of understanding that's happened over two decades rather than how the term was used (when it was used) 20 years ago. I may be misremembering, but Chemical Brothers, for example, felt like part of whatever Britpop was way more than a lot of the guitar bands that are getting airtime now. But this is a perspective from way outside London.

OTM. Britpop had a much wider scope and would encompass pretty much anything on this comp for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Best..._Album_in_the_World...Ever!

1 pONO 3v3Ry+h1n G!!!1 (dog latin), Thursday, 10 April 2014 13:28 (five years ago) link

or at least the first volume of that comp.

1 pONO 3v3Ry+h1n G!!!1 (dog latin), Thursday, 10 April 2014 13:29 (five years ago) link

Snivilisation has aged better than any Orbital album by far.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 10 April 2014 14:39 (five years ago) link

I played both Snivilisation and In Sides yesterday and In Sides was much better to my ears.

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 10 April 2014 14:43 (five years ago) link

In Sides is a much better record.

1 pONO 3v3Ry+h1n G!!!1 (dog latin), Thursday, 10 April 2014 14:44 (five years ago) link

xp Grunge is an interesting comparison. The anniversaries of Nevermind, In Utero and Kurt's death seem untainted by, say, Stone Temple Pilots, whereas Britpop - a nebulous concept with a lot of different strands and, as Nick says, overlap with other (better) mid-90s scenes - all gets put in the bin with Noel's union flag guitar.

What is wrong with songs? Absolutely nothing. Songs are great. (DL), Thursday, 10 April 2014 15:15 (five years ago) link

Nirvana dominated grunge in a way that no individual band did with Britpop though. The significant thing about Nirvana was that they were something the media didn't quite understand and couldn't control, rather than something they were gleeful participants in.

Matt DC, Thursday, 10 April 2014 15:29 (five years ago) link

Also come on, Nirvana >>>>>> any Britpop band.

Matt DC, Thursday, 10 April 2014 15:31 (five years ago) link

so tempted to start a list thread

twistent consistent (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 10 April 2014 15:35 (five years ago) link

it is possible to celebrate album-oriented electronic music without the "finally, INTELLIGENT dance music" nonsense. i mean it makes sense that writers would mostly focus on dance music, that's where most of the action is and it's a bigger rupture from your parents' record collection than AOE, which did have its reactionary component.

still, unique stuff happened there and i would love to read about it, now that we've moved past the "this is it, brilliant white men will finally realize the potential of electronic music" phase.

ugh (lukas), Thursday, 10 April 2014 15:36 (five years ago) link

Yeah I mean no one has this sort of conversation around, say, Kassem Mosse or Terrence Parker or Moodymann or anyone else who's put a great dance album out this year, I think it's more railing against the perception of the album as only worthwhile format.

Matt DC, Thursday, 10 April 2014 15:43 (five years ago) link

I actually think around the time of Britpop was at its peak the British music press was at its best. They used to have a dance section and actually bother to write about rap music. Looking back now it's pretty cool that the NME had Tricky as their album of the year ahead of Blur/Oasis/Pulp. Those magazines actually used to try and cover different scenes and give their audience a mix of genres that probably suited their tastes. I'm not sure exactly when but at some point the NME just decided that it's audience could only handle one kind of music (It got even worse by the time they made up the New Rock Revolution)

If you look at the Melody Maker end of year lists from around this time they include a lot of dance music and some other really interesting records, none of which will be celebrated on 6Music's Britpop week, I'm sure.

http://www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/mmlists_p2.htm#1990

Kitchen Person, Thursday, 10 April 2014 15:56 (five years ago) link

Also Insides is by far my favourite Orbital album.

Kitchen Person, Thursday, 10 April 2014 15:58 (five years ago) link

The thing is, the Britpop thing just took over and crushed all that - as the big moment in the gentrification of indie it (and Matthew Bannister at Radio One) just killed the friction between the alternative press and the mainstream, it became a way of pitching bands straight at prime time and they lost interest in everything else, especially by the Conor McNicholas era. I'm with Jeremy Deller on this one.

Matt DC, Thursday, 10 April 2014 16:06 (five years ago) link

Nirvana dominated grunge

When I think of grunge, I don't really think of Nirvana. Not that they weren't a 'grunge' band, indeed they WERE excellent and they were very much integral to it. But when I think of grunge now, I think of Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and however many other plaid-shirted dudes with longhair you care to mention. Grunge's reputation immediately after Kurt's death was a bit of a mockery. 'Complaint Rock' 'Just dudes whining' 'Someone moping in a corner and then screaming like he's been hit over the head with a frying pan' etc...

in a way that no individual band did with Britpop though.

I think when people think of Britpop they think of two-three very specific pieces of iconography - Noel's Union Flag guitar being one of them. And as mentioned upthread, that whole Cool Britannia best-buds-with-Blair thing was the beginning of the end thanks largely to media saturation and the gargantuan egos of Albarn and Gallaghers.

The significant thing about Nirvana was that they were something the media didn't quite understand and couldn't control, rather than something they were gleeful participants in. Also come on, Nirvana >>>>>> any Britpop band.

Nirvana were perfectly marketable, whether they willed it or not the media were perfectly capable of promoting their music and creating a scene around them. Whether they were better or worse than the Britpop bands isn't relevant to anything.

1 pONO 3v3Ry+h1n G!!!1 (dog latin), Thursday, 10 April 2014 16:08 (five years ago) link

three weeks pass...

I love this album. The only problem that I have with it is that it feels much, much colder to me that the albums that came immediately before and after it.

Toni Braxton-Hicks (Turrican), Thursday, 1 May 2014 23:54 (five years ago) link

*that=than.

Toni Braxton-Hicks (Turrican), Thursday, 1 May 2014 23:54 (five years ago) link

five years pass...

Is anyone willing to defend Crash and Carry?

lukas, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 21:37 (two weeks ago) link

it's 2020, I could just replace Crash and Carry with Petrol if I wanted. And I don't see any reason why I shouldn't.

lukas, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 21:54 (two weeks ago) link

"Crash and Carry" is great

totally unnecessary bewbz of exploitation (DJP), Wednesday, 12 February 2020 21:55 (two weeks ago) link

what on earth is wrong with "crash and carry"

american bradass (BradNelson), Wednesday, 12 February 2020 21:56 (two weeks ago) link

and why would you replace it with a track from in sides

american bradass (BradNelson), Wednesday, 12 February 2020 21:58 (two weeks ago) link

Crash and Carry isn’t even among the lesser tracks on Sniviliasation, but in any event I wouldn’t change any of them, the album is about the shifts between sharply contrasting moods.

Tim F, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 22:25 (two weeks ago) link

agreed

its definitely one of the lesser tracks but it's fairly catchy for what it is

frogbs, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 22:53 (two weeks ago) link

"fairly catchy for what it is" is the best anyone's been able to come up with. zero people voted for it in the poll. it bangs on for 4:43. the main riff is too insistent to ignore, but doesn't have anything to say. some flute-like noises in the background try to create the illusion that something exciting is happening, like people hiding behind papier-mâché masks on sticks. it doesn't groove, it's not repetitive enough to trance out to - it lacks a rationale.

lukas, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 23:15 (two weeks ago) link

I like Crash and Carry. I had a great time driving too fast to it on a Florida summer night.

OneSecondBefore, Thursday, 13 February 2020 05:17 (two weeks ago) link

and why would you replace it with a track the worst track from in sides

Steve Reich In The Afternoon (Against The 80s), Thursday, 13 February 2020 07:49 (two weeks ago) link

I don't mind Crash And Carry but yes it's the weakest thing on the album (Quality Seconds is more fun and thankfully quite brief)

nashwan, Thursday, 13 February 2020 11:49 (two weeks ago) link

This has grown on me a lot in the last five years or so and Crash & Carry in particular.

Matt DC, Thursday, 13 February 2020 13:41 (two weeks ago) link

It does feel like a holdover from the Brown Album but they probably surmised they needed at least one banger on there.

Matt DC, Thursday, 13 February 2020 13:42 (two weeks ago) link

"Crash and Carry" isn't my favorite track on the album but it's in my top 3. Getting no votes in a "top choice only" poll doesn't mean no one likes it.

totally unnecessary bewbz of exploitation (DJP), Thursday, 13 February 2020 14:02 (two weeks ago) link

it doesn't groove, it's not repetitive enough to trance out to - it lacks a rationale.

that's kind of the point of it isn't it? every track on the album is weird. this one's a banger but it stutters around and trips up the beat. it's obviously not a key track on the album but without it I feel like it would be missing something.

frogbs, Thursday, 13 February 2020 15:23 (two weeks ago) link

it's in my top 3

that means you like it more than 3 of the following:

Forever
I Wish I Had Duck Feet
Kein Trink Wasser
Are We Here?
Attached

my post was a little extreme but you've gone round the bend

and why would you replace it with a track the worst track from in sides

that's true but it's essentially the same track as Crash and Carry, but better

lukas, Thursday, 13 February 2020 18:13 (two weeks ago) link


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