Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Talk Talk Series, #11: .O.Rang- Herd of Instinct (1994) / Spoor EP (1994) MP3 & FLAC

What makes Talk Talk's final two albums, Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock, so distinctive is their formal experimentation with both organic instrumentation and diverse aural textures as well as an unconventional recording process based on mostly improvised fragments woven into whole cloth through the editing process. To a large extent, this approach is carried over into .O.Rang, Paul Webb and Lee Harris' often brilliant and always enjoyable post-Talk Talk venture that necessitated the construction of its own studio (called "The Slug"). For the largely impromptu sessions comprising both the Spoor EP and Herd of Instinct, a steady and diverse stream of musicians were brought in to record improvisational jam-sessions with the intention of capturing free-form performances that highlight both the individual instruments themselves, but also the way they seamlessly cohere into carefully constructed soundscapes. Despite the similarities in method between O.Rang and Talk Talk's later work, their results are quite distinct, as .O.Rang tends to delve much more deeply into World Beat textures. On Herd of Instinct, this approach pays off with some amazing Dub and Post-Rock-influenced tracks, such as "Orang," which opens the album. Here, Harris' insistent drumming drives the proceedings while a sea of guitar textures buzzing and ringing in the background carry the oblique melody; however, the song is punctuated by some dynamic moments of calm that keep things from lapsing into repetition. Another standout is "Loaded Values," a song that is slightly reminiscent of Dead Can Dance's later work. Comprised of some great guitar work, Afro-Beat vocals, and a host of other instruments all seemingly doing their own thing in the mix but somehow cohering into something larger, it is a truly engaging listening experience. While .O.Rang's second album, Field of Waves, is also an impressive work, Herd of Instinct retains a certain imprecise, improvisational tone that lends the songs a more organic feel than those on the later album. Highly recommended.

Herd of Instinct
1. Orang  (10:08)
2. Little Brother  (9:29)
3. Mind on Pleasure  (6:15)
4. All Change  (2:57)
5. Anaon, the Oasis  (8:59)
6. Loaded Values  (8:17)
7. Nahoojek ~ Fogou  (8:44)

Spoor EP
1. N'Hoojek  (4:07)
2. Charabanc D.I.P.  (6:09)
3. An Ocean Ahead  (4:35)
4. Core  (5:13)


  1. If it's posted it must be good! This site is such an education and I thought I knew it all. lol

  2. scurfie, thank you. This is their best album IMO

  3. Oh man track two is awesome! It's like The Talking Heads mixing it up with The Rolling Stones during the "Their Satanic Majesties Request" recording session with The Smashing Pumpkins lending a hand.

  4. scurfie, I don't know why, but I was under the impression you had heard this band before. I thought I got "Field of Waves" from you. Have you heard the other album?

  5. Too bad the Spoor EP is only available in mp3...it's my 'missing link' from Talk Talk, but I simply don't do mp3...

  6. Anon. it's just not out there in lossless for some reason. Believe me, I tried

  7. Spoor in any lossless format - Flac, wv, ape or even alac would be awesome. The MP3 is a tease but worthwhile.
    Format is the secondary consideration, the music is what counts.
    I once got an entire 135 minute concert compressed to 48MB wma. The crappiness could not mask the genius performance behind it, so I hunted for well over a year and eventually got the 800Mb flac files. The wma served to tease and motivate, if I'd dumped it I'd never have found the masterpiece.
    Not lecturing, just offering a different perspective.

    BTW Voix, you just upgraded my 192 version to 320 so than you very much. Even slow progress is worthwhile.

    BTW2 I found something else which might interest you, will mail the links.


  8. Michael, I'd love to find this in lossless, but I completely agree; MP3 320 isn't too shabby


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.