Wwwaaayyy back in 1993 an album came out that set me on a path of deep exploration of all things Electronica, borderline “dance”, and trance/ambient. Of course, back then, it wasn’t called that. It was just called “rave/dance” or “electronic” in most record stores.
It was a pivotal album in my music collection. Combining a depth & precision in production that any geek would be awed by with sometimes poignant and often beautifully ethereal lyrics all on top of brilliant compositions yielded an album of auditory bliss.
For many years, Strange Cargo III was the album I played for anyone claiming that bleep blorp compositions weren’t really music. And they walked away proven wrong, generally off to pick up a copy.
An aside; you might be wondering why Madonna’s Ray of Light appears at left. To many, Ray Of Light was a total surprise. It exhibited a depth of composition and lushness of sound that was unprecedented either in Madonna’s catalog or in major pop releases, in general.
One listen to Strange Cargo III and the connection is unmistakable; Ray of Light is a William Orbit album with Madonna authoring lyrics and performing vocals!
This is important because a relatively small percentage of avid music fans have heard the name William Orbit, and yet his work is pervasive and unmistakable, once you know the sound. Signature singles & mixes from Depeche Mode, Erasure, U2, Beth Orton, and many others were produced by Orbit. As evidenced by his discography, William Orbit’s impact on popular music has been huge!
16 years after SCIII, Orbit has released My Oracle Lives Uptown.
And this is where this particular “review” goes sideways.