Monthly Archives: July 2013

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Detective Inspector Walter Bambridge stepped past two uniformed officers into the room cast in darkness that had until recently been someone’s home but was now nothing more than a crime scene. A rank odour greeted him as he passed over the threshold, not the usual reek of death that after five years on homicide he still couldn’t get use to, but the smell of grease and left over food. To his right a tiny space that could hardly be called a kitchen seemed to be the cause of the unpleasant fragrance as piles of dirty dishes flooded out of the sink and across every surface. The hallway continued on past the kitchen and Walter paused at what looked like a door but as he looked closer it became apparent to him that it was in fact a set of hanging beads that were being used as a room divider. He parted them with his gloved hand and passed through the makeshift doorway. The beads clattered against each other as he let them go adding sound to the quiet room. Weak light from the nearest streetlamp crept in through the thin curtains from the window to his left casting various shapes in front of him. Walter reached into his inside jacket pocket and pulled out the miniature torch that resided there. With a click the beam came to life and illuminated a lounge that had been shown as little housekeeping as the kitchen he had just passed. A Television ten years past its best sat in one corner, a coffee table littered with all manner of fast food and confectionary wrappers lay between the Television and a worn along the arms and cushions sofa. More rubbish was scattered across the floor and Walter had to shine the light at his feet so that he didn’t stand on any possible evidence. In the same room but to his right a double bed looked like it had seen better days and had also recently been used. The light cast across the dishevelled sheets, revealing various stains that appeared to have been ground into the fabric, before resting on the discoloured pillows. Walter held the light on a substance that was scattered all over the pillows and with careful footing moved around the bed to get a better look. A full head of hair looked to have been shaved from someone’s skull and was scattered all over the top end of the bed. He considered this image as the sound of the hanging beads rattled their tune and another figure entered the room.

Detective Constable Cynthia Lawrence couldn’t help but turn her nose up at the hideous state that was before her and she had to dip into all her reserves of willpower not to begin cleaning up the mess. She surveyed the room and her eyes soon fell onto the torch lit bed and her superior officer crouching down next to it.

‘What we got, sir?’ Cynthia asked as she shone her own light around the scene.

‘I’m not sure yet.’ Walter turned his light towards her. ‘But watch your feet as there’s crap all over the place.’

Cynthia guided her beam to the floor and skipped her way around the piles of junk so that she could be at Walter’s side.

‘Got a whole lot of human hair all over the pillows, looks like someone did some barber work.’ He paused and turned his torch towards the only other area of the small flat that he had not yet searched, the bathroom. ‘Our victim must be in there.’

Together they approached the closed door; Walter reached out and turned the handle then pushed the door open. A weak strip light gave off some light from above a small sink but the bathroom could be called anything but well lit. There torch light moved across the pristine floor, sink and finally rested on the bathtub or more precisely what hung over the tub. Her legs had been tied at the ankles, the rope cutting deep into her flesh as the whole weight of her body was taken by the knot. The pale nakedness of her form had been disturbed at various pointed by a series of deep cuts made at very specific parts of her anatomy. One along each upper thigh, another across the left side of her mid abdomen, a further two down each of her wrists and a final cut athwart her throat. Her head had been shaved and a look of disbelief stared out at them from her vacant eyes.

Walter got closer and looked at the interior of the bath. ‘Where’s all the blood?’

Cynthia stood by his side and examined the tub. Not a single drop of blood blemished the white surface, the whole area gleamed under the torch light, plughole and taps all spotless. She looked around at the rest of the room and the same clean surfaces as the bathtub were on the floor and even the sink. ‘This room doesn’t fit with the rest of the flat. It’s spotless.’

‘Yeah, they cleaned up after themselves.’ Walter placed a hand on the victim’s right arm and studied the incision. ‘She’s been cleaned too.’ Walter shone the light into the plughole and leant forward to get a better look down the hole. ‘We’ll need Forensics to confirm but I don’t think any of the blood went down there.’ He stood and looked around the room. ‘They took it with them.’


In Sides by Orbital. 1996

In Sides by Orbital. 1996


With some music it may only take the first few bars of the track, they somehow just sink into your soul and before you know it you’re hooked. Others can sometimes be more of a slow burner that takes time and a multitude of listens for it all to sink in. Whereas some music no matter how hard you try just does not sit right in your ears and will never get your toes tapping or your hips swinging.

I had one such song get into my head from the moment I heard it used on Channel 5 for a TV promotion of a Canadian Sci-fi show called L.E.X.X. which suited the music perfectly as images of spaceships, aliens and planets exploding helped add some visual stimulation to the audio stimulating that was already going on due to the music. As soon as I heard it I became obsessed with finding out what the name of the song was and more importantly who it was so that I could listen to more of their material.

Many moons later a friend of mine at the time had a party to celebrate his parents being away for the weekend, a regular occurrence in my social circle when I was fifteen and during the festivities the song in question was played. I immediately went over to my friend and asked what was playing and after a confab with the pile of cassette boxes he found the one in we were looking for. He told me that the Album for called In Sides and it was by a group called Orbital but he could not tell me the name of the song as he only had a copy with no track listings. I was one step closer to finding out the name of this song that had been banging around in my head.

My next step was getting some money together so that I could go buy the album so I did what any reasonable level headed person would do and only spent half of my dinner money every day for the next month. Now whether having a lunch diet of chocolate bars and crisps at one of the most important times in my body’s growth was a good idea remains to be seen as I think going out and getting a job would have been a much smarter option, but I was not the brightness throughout my adolescence. Not having a decent diet I would imagine contributed to that. But I did manage to get the money together and at the end of the month I went looking for it.

Searching high and low throughout my local record shop Ian’s Music I could not seem to find the album. Finally I got tired of looking so I asked at the counter if they had it but found out that it was out of stock so I asked them to order it in for me.  I was told it would take a week for the CD to come in which at the time crushed me, being so close and yet still having to wait, but after months of waiting what was one more week? A week passed, money was exchanged and a CD of In Sides by Orbital became my property.

It is a great feeling when a song that has been in your head bugging you for months finally has its name revealed to you. I think that I listened to The Box Part 2 on repeat for an entire evening. Once I had got that out of my system I had a listen to the rest of the album and was blown away.

Where to start with what I like about this album? I guess for a start it is the fluidity of the album that impresses me as from track to track it flows delivering one fine piece after another. After listening from start to finish I felt bad for skipping straight to The Box Part 2 upon first playing it as the album works so well in the order it is in and by jumping straight to track 4 I may have ruined the original playing a touch. That aside it was still an amazing experience. Also, the way that Orbital delivers their music could almost be called orchestral as songs will slowly build up to a crescendo before fading out into silence. Their material has an elegant way of not finishing how it has started with some people calling them long winded but I myself rarely notice the duration of each track as I get lost in them.

By far the best way to enjoy the album is through a decent pair of earphones, preferably sound excluding ones, so that you can really take in all the sounds and get a real good feeling for each track as well as listening to how the album flows. But equally it is music that can be played through a stereo, I just find earphones preferable.

Being taken on a journey each time I listen to the album in its entirety is one of the main reasons I love it as my mind drifts off to places that only I will ever see. It is an album that I will listen to while I type out the inane nonsense that filters out of my mind onto this page, an album that I cannot describe in any way than inspiring.

In short, get hold of a copy, have a listen, preferable using a good pair of earphones and hopefully it will change your perception on things and give you the feeling of escapism that it gives me. It is a massive influence on my musical history and was a doorway into an area of Electronica music that still has high status in my opinions.