Category Archives: Satan

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.


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Prince of Darkness

Prince of Darkness. A Film by John Carpenter.


When people talk about John Carpenter Movies they will invariably mention Halloween, The Thing, The Fog, Assault on Precinct 13 and rightly so as they are all examples of Horror and suspense at its cinematic finest. However, I feel that there is not enough noise made about one of his most underrated and overlooked pieces. Prince of Darkness.

Receiving poor reviews upon its release in 1987 the critics said that they found the piece surprisingly cheesy and that it was not up to Carpenter’s usual high standards. In short they tore it apart. I have to disagree with them entirely. From the opening scene right through  to the end credits the feature has an eerie undertone about it. You find yourself constantly on edge and uncomfortable throughout as Carpenter creates what I think is a very intense atmospheric story.

The plot starts with the death of an old Priest from a secret sect called the Brotherhood of Sleep who have been guardians to an undisclosed item that has been kept hidden for centuries. An object so secret that even the Vatican is not aware of its presence. Another Priest is entrusted with the keys to an old church in the downtown Los Angeles area where he discovers an ancient cylinder, full of a strange glowing substance and the container is sealed from the inside. This same priest invites a University Professor with a group of Physics Students and Academics to study the strange object. Their studies uncover that the liquid inside is in fact sentient and is transmitting complex mathematical data to an unknown source.

At the same time news reports that the fallout from a Supernova that exploded thousands of years ago, light years away in deep space has now reached our planet and is causing adverse effects on our global ecosystem. As the story unfolds the liquid is set free and the group must fight for survival as members of their own group become possessed by the liquid. Their exit from the church is blocked by a gang of homeless people, led by Alice Cooper, (yes Alice Cooper!) who are being controlled by the life-force gaining power within. Anyone who tries to leave are set upon by the street people and murdered. All of this culminates in an ending that has such wonderful imagery that it still haunts me whenever I decide on giving it another viewing.

What I particularly like about the movie is the questions it poses in the Science versus Religion argument as the Priest and Professor both give their opinions on what is happening around them and what they can do about it. Ultimately they are both proven wrong. The idea of an ancient Religious artefact being awoken eons of years after its imprisonment by a natural phenomenon that occurred millions of light years away from Earth intrigues me. Is it just coincidence that the essence inside is becoming self-aware or was the explosion of the Star pre-empted by the being in the cylinder and it has been lying in wait for this moment?

The concept of what the substance within the cylinder is and its eventual goal are interesting ideas that have not really been broached particularly in any movie I have seen. If anyone out there knows otherwise please tell me so that I can check it out. I also love the idea of the task that the creature within is trying to achieve once it has been set free. The first time I saw Prince of Darkness it opened up a whole new level of thinking for myself that I had never considered before.

On a lighter note another thing to watch out for during the Movie is the incredible 80’s fashion and hairstyles. Mullets reign supreme and stone-wash Denim rears its ugly head sometimes in Jacket and Jeans combinations. Strangely enough the character in it that would have been called the stereotypical nerd back in 1987 is probably dressed in a style that would be called fashionable in this day and age. It would not be out of the question to see many a Hipster shambling around Shoreditch East London in the exact same outfit.

So in short, watch it, fear it and hopefully love it.