The Ballasted Orchestra (LP)


Stars of the Lid

Currently Unavailable
$19.98
SHIPS FREE in U.S.

Amoeba Review

Brian G, Hollywood 02/06/2013

Austin, Texas-based ambient drone duo Stars Of The Lid released one of their finest double albums in March 1997, The Ballasted Orchestra. Kranky Records finally reissued this gorgeous and spooky set on vinyl after years of being out-of-print. The Ballasted Orchestra was recorded by Adam Wiltzie and Brian McBride to cassette, and was very much a transitional album, between the treated guitar and found-sound effects of their 1995 debut Music For Nitrous Oxide, and the modern-classical mini-symphonies the duo would later compose on 2001's triple album The Tired Sounds Of Stars Of The Lid and 2007's triple album Stars Of The Lid And Their Refinement Of The Decline (all amazing). Opener "Central Texas" sounds like processed thunder rumbles or skewed waves on a beach; "Sun Drugs" is 12-and-a-half minutes of eerie feedback drones and drawn-out siren-like calls; "24 Inch Cymbal," which is exclusive to the vinyl release, is a slow, trembling fog with abundant sound effects; and the brief, gentle interlude "Down II" leads directly into "Taphead" (a reference to Talk Talk), another 12-and-a-half minutes of pure drone that reminds me of the tense score to Lodge Kerrigan's 1993 schizophrenia tale Clean, Shaven. SOTL's druggy and cosmic-cinematic compositions turn more ominous with "Fucked Up (3:57 AM)," and centerpieces "Music For Twin Peaks Episode #30 Part 1" and "Part 2," the former (which is one of my all-time favorite Lid tracks) ebbs and flows with haunting, melancholic swells, and the latter which stretches out to a dark 13-and-a-half minutes. Closing track "The Artificial Pine Arch Song" is almost 3 minutes longer than the CD version (bringing the track to just shy under 21 minutes long), and welcomes sleep to come to the listener at a glacier's pace--as they would later name one of their compositions, it's "another ballad for heavy [eye] lids." SOTL's music is both inward-looking and like Ambien for the brain: beautiful, startling, lonely, disorienting, euphoric, desolate, and dreamy, and this double LP is definitely something to treasure.



Track Listing



Side A Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Central Texas
Stars of the Lid 03:43
2.
Sun Drugs
Stars of the Lid 12:20
3.
24 Inch Cymbal
Stars of the Lid 06:01


Side B Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Down II
Stars of the Lid 01:22
2.
Taphead
Stars of the Lid 12:34
3.
Fucked Up (3:57 AM)
Stars of the Lid 08:32


Side C Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Music for Twin Peaks Episode #30, Part I
Stars of the Lid 08:01
2.
Music for Twin Peaks Episode #30, Part II
Stars of the Lid 13:32


Side D Titles
Artist
Length
1.
The Artificial Pine Arch Song
Stars of the Lid 18:00
2.
Untitled
Stars of the Lid 02:52

Currently Unavailable
$19.98
SHIPS FREE in U.S.
Always Free Shipping on Amoeba.com
Amoeba Accepts Paypal - Start Digging!
Glass Animals
x Sign-up for emails, sales alerts & more:


loading...

Register


New customers, create your Amoeba.com account here. Its quick and easy!


Register

Don't want to register? Feel free to make a purchase as a guest!

Checkout as Guest

Currently, we do not allow digital purchases without registration

Close

Register

Become a member of Amoeba.com. It's easy and quick!

All fields required.

An error has occured - see below:

Already have an account? Log in.

Close

Forgot Password






To reset your password, enter your registration e-mail address.




Close

Forgot Username





Enter your registration e-mail address and we'll send you your username.




Close

Amoeba Newsletter Sign Up

Submit
Close