Published on March 2nd, 2006 | by Greg0
Mucho Maps, Elegant Electronica
For those of you who have cartography in your blood, you’ll like today’s literary item. Simply named, The Map Book is a compendium of mappish delights- from 1500 BC to 2005 AD. And for those who like their smarts communicated through a different sense, William Orbit has your number, with his new CD Hello Waveforms.
Edited by Peter Barder, The Map Book is a detailed history of how human civilizations have tried to chart and plot their personal and political geographies. Each map is printed on one page, and explained on the facing page, often with some fascinating insights (the first maps of Mount Everest were made by geographical spies, or pundits; a map from 1800’s Korea shows a massively outsized China at the center of the world). It’s coffee table literature at it’s finest, though we would’ve liked to have full, fold-out or seperate versions of the maps (and gladly would’ve paid twice as much; $30 is quite a bargain for a book of this heft).
William Orbit became fairly popular in 2000 for his classical reimagining CD, “Pieces in a Modern Style”, and it’s excellent track Adagio for Strings. Now he’s back, six years later, with a slight return to form: chill-out, lay-back, break-out music that is more like his earlier albums Strange Cargo. His new CD Hello Waveforms doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s quite satisfying. The best track is the single “Spiral”, featuring Sugarbabes and Kenna, but few of the others are quite as catchy. With excellent production, some questionable vocals aside, William Orbit succeeds at forming his own map of electronic music here.