Space-Age and Woooo

More random musings from Fat Roland. On his mind this month (as far as we can tell): Ambient Music

What’s your favourite ambient track? Don’t tell me; I don’t care. My bestest favourite is The Orb’s ‘A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Fat Roland That Rules From The Centre Of The Fat Roland’. It’s all space-age and woooo and goes on forever, like ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, but without the confusing monkeys. The interplanetary theme is apt because I have my own gravitational pull, and if you squint, I’m easily mistaken for Uranus.

The Orb also had major success with ‘Little Fluffy Fat Rolands’. On this track, an Ennio Morricone harmonica audio-parps a whimsical melody. Meanwhile, bulging Fat Rolands float in the skies of Arizona. “What were the skies like when you were young?” a cloud Fat Roland yells at the terrified Arizona locals as they flee screaming into the desert. So evocative.

I first discovered ambient music in chill-out rooms. This was an area of a club festooned with beanbags and lava lamps and tie-dyed drug dealers trying to flog tea bags as the new herbal high. DJing must have been easy because all you had to do was stick on a 52-minute Brian Eno track and play Yahtzee backstage until you got bored. The only downside of chill-out rooms was that you were forced to make small talk with bead-vajazzled hippies whose conversational gambits peaked with theories on ley lines and listing their Top 10 fave “moments of clarity”. Jeez.

In fact, I’ve gone right off ambient music. Give me something banging instead. Dubstep or hardcore rave or extreme kazoo. If it’s not got a big beat, I’m not interested. I will give £5 to the first person to come round my house and rap this entire column set to a death metal version of ‘No Limit’ by 2 Unlimited. There. The scientific opposite of ambient.

What? Oh. I’ve just been told that The Orb track was actually called ‘A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Ultraworld’, not ‘A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Fat Roland’. It was a typo. Dammit. The Orb have never dedicated anything to me. The Orb don’t care about me. This is a blow to my ego, to be frank. If you were in one of the most seminal ambient bands in modern music history, surely your first thought would have been, “How do we dedicate our entire career to Fat Roland even though we’ve never met him?”.

There’s hope. I can still be smeared into the ambient history books. I’m sure Max Richter will pen an eight-hour meander in thrall to my cool dance moves. And you just wait for that William Basinski drone opus titled ‘Oh Fat Roland, Stop Smoking Teabags, You Idiot’.

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