Assorted scribblings of a dog-eared music journalist

Melody Maker | Album | 12 December 1992

Rising High

Ambient house has never got much beyond The Orb's "Pulsating Brain" and The KLF's "Chill Out". The Orb became a hotch-potch of dub reggae, psychedelic trance and fuck knows what else. The KLF went on to invent stadium house and retire on the profits. And while plenty of other dance acts have incorporated atmospheric passages into the odd track, none have released a pure ambient album of any note. The Irresistible Force's "Flying High" is long overdue.
Mixmaster Morris, the brains and fingers of The Irresistible Force, would certainly agree. He's been around since the acid daze but has only managed a couple of singles in all that time. He has, however, played countless gigs, mostly supporting his old pals The Shamen. He subscribes to the same zippy philosophy as Colin Angus. He lives on a diet of smart drinks and garlic.
"Flying High" is a double album. It features just six tracks, nothing under 10 minutes long. The title track and "Mountain High" each lasts a full side. The first of these is as intense as the second is serene. Elsewhere, there are cheery, Yellow Magic Orchestra-ish sequences and spooky, Eon-esque effects, accessible loops and wry, experimental shifts. It's simultaneously all-embracing and intimate. It's as if Morris is always searching for something and, because he hasn't a fucking clue what it is, he's looking everywhere.
Unlike "Chill Out", it is not designed as a single trip, but it all adds up to a really cool record. The one complaint is that the vinyl scratches too easily. A sudden jolt in the wrong place and you could find yourself spinning off into hyper-space. Or falling flat on your back. Hmm, maybe it's time I bought that CD player. There won't be a better excuse than "Flying High" for months.

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