William Orbit – Ravel’s Pavane

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Single Review by Mark Bayross

William Orbit must be keeping his bank manager pretty chuffed these days. Not only has his exercise in chin-stroking coffee-table classica PIECES IN A MODERN STYLE gone gold and the accompanying single BARBER’S ADAGIO FOR STRINGS sold 300,000 copies all over the world, but he started the millennium by knocking one of his own records off the No. 1 spot.

And while his co-production of MADONNA’s “American Pie” is, let’s face it, a bit of a dog’s breakfast compared to the shiny polish he gave her work on the Grammy-winning RAY OF LIGHT, it has done little to halt his recent full-scale advance on the charts.

“RAVEL’S PAVANE POUR UNE INFANTE DEFUNTE, the second track to come from PIECES…. offers few surprises. The album version is here in all its shimmering serenity, along with a full-on trance remix courtesy of Ferry Corsten. Occupying a stylistic space somewhere in the middle of the two, the “Single Version” manages to both hang in slow-motion suspended animation and throw a funky beat in halfway through.

Treading a fine line between respectful re-interpretation and musical heresy, William Orbit has at least been brave enough to suffer the inevitable slings and arrows of classical purists throughout the world. Still, the cheesy trance of the “Ferry Corsten Mix”, as with his remix of BARBER’s beautiful “Adagio”, should get the scorn it deserves.

3 stars