Sleeping Dogs Lie 80: Pete Namlook, Tetsu Inoue

shades-of-orion-3This review isn’t quite destined to describe a Namlook album out of thousand others, a Namlook project out of dozen diverse, a Namlook trend/style out of several big ones or even the two masks of Namlook himself (N-the soloist, obscure and obsessive, and N-the collaborator, sharing or splitting his way of doing electronic music, but also always leaving a print that belongs to him and him alone). It’s more of a write which tries to emphasize what could be subtle, special or at least substantial in this individual musical record, what’s its creative energy, what’s good beyond what’s bad…at most compared with the previous albums from this definitive project.

Tetsu Inoue and Pete Namlook (wonder why in this order and not backwards?) have a lot in common (even if it’s sometimes incredible), still also have a way of complementing themselves in style and composition. In what’s “just” the third brush of the entire Shades Of Orion project (let’s not mention the others that aged in the same way) the two artists again choose an old-style of electronic craft & sound, but don’t leave it modest in any way. The epic work here can be reduced to “d & d (dark & deep) ambient electronic”, but that still leaves space to talk about the particular attitude Inoue & Namlook adopted when making it. An attitude that, at first, led to a splendid choice of ideas and balaced instrumentality in preparation for the album itself, but, as it didn’t go all the way till the end, the result was left ambivalent. Shades Of Orion 3 is either oriented towards dark surrounds, either slows down to passive, mellow or ordinary effects.

The album kicks in captivatingly, even in a more original spark than usually, though after a while you realize there’s a bit of carelessness in the handle. Betelgeuzian Ritual (the titles are among the annoying kind, but let’s better stick to music) is effectively a sparkful trance, with dissonant notes, mega-bass rhythms and a paste of meditative atmosphere. The strange sounds could express themselves emotions, though their artificiality is the main ingredient. Stranded On Rigel is more productive and full of electronic suaveness. It’s interestingly close to the sound & shine of the older epic Orion Transfer (from Shades Of Orion 2), but the actual and particular approach makes out a light-ambient and electro-modern experience. Melodies and organic sounds persist initially, but in the second part of this “naive masterpiece”, everything regresses towards soft noises and silent waves. So, out of a first “lounging” mood, you end up listening to technical clusters. Inoucent and Serious (again, cheesy titles for a complex work) is good and thrilling, pulsing the same hollow ambient style as before. Even if it’s a mere symbolic impression, the music here is both of a translucid and heavy range, both of a sharp quality and bit old essence.

This cup of modern, ambiguous electro-therapeutic session is toasted for dark, deep meditations. Of a subversive ambient power and a concept of heavy, crispy if empty sound blazes, Shades Of Orion 3, the last of its kind for now, is yet naturally artistic. Three stars awarded for a work that “sins”, in which the two masters have risked some things, but a work that’s succulent enough as well. (

01 Pete Namlook and Tetsu Inoue: “Betelgeuzian Ritual” (06:55) from “Shades of Orion 3” (1996)
02 Pete Namlook and Tetsu Inoue: “Stranded on Rigel 3” (38:26) from “Shades of Orion 3” (1996)
03 Pete Namlook and Tetsu Inoue: “Inouecent and Sirius” (25:38) from “Shades of Orion 3” (1996)