William Orbit – Strange Cargo III

As 1994 progressed and more friendships formed, my out of work adventures escalated. The boorish ‘lad’ culture was everywhere, and Bournemouth’s roaring ‘80s pub and live music scene was fast changing to accommodate the booming wine bar and club culture. Dance music was dominating the charts; the late ‘80s acid house scene kicked it off before branching out into dozens of sub-genres and by ’94 it went from mainstream to literally underground, depending on where you were at.

For a few years in the mid ‘90s it’s true to say I ‘partied’. My first party was with my flatmates in autumn ’94 and I had a great time. The dance scene in Bournemouth was huge; Bump N Hustle became the king of clubs with the likes of Bob Povey and Jon Coomer playing the widest spectrum of the finest house music. Jazz Juice was an authentic and colossal night of ‘70s funk and disco, Big beat clubs were playing Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim and all sorts from the Skint and Heavenly labels and the Hothouse and others were there for alternative, indie and britpop. Mod and soul nights were around too, one of which would soon become my second DJ residence. I went to them all, and I went with much gusto.

Those same lovely flatmates with whom I partied had fine taste. They played me Strange Cargo III by William Orbit. For those years of dancing my ass of at clubs of every variety, my perfect music to play when ‘unwinding’ would be this absolute gem of groovy ambient electronica. Listening to Time To Get Wize, The Story Of Light and his magnum opus, Water From A Vine Leaf takes me straight back to that flat and those happy, playful times. It brings a smile to my face.

Featuring the angelic Both Orton on vocals, Water From A Vine Leaf would be the one song that encapsulates those years of excess and indulgence. The mid ‘90s were heady and exhilarating times and William Orbit shines over all of it, like a soothing dreamscape of paradise. Strange Cargo I, II and Hinterland followed and added to his legend, but for me Strange Cargo III is where it was at. Press play, close your eyes, switch off and enjoy the bliss…

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