rion, the hunter. It’s one of the most easily recognized of all of the constellations, lying near the Milky Way. It’s also one of the most beautiful. The arrival of Orion in the night sky in December signals the beginning of the winter- but also the winter observing season. Crisp, clear nights and some of the finest nights for seeing constellations, in fact. It’s also an album by Morr Music newcomer Limp, released in early March of 2002. And this Danish group takes many of their inspiration on this, their debut EP for the label, from a imaginary trip to the constellation. Many of Morr’s releases can be taken to be a journey to a blissful place- but therein lies the main problem with the label. The adherence to signing a number of groups that only play one type of music, that can only be labeled as pleasing, comes to be the label’s sound alike nature. Limp, however, has a slightly different instrumentation than most Morr bands, it features live drums and guitars to create their soundscapes. The evolution of Morr into a label that features more traditional instrumentation is not a surprise, necessarily. The main surprise lies in how much it sounds like a Morr release, despite this fact.
The first half of the record does little to stir the heart. The first track, “Towards,” is a simple tune that, after several false starts, settles into a nice driving tune that includes jazz leanings- but sounds inherently like the less poppy end of Morr’s roster (Wechsel Garland comes to mind). The requisite glitches are in attendance underneath the foreground mix, never truly competing with the foreground of the mix, but ever present. Perhaps the sounds of machinery are evoked, as though the rocket that is slowly taking us out to Orion is hard at work, while the apparent beauty of the scenery is outside for us to see. It’s an interesting conceit that works throughout most of the album. The second song starts off with a simple clicking, reminiscent of a telegraphed delivery of a message. The sonorous sounds of the synthesizer and guitar soon take over, but the exchange goes on back and forth between a simple clicking and a more distorted counterpoint to create an interesting undercurrent to the song. The fourth track, after the calm and understated “Interstellar”, is titled “Orion”. The track is one of the obvious highlights of the EP and builds to a climax that might be the climax of the metaphoric journey to Orion. Its hidden delight lies in the middle of the track when it apparently ends, only to reveal a continued drumbeat and a new resolve. It has what the other songs, up to this point, lacked- an obvious climax and a feeling that a song has been presented, rather than post rock influenced meandering. “Night Clouds” follows on this similar path, almost a carbon copy in structure and feeling compared to “Orion”. The final track “Betelgeuze”, which is also the name of one of Orion’s brightest stars, ends the EP softly in a haze, leaving the listener feeling pleasant and relaxed.
As pleasant and as nice as this EP sounds, its problem lies squarely because of this reason. Sure, Limp has presented us with a typical Morr fare. The listener feels warm and fuzzy inside afterwards, but has anything past this been accomplished? As a listener, I am more than happy to admit that some music is used as an escapist tool, to take me to another place that may be more happy than the one that I inhabit now. The conceit of an imaginary journey to the constellation of Orion is a greater one than most Morr artists have presented us with, thus far. However, it ends up being unsuccessful, because the end result of the journey is only to admire the beauty of the sights. Truly great art works, though, take me to another place and challenge me, rather than setting me down. I fully admit that this may not be everyone’s conception of music, but it does not allow me to term Limp’s Orion a great work of art, but it certainly is a good one.