Orchestra Du Soleil Mondial

The idea of a "psychedelic concept album” in electronic music is a frightening one, but fortunately for the Orchestra Du Soleil, it’s not as bad as it sounds. As a follow-up to their acclaimed debut A Summerday by the Lake, Mondial looks at the work of Willhelm Reich and David Bohm, and uses their ideas as the structural base to produce, as they describe it, a "psychedelic trip into a utopian, post-nuclear New World.” Okay, thematically this might sound a bit over the top, and indeed, the album never really manages to convey this concept clearly. Instead, Mondial is a pretty-sounding selection of organic and trippy ambient music with a bit of prog-rock thrown in for fun — a bit like the Orb on one of their dubious musical tangents. At times this produces some questionable material, such as "Soul Pavillion” or "Village Du Soleil,” which border on the nonsensical. If this was meant as a joke it might be more acceptable, but they are being quite serious about this. Each track on the album is separated by a minute or two of abstract soundscapes, giving it an odd sense of flow. Generally, the material is interesting and listenable, but the lyrical content may require this album to come with a warning: do not consume unless accompanied by narcotics. (S.H.A.D.O.)