Cygnus X – The Orange Theme [1994]

Now here’s a track that inspires either flat out joy or absolute hatred in all that know it. Its one of those tracks that has been played to death for years, for me, thats for good reason, its a blinder of a track. Its a guaranteed floor filler, appealing to a wide slate of electronic music fans and perhaps thats one of the reasons it inspires such hatred in many. Its origins are from “A Clockwork Orange”, made by one Wendy Carlos who in turn took inspiration from Henry Purcell’s “March” from “Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary”.

Hoffman, under the Cygnus X moniker simply cranked the speed up, chucked in a bass drum and wavey ravey acid riff underneath and stuck it on wax. As you’ve probably noticed, im a big fan of simple arrangements and this is no different. There are hundreds of remixes, many of which make small insignificant tweaks to capitalise on the popularity of the original. The standouts for me being the Man With No Name mix released in 2000;

and the VERY crowd friendly, Moonman’s Orange Juice remix from ’99

Regardless of your opinion of the track, its hard to deny that The Orange Theme played an integral part of the techno and trance scenes. For good or bad its a track that can transport me back to dark, smoke filled rooms with lasers in an instant.

From Discogs
One of the best classical techno-trance themes. My guess is that it is techno-trance at its best. Unforgettable, but then again we must remember that the original melody was created by the genious Purcell, and beautifully worked by Wendy Carlos on the “Clockwork Orange” famous theme.

Eye Q reached the pinnacle of the classically melodic euro trance milieu with the ‘The Orange Theme’.

The Original Mix takes the ‘Vernon’s Wonderland’ (Vernon) approach, but raises the stakes to a quick 147+ bpm, and adds background bubbly acid line to drive it through. The result is a classical music masterpiece that has been often copied and remixed, but never bettered.

That is not to detract anything from the remixes here though, they are both worthy treatments.

Recreating a song composed by a classical music composer (such as Beethoven) into an electronica tune sounds like a good idea in almost every instance, but I have yet to really find an example of this that has really worked. The Orange Theme, which is also the main theme from the movie “A Clockwork Orange”, is just not very good. Granted, the Solar Stone remix is good trance, with a great build, but the main synth line is just not that good. It really isn’t that catchy, and is just plain cheesy. There are better trance anthems out there that are worth owning in this format.

I’ve always considered “The Orange Theme” a turd in Eye Q’s catalogue. It’s crude, in-your-face and unsophisticated, and reeks of UK superclubs and “Now that’s what I call trance” compilations.

But the flip side of this original release is magnificent. See, “Introspective” is just that – a pensive, poignant track imbued with the kind of warm melancholy often heard in the best early 90’s trance. You needn’t waste your time on the overplayed A side – this is the real deal. Beautiful.

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