The Ballasted Orchestra

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The Ballasted Orchestra
The Ballasted Orchestra.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 10, 1997
RecordedEast Austin, Texas
GenreAmbient, drone
ProducerAdam Wiltzie and Brian McBride
Stars of the Lid chronology
Gravitational Pull vs. the Desire for an Aquatic Life
The Ballasted Orchestra
Maneuvering the Nocturnal Hum
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media(8.5/10)[2]

The Ballasted Orchestra is the third studio album by Stars of the Lid and their first to have its initial release on Kranky. It was released simultaneously as a double LP and a single CD in March 1997. The album features minimal, droning compositions, of varied length, some of which blend into each other. The track "Taphead" is a reference to the Talk Talk song of the same name while "Music for Twin Peaks Episode #30 Part I" and "Part II" are named as a tribute to the cult TV show.

The double vinyl album was out-of-print for years, until a remastered reissue was released by Kranky on January 7, 2013. The LP release contains the bonus track "24 Inch Cymbal" at the end of side A.[3] Additionally, "The Artificial Pine Arch Song" runs 20:52 long on vinyl, as opposed to 18:00 on the CD.[4] This material would not fit on a standard, 80-minute CD.

Critical reaction[edit]

The album was generally praised by critics. Stephen Cook, writing for Allmusic, stated: "Taking in such ambient milestones as Brian Eno's Apollo recording, Stars of the Lid's Brian McBride and Adam Wiltzie fashion eight floating gems with touches of industrial noise and movie soundtrack atmospherics. No drums or clanging guitars here, just darkish, elegiac slabs of ethereal sound taking up 12 to 18 minutes at a pop. The overall effect is both calming and provocative."[1]

Track listing[edit]

CD release[edit]

All tracks are written by Adam Wiltzie and Brian McBride.

1."Central Texas"3:43
2."Sun Drugs"12:20
3."Down II"1:22
5."Fucked Up (3:57 A.M.)"8:32
6."Music for Twin Peaks Episode #30 Part I"8:01
7."Music for Twin Peaks Episode #30 Part II"13:32
8."The Artificial Pine Arch Song"18:00

Double vinyl release[edit]

Side One
1."Central Texas"3:43
2."Sun Drugs"12:20
3."24 Inch Cymbal"6:01
Side Two
1."Down II"1:22
3."Fucked Up (3:57 A.M.)"8:32
Side Three
1."Music for Twin Peaks Episode #30 Part I"8:01
2."Music for Twin Peaks Episode #30 Part II"13:32
Side Four
1."The Artificial Pine Arch Song"18:00
2."Untitled" (omitted on vinyl reissues)2:52


  1. ^ a b Stephen Cook. "The Ballasted Orchestra". Allmusic. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  2. ^ Richardson, Mark (10 January 2013). "Stars of the Lid: The Ballasted Orchestra: Album Reviews". Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  3. ^ "Stars of the Lid: Music". Archived from the original on June 20, 2001. Retrieved June 20, 2008.
  4. ^ "Wolf's Kompaktkiste: Stars of the Lid". Retrieved June 20, 2008.