Morcheeba: Skye Edwards (vocals); Ross Godfrey (guitar, sitar, pedal & lap steel guitars, clavinet, Hammond B-3 organ, Fender Rhodes piano, Wurlitzer piano, synthesizers, bass, drums); Paul Godfrey (drums, programming, scratches); Pete Norris (keyboard programming, sound effects).
Additional personnel includes: Spikey T (spoken vocals); Pierre Le Rue (fiddle); Jimmy Hastings (flute); Gary Baldwin (Hammond B-3 organ); DJ First Rate, DJ Swamp (scratches); Joe Cooper (percussion, background vocals); Peggi Gayle, Graeme Kyle (background vocals).
Klein String Quartet: S. Bentley-Klein, L. Melhuish (violin); T. Grant (viola); R. Bridgemont (cello).
Includes liner notes by The Gardener.
Morcheeba is a band with all its bases covered. Brothers Ross and Paul Godfrey pull in opposite directions, with Ross handling the more organic range of instrumentation, from guitar to Hammond organ, while Paul takes care of programming and turntable work. Add to that formula the self-ordained "Sound Surgeon" Pete Norris and the cool, ethereal voice of singer Skye Edwards, whose quiet self-assurance provides a meeting ground for the eclectic sonic amalgam that is Morcheeba's BIG CALM.
Burbling analog synths and gritty slide guitar dominate on "Part Of The Process," setting the pace for the wild diversity of sounds to follow. Serene keyboards and buzzing drum samples provide the unique backdrop for the timeless melody of "Blindfold." Lush string arrangements and beautiful fingerpicked guitar grace the close harmonies and confessional lyrics of "Over And Over." Powerful string orchestration also lifts the ballad "Fear And Love." "Friction" features a deep reggae groove, a horn section and chatting by Spikey T.
Spin (5/98, p.141) - 8 (out of 10) - "...Always a hippie groove band at heart, Morcheeba have responded impressively to trip-hop's AOR-ization with BIG CALM--possibly the most seamless mix of VH1 pop and DJ culture so far, and a joint that recalls the Mamas & the Papas as much as Portishead..."
Vibe (4/98, p.142) - "...Ross and Paul's moody blend of hip hop and twangy guitar licks, coupled with Skye's sweetly angelic vocals, seep easily into your consciousness..."
NME (Magazine) (4/11/98, p.39) - 8 (out of 10) - "...A widescreen collection, it aspires more to inspirational airborne pirouetting of the Beck and Cornershop variety than floating face down in the murky pond of trip-hop....They sound like they like life."