Hybridizing sun-kissed lakeside ambience and long lines of cotton bass, Shades of Orion was an adequate addition to the monstrous Fax roster. With track lengths that ranged from 12 minutes to 24, there was a relaxingly spacious touch to even the more repetitive fragments of the album, and Pete Namlook and Tetsu Inoue fed off each other with a watercolor simplicity. The multi-layered "Did You Ever Retire a Human" goes back to the warm trip-hop traces of the Aloof, but there were also less successful stretches where the effects recycling was tiresome. Namlook and Inoue were clearly anxious to get their ideas down on tape, and as a result Shades of Orion was listenable in a lot of ways, but noticeably unfinished.
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AllMusic Review by Dean Carlson