The Orb's "Little Fluffy Clouds" mostly samples a Rickie Lee Jones interview. But at the very beginning, there is a sample that came from the radio program "You and Yours"

Over the past few years, to the traditional sounds of an English summer, the drone of lawnmowers, the smack of leather on willow, has been added a new noise...

but what this new noise is is not in the sample. Has it ever been disclosed/discovered?

Most links when talking about the song talk about the Ricky Lee Jones thing, and the legal disputes therein.

(ref https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Fluffy_Clouds)

1 Answer 1


According to the chapter "Ambient house: '​Little fluffy clouds' and the sampler as time machine" by Justin Morey in the book Music Beyond Airports - appraising ambient music (a collection of essays assembled and developed from papers given at the Ambient@40 International Conference held in February 2018 at the University of Huddersfield):

Given the musical context that follows, this quotation is clearly intended to refer to the sound of the open air, all-night raves that were occurring in the British countryside from the late 1980s until outlawed by the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act. John Waite has confirmed that, as far as he can recall, the item concerned was indeed discussing raves, perhaps in response to what had been described as “moral panic” in some sections of the media of the time at the ways in which large numbers of young people were spending their weekends.

According to the footnotes, John Waite's confirmation happened in an email to the author.

  • Good answer - but the link to the source file is broken :(
    – Pat Dobson
    Jul 5, 2021 at 10:50
  • 1
    @PatDobson Ah, browser shenanigans. It downloaded the PDF and opened it without telling me it did that (and then I didn't check the link). Should be OK now.
    – BCdotWEB
    Jul 5, 2021 at 16:56
  • I always thought the implication was that it was Raves, but it's good to get it confirmed, thanks for finding the quote. Jul 8, 2021 at 8:35

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