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The Orb (live at Electric Brixton)

London 29 July 2016

The Orb live at Electric BrixtonIn 1991, I waited in anticipation outside the Brixton Fridge (as it was known then) clutching my ticket waiting to see The Orb’s first ever live show, not really knowing quite what to expect. I had bought the double album of The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld and had devoured every second of it, its sounds sending me off on some strange cosmic voyage not really hinted at by a band since Tangerine Dream in the 1970s.

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The Orb (live at The Oslo Club)

The Orb at The Oslo Club March 2015London 13 March 2015

Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future.

H G WellsThe Time Machine

The Orb are celebrating 25 years of making music that has headed for the outer reaches and then spiralled back to Earth again. Seeing as the band normally play at fairly large venues, it’s good to see them in the intimate surroundings of The Oslo Club, even if there is a yellow line on the floor around the stage that no one is allowed to step over. A bouncer watches this

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The Orb – History Of The Future Part 2

Malicious Damage

The Orb ready History Of The Future Part 2There’s something gratifying about the way that The Orb‘s music has both progressed (in all senses of the word) and stayed within its own vaguely-defined parameters over the last quarter century. Pick any one of the tracks on History of the Future Part 2 or set it to shuffle play, and a certain number of slightly off-kilter vocal samples, blips, bloops and chunky shuffling beats from the second chapter of their trip are likely to emerge from the speakers, the only imponderable being just how much bass pressure they’re going to bring to the party along the way.

From inner/outer space to the corners of a farmer’s field which be be forever raveland, The Orb are still ideally placed at the interface between ambient floating and festival-friendly dub techno as they’ve

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The Orb – History of the Future: The Island Years

Island

The Orb - History of the FutureSpace is the place, and this is where The Orb seemed to come from 25 years ago when the first single hit the racks in 1989; it was like a message from the nether regions of deep space. “A Huge Ever-Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre of the Ultraworld” mixed Tangerine Dream kosmische with Eno’s ambience but still with a hint of the dancefloor at the same time. This odd hybrid would herald The Orb on to planet Earth and almost create a genre all of its own. “A Huge Ever-Growing Pulsating Brain…” is presented twice on this wonderful four disc set, the first time as its original 12” mix which I bought all those

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The Orb featuring Lee Scratch Perry – The Orbserver in the Star House

Cooking Vinyl

Ever since The Orb’s first album The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld you could almost feel that somewhere down the line this collaboration would take place. The Orb have always added dub themes to their music to add to the blissful wholeness of the dance experience and to get the people on the floor swaying in a technicolour other world of their own. On this album you get The Orb at their dubby best with one of the masters of the scene.

“Ball of Fire” literally kicks in the album with a big heavy bang where the bass and drums hang low under a grinding rhythm. Lee Perry’s vocals are suitably

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The Orb – C Batter C

Malicious Damage

After last year’s cosmic collaboration with David Gilmour, [post=orb-featuring-david-gilmour-metallic-spheres text=”Metallic Spheres”], The Orb come back down to earth with a bump for their new album C Batter C. It’s effectively a soundtrack for a film and an exhibition that was held in Brixton in London at the end of last year. But do the separate pieces stand up on their own, without the aid of a gallery or installation environment? The answer is quite simply yes.

The rather beautiful-looking CD and DVD deals with the persistence of memory and the fragility of these over time. As we grow older our memories become compartmentalised and also tainted, but what we now know changes compared to the time when events happened. We tend to view our own memories from an almost third person point of view and recollect parts as aspects rather

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The Orb (live at The Scala)

The Scala, London 11 December 2010

The first time I saw The Orb play live was at the time of the release of their album Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld. At that time the techno/ambient/trance scene was at an all-time high with a plethora of new bands using psychedelic images and pushing at making the underground become overground. The Orb’s “Little Fluffy Clouds” drifted through the spring and summer airwaves (well they did in my house), and their gig at The Fridge in Brixton was packed with sweaty dancing bodies.

Fast forward to 2010 and The Orb is a slightly different prospect. The gig tonight is only half full and I kept glancing around to see if there would be a final surge of people once The Orb hit the stage at 11.30. I’m not sure why there was a lack of people especially after their new album Metallic Spheres with

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The Orb featuring David Gilmour – Metallic Spheres

Sony

The Orb featuring David Gilmour – Metallic SpheresAfter having Steve Hillage play on their first (as well as several other) albums it does make one wonder why a collaboration between The Orb and David Gilmour didn’t happen a long time ago. The Orb had referenced Pink Floyd’s work enough including sampling Richard Wright’s keyboards at one point. Anyway, with a rather polite fanfare here are the fruits of their first labour together. And to be honest with you its kind of what you expect, which is no bad thing.

The album is fairly short with a total running time of 48 minutes. Side one, or the ‘Metallic Side’ as it’s called, sets the scene with glistening synthesizers that seemed to be played from within an alien spacecraft. After a few seconds Gilmour’s instantly recognisable guitar sounds lifts off and makes the

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