wed 24/07/2024

CD: The Orb feat Lee "Scratch" Perry - The Orbserver in the Star House | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Orb feat. Lee "Scratch" Perry - The Orbserver in the Star House

CD: The Orb feat. Lee "Scratch" Perry - The Orbserver in the Star House

Unexpectedly juicy reggae outing from two generations of dub pioneers

A trio of bush-heads make good

The available evidence suggested both these artists were well past their sell-by date. The Orb were early Nineties titans of mischievous narco-ambience but haven’t made a decent album in years, even when they worked with Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour on their last outing.

Meanwhile, anyone who’s seen a recent concert by Lee "Scratch" Perry, the man who pretty much invented dub in the first place, will attest to the fact he simply turns up and mucks about while his backing band fill the allotted time.

The good news, then, is that The Orbserver in the Star House has brought out the best in both. The Orb, consisting these days of core member Alex Patterson and Swiss avant-techno bod Thomas Fehlmann, spent five days in the latter’s German studio with Perry. The results are the least chilled material The Orb have ever made, throbbing electronic reggae smeared in sub-bass power and tickled by psychedelic effects. Perry has risen to the occasion. Apparently, despite having pre-prepared tracks to work with, the trio created much of the material from scratch with Perry’s input. It certainly has a rolling dynamism and a vocal enthusiasm that only On-U sound maestro Adrian Sherwood has been able to pull from Perry in recent decades.

Thus we have a driven version of Junior Murvin’s “Police & Thieves”, a bass ambushed corker called “Man in the Moon” which features smile-inducing Perry lyrics (“I am not a rebel, I am a donkey”), the dread funk of “Thirsty”, a grooving new take on Orb classic “Little Fluffy Clouds” entitled “Golden Clouds”, and much more, including hypno-percussive closer, “Congo”, an organic tribal techno feast. It’s always gratifying when artists once loved and long dismissed return to the fray with colours flying high. This is a case in point and anyone who has ever enjoyed The Orb or Lee "Scratch" would do well to check it out.

Watch the video for "Hold Me Upsetter"


Are you kidding me? The Dream from 2007 is a masterpiece.

"haven’t made a decent album in years"?? this statement makes this whole article null and void. thomas h green, you have zero credibility.

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