Home > In the Spotlight > The Orb + Lee Perry: Orbserver in the Star House

The Orb + Lee Perry: Orbserver in the Star House

by Mari

In 2010, ambient house legends The Orb joined forces with Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour to produce Metallic Spheres, a spacey atmospheric musical endeavor that showcased both Gilmour’s finesse with the guitar and The Orb’s prowess in electronic sound manipulation.

This year, The Orb (this current incarnation of the group consisting of the ever-present Alex Paterson and frequent member Thomas Fehlman) teamed up with none other than dub reggae pioneer Lee “Scratch” Perry. The resulting album is The Orbserver In The Star House, a fresh take on electronic dub music. Paterson seems to enjoy pairing his talents of making spaced-out, mellow, dance-inducing, bass-throbbing music with……well, other artists who make spaced-out, mellow, dance-inducing, bass-throbbing music! Whether you’re chilling out with green tea (or green anything else, for that matter) or having a groovy dance party, these tunes will not disappoint!

Throughout the album, Lee Perry’s distinctive stream-of-tripped-out-consciousness, rambling vocals are accompanied by The Orb’s creatively arranged (yet not overworked), and equally tripped-out samples and beats.

Paterson and Fehlman’s talents at layering and obscuring sounds that Perry can flow to (and have fun with, it seems) are evident in each track. They are wisely restrained, as dub music is often best when crafted with less, as opposed to more.

Certainly, they are no strangers to the reggae/dub genre. Remember “Perpetual Dawn” circa 1991 anyone? There’s even a tip of the hat to perhaps The Orb’s most famous track, “Little Fluffy Clouds.” In this track, called “Golden Clouds,” Perry reflects on his childhood in Jamaica and the legendary Golden Clouds property near his home there. The telltale jingly melody from the original track is thrown in for a nostalgic loop.

Some tracks have a more ambient house/Orb feel, while others can fit better in the dub genre. But one thing they all have in common is a fresh sound. No, it’s not the first time dub and electronica have come together, but the unique talents of each of these legendary musicians blend together to make a more enlivened and unusual sounding music than sometimes is the case when musicians of different styles pair up. If you have found yourself grooving to either dub or ambient house and downtempo, give this album a try….available on CD and vinyl!

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