44 minute singles, working with the KLF, and now a Podcast!
September 7, 2006 1:08 PM   Subscribe

The Orb, known as one of the principal architects of ambient house, have receded into relative obscurity since the popular heyday of the electronic music movement in the US. Despite changes in the lineup - the group now consists of a duo featuring founding member Dr (Duncan Robert) Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann. Paterson's DJ sets are the stuff of legend and I was pleased as punch that they've just put together a podcast (actually a 50.8mb .zip file containing an mp3) that's available through their minimal website.
posted by beaucoupkevin (36 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Cool find; thanks!
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:13 PM on September 7, 2006

I can almost guarantee that this is a Fehlmann production. I went to see the Orb a couple months ago. First up was a Fehlmann DJ set, which was excellent barring constant turntable skips. Next, Fehlmann moved over to a laptop while Patterson played records. Every move Patterson made was a trainwreck. He continued to sound horrible after Fehlmann left the stage. At this point I left.

I hate to be a naysayer since I value their older and more recent recordings, but I think the Orb is the Orb in name only these days.
posted by mkb at 1:20 PM on September 7, 2006

Listening now, thanks for the link.
posted by empath at 1:25 PM on September 7, 2006

The Orb's latest - Okie Dokie it's the Orb On Kompact is pretty much a Thomas Fehlmann record with some Paterson touches tossed in.

It's good, but it's not really the Orb.

Ah well - Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld, UF Orb, and Orbus Terrarum remain some of my favorite records ever. I even liked Pomme Fritz. In fact I probably wouldn't even be listening to electronic music at all if it were not for Mr. Paterson.
posted by xmutex at 1:34 PM on September 7, 2006

Fehlmann is the man(n).
posted by Dean King at 1:35 PM on September 7, 2006

That .zip file actually contains an m4a (AAC audio file).
posted by Guy Smiley at 1:48 PM on September 7, 2006

Sorry about that, guy. I didn't check before I dragged it into iTunes. Rather odd choice, that.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 1:50 PM on September 7, 2006

Wtf can a non-Ipod owning soul do with an m4a file?
posted by Big_B at 1:51 PM on September 7, 2006

Sweet, thanks!
posted by everichon at 1:55 PM on September 7, 2006

Big_B, how about play it with iTunes, QuickTime, VLC, Winamp, Foobar2000, or one of the other many players that support AAC/M4A out of the box?
posted by zsazsa at 1:58 PM on September 7, 2006

posted by empath at 2:00 PM on September 7, 2006

I feel like such a nerd for recognizing this, but some of the samples in the first 2 minutes are dialogue and music from Dark Star.
posted by ijoshua at 2:16 PM on September 7, 2006

does anyone have the string quartet version of oxbow lakes? someone "borrowed" it from me about ten years ago and i haven't been able to get ahold of it since.
posted by snofoam at 2:19 PM on September 7, 2006

Can someone find a copy of that freebird remix that I can download/purchase somewhere?

A playable remix of that song is like one of my holy grails.

Suck it drunk yelling redneck!
posted by empath at 2:20 PM on September 7, 2006

Saw The Orb live in Helsinki in 2002. Was a suprisingly upbeat/dancy set, if I recall correctly. Sampling Star Trek into the set at some point stroked my geek in a nice way too. The songs I had heard prior to the gig made me a bit sceptical about seeing them live, but I was quite impressed. Not sure if they should've been headlining the main stage, but still an enjoyable set.

I'm also a fan of their remix of The Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails. Like empath, I too would love to hear a cover version of Freebird. That would be awesome.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:02 PM on September 7, 2006

man i remember how stoked i was when a friend of mine played me some orb records for the first time back in high school. i haven't thought about what they were up to in years, thanks for the find.
posted by teishu at 3:03 PM on September 7, 2006

Thanks zsazsa. I went straight for the anti-pod angle, and I forgot to mention that I am on a locked down work compy with only WMP10 to use. I'll save it for later though...
posted by Big_B at 3:08 PM on September 7, 2006

stroked my geek

posted by xmutex at 3:10 PM on September 7, 2006

Apparently, folks shouldn't be too hasty to judge the recent quality of Orb shows from a single experience: my wife and I saw them at New Year's a few years back. Terrible. They came again a few months later. My wife saw them, I passed. She came home telling me how great the show was, and how much astoundingly different it was from the New Year's show. So, better than "good" or "bad", "inconsistent" is probably the most fitting.
posted by Bugbread at 3:14 PM on September 7, 2006

This is good, thank you.
posted by Vicarious at 3:14 PM on September 7, 2006

xmutex, uh, I meant my inner geek... (Too late?)

<tangent> Also, this post inspired me to look for another amazing artist I saw in 2002 at Koneisto. At the time, she didn't really have an online presence and I dropped out of the scene a bit, so she's been forgotten (by me) for quite a few years now. Looks like she now has a website. Misstress Barbara, and better yet, you can download full sets and listen a whole bunch of her songs on the website. Score! </tangent>
posted by slimepuppy at 3:23 PM on September 7, 2006

I too have been let down by their techno, hiphoppy recent releases. Bring back the Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain! I did get a chance to see them twice in the 90's in Atlanta and both times were absolutley amazing. They are still my fav electronic band of any genre and I have to second xmutex's sentiments.
posted by iurodivii at 3:31 PM on September 7, 2006

Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld is just top-notch stuff. I wouldn't start with anything else if you haven't heard The Orb. I like some of their other recordings but none really live up to that old record, in my opinion.
posted by aye at 3:41 PM on September 7, 2006

Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:30 PM on September 7, 2006

I don't think you can say "principal architects" and "house" in the same sentance and NOT be referring to architecture.

Greek: architektOn master builder, from archi- + tektOn builder, carpenter
posted by tomplus2 at 4:46 PM on September 7, 2006

Actually, Fehlmann's been with the Orb pretty much since the beginning, contributing the mix of "Outlands" that appears on "Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld" for example. I think it's really more that the Orb, much like Fehlmann, has really tried hard to keep it's sound fresh and innovative, for better or for worse over the past decade. They made some lousy records in that time, but at least they weren't treading water.
posted by 40 Watt at 4:48 PM on September 7, 2006

this is excellent. Sure, they never got back to Adventures, but I like Toxygene quite a bit.
posted by boo_radley at 5:22 PM on September 7, 2006

Yeah, the whole Orblivion album actually ranks up there near the top of my list.
posted by 40 Watt at 7:26 PM on September 7, 2006

UF Orb, the double CD edition, is my favorite. Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld is nice, but not as sureal.
posted by Goofyy at 3:12 AM on September 8, 2006

slimepuppy: oh yes, misstress barbara is outstanding. one notch down from charles siegling technasia in my dj book.
posted by mkb at 7:01 AM on September 8, 2006

There's a string quartet version of "Oxbow Lakes?" I'd love to hear it, that's easily my favorite Orb song.
posted by malocchio at 7:58 AM on September 8, 2006

I have that "Oxbow Lakes" string quartet mix in my personal archives at the house. If people email me through my contact information here, I'd be more than happy to make sure there's a link up tonight when I get home from the office.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 8:02 AM on September 8, 2006

Two things— One, DJ sets by Orb members were one of the first things that I found on Napster back in the day, and I generally came to the conclusion that I liked 'em even more than the Orb albums.
Second, I blame The Orb for making me think that I liked that sort of near-ambient expansive techno that was all around during the '90s. After wasting a lot of money, I discovered that I only really liked The Orb (and certainly much more than Orbital, which I remember confusing them with).
posted by klangklangston at 8:29 AM on September 8, 2006

God I loved the Orb so much. UFOrb is my favorite album. Saw them twice, once in Atlanta (so-so show) and once on Mt. Fuji during a big rainstorm at an all night rave in an old amusement park. Talk about set and setting! Incredible! I actually walked up to Alex in one of the dry tents, asked (like an idiot...i was tripping) "Are you Alex Patterson?" He said "Who?" and walked off. I love that my only contact with him was him messing with me.

The string quartet of Oxbow appears on the CD single. It's easily available out there on P2P services also.
posted by Dantien at 9:35 AM on September 8, 2006

Excellent, thanks for the leads! I managed to find a copy of the Oxbow Lakes CD single on GEMM, and it should be on its way to me shortly.
posted by malocchio at 11:06 AM on September 8, 2006


Thanks for the link. While I can't claim I loved the podcast, it did expose me to a very good track (the one with the lighthouse keeper story), which I tracked down as an individual unmixed track.
posted by Bugbread at 2:31 PM on September 10, 2006

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