Thursday, 28 June 2012

PREVIEW: The Orb and Lee Scratch Perry - The Observer In The Star House

The last proper album was released in 2010 and was a collaboration with Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour, and now The Orb are gearing up for another collaboration LP, this time with the utterly mental Lee 'Scratch' Perry. 'The Observer in the Star House' will be released on CD, vinyl, digital formats and a deluxe boxset on September 3rd 2012 through Cooking Vinyl. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to hear the new single 'Hold Me Upsetter' and 'Golden Clouds', a re-working of the classic 'Little Fluffy Clouds'.

The album's 11 tracks are

1. Ball Of Fire
2. House Of The Orbs
3. Man In The Moon
4. Soulman
5. Golden Clouds
6. Hold Me Upsetter
7. Go Down Evil
8. Thirsty
9. Police and Thieves
10. Ashes
11. Congo

A press release states: "Recorded in Berlin over the last few months, 'the observer at the starhouse' sparks with a rare magic as dr alex paterson and long-time orb member thomas fehlmann construct a panorama of stripped-down backdrops to provide the perfect backdrops for the upsetter's inimitable pronouncements, righteous declarations and sweet vocals. the orb have long been known for their assimilation of deepest dub into their stratospheric sonic innovations, as evidenced on u.f. orb's towers of dub, itself something of a lee perry tribute with its sound effects and distinctive underlying eccentricity. starting in the late 60s with the upsetters, perry wrote the book on jamaican mixing desk trickery, then constantly ripped it up to create new aural blueprints for the music via his black ark productions of the following decade, since then charting a waywardly idiosyncratic path which has ensured legions of followers absorbing his every move. 

Meanwhile, thomas has been at the forefront of germany's electronic music scene since his pioneering avant foraging with palais schaumburg in the late 1980s, becoming part of berlin's rapidly-evolving techno underground, working with sun electric and many of the city's major artists and operations, including the mighty kompakt. his immaculate electronic knowledge and intuition now had two disparate lightning rods to bounce between, recalling, "i met lee for the first time during this session and it was pretty touching to see how an unexpected connection and inspirational exchange could so awaken our creative juices. alex and i had never made so much new music on the spot before. it was soon pretty clear that we wouldn't get far with the four backing tracks we pre-produced for the session. lee was so overwhelmingly creative that it took an afternoon for those to be finished. from then on we were forced to come up with new beats on the spot, to keep lee in the flow." scratch's vocals glide distinctively over bass heavy monsters such as 'soulman' and 'man on the moon', the most overt orb-dub behemoth on the set, while 'don't rush' takes the ridim form then dismantles it in subterranean sonic catacombs. house grooves inflect 'house of the orb' and 'ashes' while a funky slide bass-line percolates under 'thirsty'. 'hold me upsetter' sparkles with lovely bass-string interplay, while 'congo' brings in rolling banks of african percussion, many of the tracks beat with the subliminal rasta heartbeat. both parties rework one of their classics; 'police and thieves', the track which perry produced for junior murvin in 1976, is turned into a bass-heavy vocal vehicle for the reggae veteran, while the orb's 'little fluffy clouds' is reshaped as the hallucinogenic dancehall clatter of 'golden clouds'.

The mouth-watering prospect of a legendary master working with long-time acolytes who tuned into his unique wavelength long ago blossoms and explodes on the observer at the starhouse, which, in the best scratch and orb tradition, often takes music where it's not gone before."

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