Music News

The Orb

It's become way too easy to take the Orb's music for granted at this stage in the electronic outfit's illustrious career. This new album should make it less so, as it clearly and definitively demonstrates how astounding the Orb's talent truly is. Anything the Orb puts out now is necessarily saddled with the weight of 20 years' worth of electronic music history — a history, mind you, that the Orb was instrumental in kick-starting. But by keeping his focus on what he does best — atmospheres, energized beats, and more atmospheres — founder and mainstay Alex Paterson is once again able to weave together sounds like fine silk. With Paterson's childhood friend, original creative partner, Killing Joke alum, and acclaimed underground producer Youth back in the fold, the Orb grabs hold of your senses with an unparalleled sense of craftsmanship and texture. Yes, the trademark acid-fried beats and eerie vocal samples bob and weave in the mix as usual, but Paterson and Youth have a knack for turning them into sonic gold against resplendent backdrops that can only be described as celestial, even mystical — yet remarkably easy to digest. After 20 years, you shouldn't still be this good at what you do. Somehow, these guys can still make ambient music sound epic in a way that's mind-altering and mind-blowing.
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Saby Reyes-Kulkarni