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The Orbserver In The Star House

The Orb Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: 8.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Orb featuring David Gilmour - The Making of Metallic Spheres


The Orb virtually invented the electronic genre known as ambient house, resurrecting slower, more soulful rhythms and providing a soundtrack for early-morning ravers once the clubs closed their doors. The group popularized the genre as well, by appearing on the British chart show Top of the Pops and hitting number one in the U.K. with the 1992 album U.F.Orb. Frontman Dr. Alex Paterson's ... Read more in Amazon's The Orb Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Sep 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cooking Vinyl
  • ASIN: B0087MW6SM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,244 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Ball of FireThe Orb 4:110.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. H. O. OThe Orb 4:130.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Man in the MoonThe Orb 4:040.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. SoulmanThe Orb 6:020.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Golden CloudsThe Orb featuring Lee Scratch Perry 5:440.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Hold Me UpsetterThe Orb 4:210.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Go Down EvilThe Orb 5:290.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. ThirstyThe Orb 4:350.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Police & ThievesThe Orb 4:500.89  Buy MP3 
Listen10. AshesThe Orb 1:250.89  Buy MP3 
Listen11. CongoThe Orb 6:220.89  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

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.

BBC Review

Once upon a time, in a distant galaxy, a Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry vocal album was a rare thing.

Arriving in Kingston in the early 1960s, Perry changed the shape of Jamaican popular music many times over. Of his many achievements, pioneering dub at his Black Ark studio is the standout. He didn't concentrate on singing until relatively late: his first full-length vocal set arrived in 1978, but the next didn't surface until the mid-1980s, when a transformed Perry washed up in England as a walking performance-art piece, following a dramatic metamorphosis.

Since then, he has collaborated with myriad entities, issuing albums of varying quality with dizzying speed, ranging from intriguing excellence to terrible trash. Thankfully, this playful pairing with dub-influenced dance duo, The Orb, leans toward the former.

Perry’s babbling stream of non-consciousness fits well over their fluidly spacey electronic backing, resulting in plenty of moments to savour. The minimalist rhythm of Golden Clouds, a reworking of The Orb’s Little Fluffy Clouds, has an optimistic, upbeat quality to it, as a double-tracked Perry communes with God.

Hold Me Upsetter has a wacky bossa nova feel, courtesy of a warm vocal sample, as Perry’s nonsensical chants are dubbed into oblivion.

Man in the Moon is another charmer, with snippets of wisdom in the Upsetter’s ramblings as the track slowly unfolds; it begins sounding like a Goan trance track gone wrong, but soon drifts into skanking territory, as Perry proclaims himself a Swiss tycoon, at home on the moon.

Re-working Junior Murvin’s Police & Thieves might seem like a bad idea, but this warped re-cut nearly works, in part because The Orb draw in a few bars of an ancient 1960s Upsetters organ track, chopped up with some ghostly 1970s melodica work. Perry’s vocal improves as the track progresses, too.

And although The Orb harness a range of mostly down-tempo styles on the disc, it all hangs together rather well, and unlike many recent releases, nothing too objectionable passes Mr Perry’s lips.

Overall, The Orbserver… is lots of fun for late-period Perry fans, and will appeal to Orbologists, too.

--Paul Lester

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to be Upsetter about..... 12 Sep 2012
Format:Audio CD
I cannot agree with the one-star reviewer here.

I have been listening to Scratch for 30 years.

I have LONG avoided buying every new thing out with his name on it, but in my careful experience, I think this is the best new thing he has done since ''Time Boom x De Devil Dead'' with Adrian Sherwood circa 1990.

The Orb have concocted fabulous grooves here. This disc is NOT for dub purists....but if you know your Kraftwerk from your Cabaret Voltaire, you will love the throbbing backdrops afford the crazy old bastard here.

It's essentially his typically amusing observations thrust into a chamber of Trans-Europe Express / Slugging For Jesus style industrial beats.

It's really very good. DON'T go expecting a Black Ark style production, you will not find one.

Love the track where Perry is asked to describe the sky of his formative years - they are obviously desperately hoping he will utter the phrase ''Little Fluffy Clouds'', the signature classic of The (early) Orb. He comes close!

It's different. It's not the same old Scratch chanting down Babylon to diminishing returns with ''reggae'' backdrops no longer fit to light his chalice.

I highly recommend it, especially to fellow roots-reggae lovers who also dig Krautrock and early industrial sounds circa the peak years of Suicide, Cabs, etc....

Perry is chanting to a different set of rhythms here, and it works very well.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars turnips 12 Mar 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
a bleeding big feild of loverly luscious turnips good for me good for you and all the animals too TURNIPS !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neither Ambient or Dub 3 Nov 2012
Format:Audio CD
i didn't know what to expect of this collaboration - if you're buying it expecting Lee Scratch Perry to be doing a pure dub album - you might be disappointed - i love dub reggae - but this was never going to be the Upsetters new solo album - it's a collaboration of two different styles - not to everyones taste i'd guess - but it's not that bad (what's with the one star reviews) - and fair play to the upsetter - he's still experimenting - and getting people talking about him - at the grand old age of 76 - you want Police and Thieves - you've got it on this album - not the classic Junior Murvin or even Clash versions - but a version - and what is more dub than a version - ambient fans and dub fans approach with caution - music fans jump on in
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ambient 1 Aug 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I love the Orb but this album did not really have any stand out tracks for me.
Lee "Scratch" Perry is obviously a big influence on Alex Patterson but like his other collaberation with Dave Gilmour it seems to me he is indulging himself by working with his heroes but releasing albums that subsequently aren't really that good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Blissful Listen 3 Aug 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
In love with this sound, combined Orb and Perry on a hot summer day is irresistible. Cheering on a cold winter day, listenable limitless times.
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5.0 out of 5 stars cool 10 July 2013
By bert
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
a good collaboration, rather orb and modern perry like! i think it works well, and i enjoy some of these tracks a lot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant! 8 July 2013
By man
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a great album, an excellent collaboration without a bad track on it, the Orb's music is superb as always and Lee Perry's voice is wonderful, I love the things he talks about and the way he talks about them.
If you like either of these artists then you'll like this album, deep dubby and funny at times too.
I don't like the packaging, it's one of those irritating environmentally friendly sleeves where you have no protection for the disc and have trouble removing it without touching the surface of the cd, but I'm not marking the music down for that.
I've had to buy a pile of proper plastic pvc cd wallets in order to combat the scourge of environmentally friendly cd packages as it seems more and more artists are producing these horrid sleeves, if only they provided a soft inner sleeve to protect the disc it would be fine.
Anyway The Orb are brilliant and so is Mr Perry, buy this cd quick and the other one too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Kinda of Thing 23 April 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Have liked the orb for years, but have listened to little of LSP. Put the CD on, put my feet up and continued to read a rivertingly good book. I stopped reading, turned the volume up and chilled outtttttttt.
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