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on 12 September 2012
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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on 3 November 2012
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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on 16 February 2013
This album for me is one of the most important I've come across in a while, breaking new ground both in terms of dub reggae and The Orb's more traditional ambient material. It's seriously dancey with hard-edged, bass-heavy grooves all the way through, and the palette of industrial-type sounds and atmospheres is incredibly rich and dark (in a good way). It's dub for sure, but dub with seriously deep house overtones. Couple that with The Orb's uncanny knack of chucking in superb little slivers of audio oddity every once in a while, and you're off to a great start. Then add Lee Scratch Perry's brilliantly off-the-wall, blown-out proclamations and "orbservations" (pardon the pun), and you've got an album which will make you smile as you bounce around your living room (or wherever you're listening) in a blissed-out state. You'll soon be singing along with LSP: "I am the man in the moon..." Top rankin' indeed!!
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on 12 March 2013
a bleeding big feild of loverly luscious turnips good for me good for you and all the animals too TURNIPS !
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on 6 September 2015
The Orb doing their Kompakt dub and techno minimalism thing again, this time with the added bonus of a true legend on vocals.

This is a strange beast - it feels like it was put together for the lark, with nothing in the way of any truly classic tracks. It's a summery album, but in some way almost too focussed to be listened to at a party. It's head music, but seems to kind of want you to dance to it. It's jolly happy to be working with series dub legend Lee Scratch Perry, but it's even happier to let him arse around on it.

Make no mistake, this IS a strange beast. Pros - it's fun, the instrumentation is crisp and the bass is DEEP. Despite apparently limited tools to hand, the Orb boys make each track sound unique. It's well sequenced, and the mix is clear. It SOUNDS good. And Perry's whacked out madman ramblings are good for a giggle.

Cons - it's not really FOR anyone. The Orb aren't really stretching any boundries here to accomadate their guest star. They're just doing that Kompakt thing they do; cold, teutonic splashes and straightforward minimalist beats. It's not exactly earth-shattering. Lee Scratch Perry doesn't sound particularly good on this either. He sounds like a frail and weak old man, someone's insane grandfather who has been wheeled out into a recording studio by his giggling grandkids and told to say whatever comes to mind. Again, it sounds like it was done for a lark, with none of Perry's particular brand of political ire, or The Orb's way of working around a sampler. There's no edge.

I still like this, but I'm not sure why. I think it's because it's fun, it's three old men having a giggle together and releasing the results. Is this cheeky? Probably, but then isn't what these three old fellas are known for?
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on 23 April 2013
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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on 3 August 2013
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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on 10 November 2012
Have been a fan of Lee Perry for years, more so the Black Ark studio days. Back in the early 90s got "In the secret laboratory" produced by Adrian Sherwood, great album but started to think he had seriously lost it. After much trepidation got The Observer in The Star House. Good dub heavy backing from The Orb and stream of consciousness lyrics from Scratch. The guy is 75 and still touring. Him no crazy.
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on 5 September 2012
I could not differ more wildly from the previous five star reviewer. I say this with truly a deeply heavy, heavy heart.

This disc is one of the most disappointing things I've spent £10 on for a long time. Having been jolly excited about the whole premise since I first got wind of it, I've now listened to it twice and tried my hardest to pluck one thing to like about it.

On the face of it it's a dream combination. The good Doctor and Scratch... together at last. Towers of Dub meets the Super Ape. What could go wrong?


If like me you're buying this on the strength of a love for tunes like Towers of Dub, Tower 23 or conversely Dread Lion or Enter the Dragon and your mouth is watering at the whole damn prospect of them gloriously meshing... you're in for a major shock.

What you're served up is 11 tracks of absolute mediocre unimaginatively drum machined boredom... with Lee Perry rambling over the top. Now, I should say I am a great fan of Scratch Perry and equally I have been a great fan of the Orb since my raving days when Adventures beyond the Ultraworld first dropped. Both artists have produced sublime moments through their careers so it's remarkably perplexing that together, they can produce something that is just so very flat, hollow and... well, lazy.

I've not been a big fan of Scratch's latest releases, soft, almost pop synth "reggae" with his increasingly eccentric ramblings stamped over it. If you liked his release from last year "Rise Again", you may like this... I didn't and I don't.
Bearing in mind Alex Paterson's absolutely scorching Trojan collection - I'll Be Black (if you haven't got it... GET IT!) it's obvious he has a deep understanding of reggae and dub - so I just can't figure out what this LP is all about. The pared back style is totally devoid of feeling and.. well, feeling. It's a synthetic procession of dull drum patterns - all filler and no killer I'm afraid.

Perhaps The Orb have been too reverential in working with one of the greats in letting him take centre stage to such a large degree. I know not - the most frustrating thing is knowing just how bloody great these guys can be. This would have been a truly incredible collab if you'd taken Alex Paterson circa U.F.O.R.B and thrown him in a studio with Scratch circa Super Ape.

By all means give it a whirl but I for one feel desperately short changed by this and can only day dream at what could've been. Sorry Alex and sorry Lee.
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on 7 September 2012
Guess this is a love it or hate it type of album? Not a weak track on here thanks to Lee Scratch Perry's unique music style that makes an already great album, sound awesome. Lots of variety and originality is found here, unlike much of the music that's around in the charts today. Can't decide on a best/favorite track as they all sound great.
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