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A strange beast, not quite Orby and not quite Perry
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?