Published Jun 21, 2012The Orb left us with the out-of-this-world Metallic Spheres collaboration with Pink Floyd's David Gilmour in 2010, and the English electronic music vets are keeping things quirky with news of their latest team-up, which finds them joining forces with reggae pioneer Lee Scratch Perry.
The Orb have a recorded a full-length with Perry called THE ORBSERVER in the star house, and it will be issued August 28 through the End Records.
While a tracklisting hasn't popped up in full, the set was reportedly recorded a few months back in Berlin. It apparently features "stripped-down backdrops" crafted by Orb co-founder Alex Paterson and longtime member Thomas Fehlmann, as well as the characteristic flow of Perry.
But despite the recent jam sessions, the project has apparently been in the works for years, when Paterson DJ'ed a toaster set in Mexico with Lee in 2004.
"I had an amazing time being that close to the great man," Paterson said in a statement. "I played a dub set, Earl 16 was Greg Dread's toaster, Mad Professor had his ladies, then there was the legendary Lee Scratch Perry; he's a genius who expresses the future within the present times of anguish, hope and unity."
Fehlmann, meanwhile, first met Perry during the recording sessions, but felt an immediate kinship with the reggae icon. In turn, the partnership produced much more material than anticipated.
"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," he said, adding "He was constantly active, referring to the tunes we were working on and hitting on bits of wood or stone to create percussion patterns, so we ended up using field recordings of him banging on bits and pieces."
The press release points to Perry's vocals gelling smoothly over bass-heavy dub excursions "Soulman" and "Man in the Moon," while "a funky slide bass-line" drives new number "Thirsty." The trio also tackled some older material. Junior Mervin's "Police and Thieves," which Perry had produced in the '70s, was reworked, as was older Orb cut "Little Fluffy Clouds."
You can get the first taste of THE ORBSERVER in the star house by downloading album cut "Hold Me Upsetter" in the widget below for the price of an email address.