When we were about 17/18 me and my mates spent loads of time, generally stoned, on LSD or whatever, as high as kites listening to The Orb. They had that ambient dance thing down pat and were the perfect soundtrack to lost afternoons in the park, evening, nights and mornings. Maybe they suited mornings the best. Their live shows at Brixton Academy at the time were pretty special. A massive sound system and memories of them being able to fling the sound round the speakers so you’d have Pope John Paul, or what you thought was Pope John Paul, talking behind you while ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ was kicking away at the front. They were fun times and here’s hoping a thousand people get their minds bent out of shape this Friday when they play the whole of ‘…Ultraworld’ from start to finish.
I always thought ‘Screamdelica’ was a patchy album (just let Weatherall and The Orb produce the whole thing) so for me ‘Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld’ was a much more complete record. A journey from the off. Though saying that we weren’t thinking about music like that at the time. It was all no boundaries, lists and heading off to Soho to see what was new on 12. Anyway, those Orb twelves and albums were in a world of their own. Dubby, spacey, cheeky, slow with a four four beat. The sound of house colliding with German records and a vat full of drugs. There was a point when the music press swooped in and lumped them in with loads of bad (and I mean bad) hippy electronic stuff – the worst end of Club Mega Dog or whatever it was called – but Alex Patterson was always far better than that. Sampling Steve Reich and Rickie Lee Jones in ’89/’90, DJing at Land Of Oz and doing whatever he wanted with a happy grin on his face playing great records. Get high and go.