Orbserver in the Star House unboxing
Two years ago we saw The Orb jamming along with Pink Floyd‘s David Gilmour. The results were showcased on the splendid full length Metallic Spheres. It’s interesting to see a chill-out group end up working with members of the band whose album covers they parodied. Clearly the Floyd were a big inspiration for The Orb crew. Recently Alex Patterson has taken this collaborative approach again with the Orbserver in the Star House, which features dub reggae founder Lee Scratch Perry. Perry needs no introduction, but hit that hyperlink for history, this guy’s been cutting records since the 1950s, and has produced records for artists such as Bob Marley, Jah Wobble, the Heptones, and the Congos. An unusually strong marketing campaign (for the Orb anyway) ramped up to the release of the album on September 3rd, 2012, including a competition where ten lucky winners were invited to attend the event with Alex Paterson creating the hand-signed artwork included with the special editions of the record. Several different editions were issued, and all were available to pre-order direct from The Orb’s website. This unboxing concerns the Deluxe CD / 7″ box, which was limited to 1,000 copies. It contains:
Standard album CD in cardboard gatefold slipcase
Bonus CD with instrumental versions of the entire album (+ slipcase)
Three colored 7″ singles (green, yellow, & black)
Two 7″ art prints
Digital version of the album (320 mp3)
Autographed & numbered piece of art made by Alex Peterson.
Paterson’s longtime Orb collaborator, Thomas Fehlmann, was present during the creation of the album (sometimes he isn’t) and Tobias Freund (previously mentioned here) also helped out with engineering the project. Although this is more of an unboxing rather than a proper audio review, I will say that this is easily The Orb’s most vocal centric album yet. And somehow this very vocal album still manages to sound very Orb-esque, with plenty of references to their own back catalog.
There are videos for a few of the songs featured on the album, watch the videos to Hold Me Upsetter and Golden Clouds (Perry’s cover version of the Orb’s early hit “Little Fluffy Clouds“) on YouTube. Another notable track included on this release is Perry’s own interpretation of “Police & Thieves” which he co-created with Junior Murvin in a single day at Black Ark Studio back in 1976. This song was popularized by The Clash who covered the song in punk-reggae style, much to Murvin’s dismay. Watch the full unboxing video, and check out this recent interview with Perry in the Village Voice.