The Orb

Cooking Vinyl, 2018


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Founded by Alex Paterson in 1988, The Orb has proved themselves to be one of the longest running and most influential electronic outfits in the area of ambient sounds. On this 15th album, they continue their adventurous house sounds with contributions from Roger Eno, Guy Pratt, and Jah Wobble, among others.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“The End Of The End” starts the listen with electronic manipulation, bass acrobatics, and soaring female vocals from Emma Gillespie, where modern pop ideas meet nostalgic soulfulness. “Wish I Had A Pretty Dog” follows with a hazy atmosphere, strong beat, and skittering electronica with plenty of effects.

The album title stands for No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds, and that pretty much sums up the affair. “Rush Hill Road” delivers dance rock friendly melodica and reggae with Hollie Cook and Brother Culture, while “Other Blue Words” recruits tribal-like percussion for a meditative and sonic exploration.

Near the end, “Easy On The Onions,” with Roger Eno's piano prowess, elicits a dub-influenced template for one of the album's best, and “Soul Planet” fills up the entire Side D (this is a double album, 70+ minutes) with a 15 minute closer. Though it starts out ethereal with a wispy dynamic, it can occasionally get sparse enough to just be distant vocals from Mary Pearce, but further on it finds its way into a spacey groove and dense beat that bursts into club fueled sounds.

Partly taking definite nods to their early days in the '90s and partly forging new artistic ground, NSAOOB unfolds with abstract, experimental and highly focused songwriting, where genre skipping is abundant in Paterson's unique, unclassifiable vision. While some tracks are so full of pop sensibilities they would appeal to a mainstream audience, others are so iconoclastic that only the most open of minds will truly appreciate the creative genius.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2019 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Cooking Vinyl, and is used for informational purposes only.