Alex Patterson of the Orb performs at Coachella 2009.
The Orb is coming and you better be prepared!
The Orb began their mission 25 years ago in the height of the rave phenomenon that took place during the early '90s in the UK. Alex Patterson is at the core of the Orb, with a rotating cast of people coming and going.
The group is more closely associated with the "chill out" rooms that most big raves had, as opposed to the dance floor. They created a sound that became known as ambient house and is largely influenced by Brian Eno and Kraftwerk. A "chill out" room was typically where people went to come down from whatever their party favor of choice was, and the Orb was the soundtrack, among other artists like Aphex Twin, the KLF, Seefeel and the Future Sound of London. These were trippy environments with lights and psychedelia-inspired visuals. In fact, the Orb was even once referred to as the "Pink Floyd of the '90s."
"Little Fluffy Clouds" is a seminal track to check out of the Orb's and features a sample of Rickie Lee Jones recalling memories of her childhood. Jones wasn't too happy with that, and a settlement was eventually reached out of court. The group started with digital audio tape machines set up for "live" mixing, eventually making he move to digital media as the technology evolved. The visuals have always been important, from album covers to the "live" show. In recent years the Orb has worked with David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and the legendary dub selector Lee "Scratch" Perry.
Fun fact: The Orb have the record for the longest single ever to reach the UK charts -- "Blue Room" clocks in at almost 40 minutes.
This is heady stuff, not the EDM familiar to contemporary fans. The Orb incorporate a dub sound at times but don't dare call it dub step or I will slap you in the face. For the kids of today going to the big EDM clubs and festivals: Come see where it all began. If you can't pay resect to the artists that blazed the trail, what good are you?
The Orb with Nostalghia: Friday, Sept. 20, Porter's Pub at UCSD, 8 p.m.
Tim Pyles, a longtime local who grew up in La Jolla, is the unofficial mayor of local music who hosts The Local 94/9 via FM94/9 every Sunday from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. He also books local acts at the Casbah, hosts the weekly Anti-Monday League, books/hosts the monthly Maryjane's Underground at the House Of Blues and is an entertainment writer for Pacific San Diego Magazine. Check out his website thelocalpyle.com and and follow him on Twitter @thelocalpyle. You can reach him directly here email@example.com