New Doc Tells the Story of Pioneering Electronic Group The Orb
The Orb first began releasing electronic music just as the raves were beginning to surge throughout Europe and the US in the early 1990s. Now the pioneers are the subject of a brand new documentary titled Lunar Orbit.This article originally appeared on The Creators Project
If you were listening to electronic music back in the 1990s, then you were no doubt a fan of The Orb, the musical duo comprising Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann.
The band's debut album was The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld, which kicks off with "Little Fluffy Clouds," an ambient classic with its instantly recognizible sample from Rickie Lee Jones talking about the dreamy skies of her childhood in Arizona (they even did a great spoof with comedian Simon Munnery called "Grey Clouds" about the much more dreary skies of Watford, UK).
Then, with an airplane soaring off it segues into "Earth (Gaia)" which merges Ming the Merciless' Flash Gordon quotes with doom-laden bible soothsaying and rich ambient sounds—and so begins a near-two hour progressive journey that doesn't do a disservice to the title. It was the first introduction in album form to a group who have seen numerous members over the years. The Orb's one constant was Alex Paterson, a former roadie for Killing Joke who used to DJ along with fellow Orb founder, the KLF's Jimmy Cauty, in the chillout room at Paul Oakenfield's Land of Oz acid house club night at Heaven in London, playing Brian Eno and Pink Floyd to people who loved up (or coming down) on ecstasy.
A new documentary, called Lunar Orbit, having its London premiere at the Doc 'n Roll Film Festival, takes a look at these pioneers of ambient music and the processes and stories behind their sound. The doc is directed by Patrick Buchanan who has been a fan of the group since the mid-90s.