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The Orb go back to theirs

In the late Eighties and early Nineties the chill-out room was a place filled with ambient music, cushions and spliffs designed to give wide-eyed clubbers the chance to escape the four-to-the-floor gurning madness of the dance floor without losing the high. In 1991 The Orb provided the sound track for the ‘everyone back to mine’ generation with their album The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld. Featuring the inspired and ground-breaking sample of Minnie Ripperton’s ‘Loving you’ and the lawn-mower sounds of ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ Alex Paterson and his various cohorts set the scene for the growth of a musical world often dreamt of but never realised.

It’s not before time then that the man credited with giving birth to the “back to mine” philosophy has been invited by DMC to compile the latest in their “Back To Mine” excursions. Somewhat awestruck, having seen The Orb on several occasions dating back over a decade ago, I caught up with Alex while he caught up with the week’s laundry.

Few would deny Dr Paterson’s eclectic tastes and on this CD he mesmerising sticks to the “if the shoe fits” experimental philosophy championed by The Orb all those years ago. The mix starts out with one of Aphex Twin’s most memorable moments “Polynomial,” As Alex points out “Would you let your daughter near this man?” and this track sets the scene for an hour’s atmospheric journey into the ever surprising but always inspiring world of true chill.

There’s a few surprises as well with entries from the Chi-Lites’ and their classic, “Have You Seen Her?” (1971) and Electric Chair’s very listenable and ultra minimal take on Aqua’s 1997 hit, “Barbie Girl”. “Badorb.com got a letter from Wayne County regarding the name, but did you know that Detroit’s international airport is called “Wayne County”. It makes you fink innit?” he tells me. Track 8 finds us in cherry-pie territory with Julee Cruise’s “Falling,” of “Twin Peaks” fame. “I luv Twin Peaks. Most people I know loved to fall into this song.” Another cup of coffee over here please. True to form as with many artist mix cds there’s also an unabashed showcase of material by The Orb and his various collaborators featured here including Thomas Fehlmann’s “I Wanna Be A Fishy” and new Orb track “The Land of Green Ginger”.

“I guess this CD is giving me the chance to let everyone know what The Orb is up to” he admits. No matter, what’s dished up here is what I suspect you’d find Alex slipping into the cd player at 3am after a night on the tiles. If this is the case we can only wait in anticipation for The Orb’s new long player “Bicycles and Tricycles” which has just been completed. “I’ve got a stack of the finished cds sitting here staring at me” so fingers crossed we’ll be hearing it soon. “We’re hoping to get to New Zealand around May so we should fit in Australia at the same time”. Not before time..

Back To Mine mixed by Alex Paterson from The Orb is out now from DMC.