The Orb

The Orb are an English electronic music group founded in 1988 by Alex Paterson and Jimmy Cauty. Known for their psychedelic sound, the Orb developed a cult following among clubbers “coming down” from drug-induced highs. Their influential 1991 debut album The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld pioneered the UK’s nascent ambient house movement, while its UK chart-topping follow-up U.F.Orb represented the group’s commercial peak.Beginning as ambient and dub DJs in London, the Orb’s early performances were inspired by electronic artists of the 1970s, most notably Brian Eno, Cluster, and Kraftwerk. The Orb have maintained their signature science fiction aesthetic despite numerous personnel changes, including the departure of Cauty and members Kris Weston, Andy Falconer, Simon Phillips, Nick Burton, and Andy Hughes. Paterson has been the only permanent member, continuing to work as the Orb with Swiss-German producer Thomas Fehlmann, and later, with Martin “Youth” Glover, bassist of Killing Joke. Paterson’s unauthorised use of other artists’ works has led to multiple disputes, most notably with Rickie Lee Jones.During their live shows in the 1990s, the Orb performed using digital audio tape machines optimised for live mixing and sampling before switching to laptops and other digital media. Featuring colourful light shows and psychedelic imagery, their performances often incited comparisons to Pink Floyd, whose guitarist, David Gilmour, later collaborated with them on the album Metallic Spheres in 2010.

Their seventeenth studio album, Prism, was released on 28 April 2023 by Cooking Vinyl.

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