The Orb have spoken about the influence of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry ahead of their full length collaboration.
In a way, the greatest surprise is that this hasn’t happened before. Ambient godheads, The Orb have long cited Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s voyages into the infinite space of dub as a major inspiration.
Recently hooking up with the reggae icon, the results are gathered on new album ‘The Orb featuring Lee Scratch Perry present THE ORBSERVER in the star house’.
Set to be released on September 3rd, the album is a bizarre, confounding sound-piece which matches The Orb’s mature, layered textures with Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s inimitable toasting and spiritual flair.
Clash recently sent over a few questions to The Orb, probing them on the influence Perry has had on their career.
– – –
Do you remember where you first heard Perry’s music?
Alex: when I was at art college in ‘77 – ‘Super Ape’ by The Upsetter & Jah Lion’s ‘Columbria Colly’.
How influential has it been on you?
Alex: The pioneer of dub is a leg end of the most high and he’s our living prophet…
Had you met before?
Alex: Yes, in Exeter @ The Lime Grove in April ‘04. I had the pleasure of being the support DJ with Mad Professor on the bill too.
Was the process of setting up the collaboration quite intimidating?
Thomas: Just trying to get them to the phone was the difficult enough! The management did a fine job; it took about two years to finally get him in the studio, so well done Mr Mike G!
What did he bring to the project?
Alex: his magic, himself & him righteousness to the most high.
What was it like in the studio? Any funny stories to tell?
Thomas: It started with Lee building this colourful altar facing our mixing desk and once that was fitted, he was on a constant go and our duty was to select from his never-ending stream of improvised lyrics. After the first half hour it was clear that he connected well with our grooves and soon we realized, that dream and reality where coming together nicely for once. Two days into the session he started drawing faces on the stones of our walls in the studio and was always busy suggesting percussion patterns or bass lines once we were in need. It was inspiring to see Lee shooting from all levels and a stark reminder to the old German saying: ‘wer rastet, der rostet’, meaning: “the one who rests, collects rust!”
New cut ‘Golden Clouds’ re-works your classic ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ – why take this step?
Alex: Why not? Plus, it’s not a reworking, it’s a new sound & song. Talk to Spandau Ballet?
Who came up with the album title? What does it mean?
Alex: It means the Orb server @ the Star House. Checking out the skies for incoming beats & rhythms, innit.