sorted magazine - issue 2

| features
| albums
| concerts
| what's on
| back issues
| about sorted
| contact us
| links |

Ball-room blissed,
The Orb, Olympia Theatre, 17th March

The Orb deal in sound like no other. The Olympia show was more of a multi-media event than a concert, with images projected on side and ceiling canvasses, and Alex Patterson and co. entrenched in a pyramid centre-stage. After Andy Weatheralls dance orgy, the Orbs unique collage of sound is a revelation. Cue: kaleidoscopes, psychedelics and melting heads floating on the walls. Cue: noises ripped from the very fabric of our society, spliced together with a techno-trance undercurrent.

The Orbs juxtaposition of sounds is always intelligently thought out, always conveying a story in its use of rhythm and samples in a way which touches the nerves of ones consciousness. This can be blatant, as in the star of Ken Loachs film Naked heralding the dawn of the apocalypse over images of McDonalds and barcodes (And nothing shall be bought or sold without it, and its number shall be 666, the number of the beast.) or just fucked-up, as Alex Patterson takes us through a dislocated history of music, weaving samples of blues, country and Indian music into a twisted ambient framework. Its not always easy listening. Indeed, for a while it was obvious the Orb were just playing with the crowd, but without pushing the limits of what one can endure there can be no progress in music.

After dipping into Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld, the ambulance image and siren signals the start of current single Toxygene and of rave-crazy pandemonium. From here on in its happy hardcore, although with a touch of genius, until the Orb leave the stage far too early and fail to return for a much desired second set.

by Niall Byrne