Record of the Week

The Orb „Moonbuilding 2703 AD“


The Orb
„Moonbuilding 2703 AD“ (Kompakt)

Thomas Fehlmann und Alex Paterson have been producing together since the early 90s as The Orb. Now they knew to astound even before the release of their record, with the “MOONBUILDING 2703 AD Meltdown Edit”, in which they compress the whole album into about 5 minutes. What a megalomaniacly ambitious idea – and even more megalomaniac is that it works.

This remix in a time-lapse does reveal a lot. One the one hand that Fehlmann and Paterson are able to expand time into the infinite, just like the genres that The Orb are feeling close to, like Psych, Ambient, and Dub. They are so good at it, that they can even reverse the process. All the songs (three of four are around 14 minutes long, the “short” one is still nine minutes long) are combined by their epic character and the abundance of stimuli (in form of break-beats, hip-hop-vibes and tonal effects) with which they pester the very relaxed subjacent mood. Aside from this it is shown that they share a fundamental mood- and sound-repertoire. You could call it the Orbian values- and demeanor-cosmos. Or in other words: The Orb are representing an electronic attitude to life. An attitude to life that is committed to the here and now, even if in the ending of the hypnotic opener “God’s Mirror Ball” the vinyl crackles like crazy, in the digital version as well. An easygoing joke, which they can get away with, especially since Thomas Fehlmann is representing a neverending exploration into the field of electronic music.

The 2005 comeback “ Okie Dokie It’s The Orb On Kompakt” did already have this up-to-date-feeling and now you can feel it even more. The textures that these two exceptional producers lose and retrieve themselves in on and on are in the best sense timeless: relicts and precursors, artifacts and documents, traces and forms of expression likewise. How they can do that? A big enigma. And a wonderful one.



Translation: Denise Oemcke

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