I’ve always been a big fan of music. I started collecting vinyl a few years ago after I sold my 1500 CD collection, piece by piece, for money to buy smack. I figure that I’d never get an offer great enough to want to part with my vinyl as there’s really not too many folks buying it for the price at I’d be willing to part with mine at. Living in Idaho is a real bitch; there’s one independent record shop here and they may as well be some CD shop in the mall when it comes to my tastes. Even the vinyl is trendy and way overpriced.
So my vinyl collection was purchased, for the most part, in Portland, OR., plus about a hundred or so I shopped for individually on eBay and other sites. I bought a Timothy Leary & Jimi Hendrix album last year for a few hundred dollars with my pride and joy being a limited edition copy of Richard James’ Selected Ambient Works II (Aphex Twin’s first big break.)
My favorite band, hands down and no questions asked is the Orb. I’ve got just about everything they’ve ever released both on vinyl and on CD. I’ve also got a 40gb collection of live shows and rare recordings, plus a few DVD and mpg files of trippy, orby visuals. The last time I saw them play live was in Portland at a club called the Halocene. I caught Thomas Fehlmann just a couple of weeks after hearing Plaid play – both fantastic artists and a perfect venue.
So the Orb started this record label a few years back called ‘BadOrb‘. Signing on various orbish artists, they released a new record at the mark of every new month in accordance with the Native American lunar calendar. Each release would only be pressed to the amount of copies pre-ordered from the site. The record would then ship with a signed certificate, dating the release and number, specifically pressed for the buyer. Unfortunately, BadOrb and its novelty didn’t do as well as I would’ve liked. They eventually closed the site due to some kind of money reason or another and released a final compilation of BadOrb works entitled ‘Bless You’.
Also during this time, Alex Paterson, the front man of the band, was doing these weekly live DJ sets on the now defunct site, Groovetech. During these three-hour ‘Thursday Teatime’ sets (all of which I recorded and archived, of course), Paterson would come up with these brilliant mixes of his work, samples, classics, and even unreleased material. Plus, Groovetech had set locations in London, Seattle, and San Francisco, all of which were equipped with the latest and greatest studio gear (including the Allen & Heath XONE 464, plus webcams so each DJ could be both seen and heard. At some point during this time, I managed to somehow get the email address of an Orb band manager, Claire. I would occasionally bug Claire and ask her if she could forward me on a track listing or identify a song or two. She would usually oblige and ask Paterson this question or that, and through her he would get back to me with the titles of certain tracks (which I would immediately head out and purchase.) Occasionally, a track or two would be an unreleased or soon-to-be-release Orb track – I would have to wait.
All good things must come to an end, and so they did with both BadOrb and Groovetech. The Orb went on to release another album, Bicycles & Tricycles, and my personal thoughts were that it really wasn’t all that great. Some of the tracks were ok, but it just wasn’t there. One of the tracks I was waiting for was on the album, but not the few I had wanted to hear and hadn’t since the Thursday Teatime sets.
So a few weeks ago when I heard about the release of OrbSessions, I was hoping that maybe Paterson would take a few steps back toward his earlier Orb days, and come up with an excellent medium between old and new. With a few short samples on BoomKat, I’m hopeful that I’m going to finally get to listen to at least some of those tracks that I’ve been waiting on for so long. And, with the title of the album being ‘Volume One’, perhaps I’ll catch the rest on volume two?
My 2lp clear vinyl copy is ordered and should be here any day. If you’re a fan of electronic music of any kind, by all means, check it out… (Plus, don’t forget to check out the new Boards of Canada album, The Campfire Headphase)