As pioneering dance producers, the Orb symbolizes a sound that preceded, as well as overrode, most electronic music. Fifteen years after the group's inception, this album finds central figure Alex Patterson gathering the largest cast of Orb collaborators ever -- some familiar (Jimmy Cauty, Thomas Fehlmann) and some foreign (the Corpral, Soom-T). The latter two are MCs who bring a fresh dimension to the Orb's primarily dubbed-out soundscapes on "Aftermath" and "Prime Evil"; although previously untraversed Orb territory, these voices blend into the usual low-down bass waves and hollow beats. Elsewhere, B&T clings to the familiar Orb-esque hallucinogenic, pulsating rhythms, but also explores other undiscovered countries, such as "Gee Strings," where things get quite upbeat and house-y. But the gist of the Orb -- that is, spacious, dub-sprung, deep collages like "Hell's Kitchen" -- are still this swan song's main attraction.
Culture Spy - February 19, 1:45 PM
Seven Days - February 18, 5:00 PM
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What the Fork - February 15, 2:00 PM