Even at the slow end, dance culture moves quickly. The chill-out boom has done little to
change The Orb‘s marginal status, and this rum collection of remixes seems unlikely
to change that. The Orb may have been the mid-point between
Tangerine Dream and
Lemon Jelly, but nobody’s going to be lured
in by the prospect of their ambient Cranberries overhaul.
Versions of the KLF‘s ‘3am Eternal’ and
Primal Scream‘s ‘Higher Than The Sun’ make
for an enticing opening gambit, but the Robbie Williams collaboration is beyond a
joke. That’s the problem with The Orb: mainman Dr Alex Paterson
always seems determined to sabotage his majestic soundscapes with his penchant
for irritatingly zany humour.
While something of a period piece, however, this record isn’t entirely incompatible
with contemporary chilling. The simplicity of the formula guides The Orb close to
sensory-deprivation timelessness. Synth pulses echoing into a dubbed-out infinity
don’t really go out of date.