The Orb: No Sounds are Out of Bounds review – Meandering 70-min collection

Fri, Jun 22, 2018, 05:10


No Sounds Are Out of Bounds

The Orb

Cooking Vinyl


To his credit, Orb mainstay Alex Paterson has mixed things up over the past 30 years, incorporating numerous sub-styles and genres into the London group’s trippy electronic incursions.

Alongside his on/off partner-in-crime Thomas Fehlmann, their last two albums for German label Kompakt took a more techno-oriented direction but their 15th studio album is, in Paterson’s words, “more English and less German-sounding”.

It’s also a more collaborative affair, with numerous vocalists (including reggae artist Hollie Cook) and musicians (including Jah Wobble) on board.

That said, those expecting a reinvention will be sorely disappointed, as much of this 70-minute collection meanders and drifts to its detriment.

The poppy dub vibe of Rush Hill Road (featuring the aforementioned Cook) and the laid-back Easy on the Onions are highlights, while the bass-and-sample-heavy Wolfbane sounds like a precursor to Gorillaz.

The subtle politics threaded through these songs (references to war, missiles and social media) may give it a contemporary perspective, but it’s still more likely to appeal to the old guard, rather than galvanise a new generation of fans into investigating their back catalogue.