Sans floating pig, the Orb will return to America next month for their first Stateside performances in four years.
The Orb, fronted since their 1988 inception by the eccentric Alex Paterson, have staked a claim as one of electronic music's most accomplished live acts, a reputation birthed from legendary early-'90s shows that took the vibe of ambient "chill-out" rooms of raves and clubs and transformed it into an all-encompassing sensory experience. Some events even featured a giant porcine creature floating over the audience in an ode to Pink Floyd performances of yore.
Starting April 12 in the northern Miami suburb of Boynton Beach, Florida, the Orb will play 12 dates in support of their latest album, Cydonia, which was released February 27.
Paterson said in a recent interview that he will be joined on the tour by longtime Orb family members Simon Philips, Witchman (born John Roome) and Fil LeGonidec, a former Killing Joke member who also records as Autolump with partner Pantoes Relax.
"We can morph into four or five different bands between us," Paterson explained, referring to the myriad side projects he's worked on over the years. "We can be the Orb, Witchman can be Witchman, Witchman and me can be Multiverse, me and Simon can be Prayer Box, and Fil, our roadie, can also be Autolump."
As always, the upcoming Orb shows promise to be out of the ordinary.
"The intention is we can play a couple of sets before the Orb comes on," Paterson said, " and play newer material that no one's ever heard."
He hinted that a few songs from the next Orb album, recorded in the last six months, will likely be sprinkled in among the sets. (Cydonia was completed two years before its release, but was delayed due to record-label mergers.)
The shows will be a promotional double-whammy for Paterson, who will be releasing the first three singles on his innovative new Internet label, Bad Orb, on March 25, including an Autolump 12-inch. Each month the label (www.badorb.com) will present three new singles, which will be pressed according to how many orders are made for each, and then deleted. The other artists releasing tracks March 25 are Ayumi Hamasaki and S.E. Berlin, an alias of the German techno duo Sun Electric.
The Orb tour dates, according to their publicist:
- 4/12 - Boynton Beach, FL @ Orbit
- 4/13 - Tampa, FL @ Masquerade
- 4/14 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
- 4/17 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
- 4/18 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
- 4/19 - Boston, MA @ Avalon Ballroom
- 4/21 - Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew's Hall
- 4/22 - Toronto, ON @ Guvernment
- 4/23 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
- 4/24 - Lawrence, KS @ Granada
- 4/25 - Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
- 4/27 - San Francisco, CA @ Maritime Hall