Critical Care

June 23rd 2008 sees the re-release of a salvo of Orb albums through Universal Catalogue. All four albums, Pomme Fritz, Orbus Terrarum, Orblivion & Cydonia were all originally released on Island Records.

All four albums come as 2-CD packages and include fully re-mastered versions of the original albums, deluxe, expanded packaging with sleeve notes from Kris Needs plus rare and previously unreleased mixes from the period of the original album releases.

Released in July 1994, Pomme Fritz was the bands first album for Island Records having released their first two albums for Big Life. By now something of a ‘household name’ thanks to the success of 2nd album U.F.Orb, Pomme Fritz, sub-titled The Orb’s Little Album, came as something of a shock to fans and critics alike. At 41 minutes it was, in Orb terms, something of a sprint and following the almost ‘pop’ sensibility of tracks such as Perpetual Dawn & Little Fluffy Clouds the disjointed, dissonance of Pomme Fritz was at odds to what had gone before, yet with hindsight Orb leader Alex Paterson see the album in terms of wiping the slate clean in order to begin again.

1995 saw the release of Orbus Terrarum, an album many Orb officianados see as something of a lost classic. The last album to feature Kris ‘Thrash’ Weston (who would be replaced with Andy Hughes), it still baffled many UK critics who were, at the time, in thrall to the prevailing flavour du jour of Britpop, yet it proved to be the bands biggest success in the U.S. More organic and straight-forward than its predecessor only one single, Oxbox Lakes was lifted from the album.

2 years later in 1996 and the Orb would return with Orbilivion, an album that would see them return to the commercial success they had achieved with their first two albums and spawn what was to be their biggest single to date. Now primarily Paterson & Hughes, the Orb scored their 1st top 5 single with Toxygene the first single to be lifted from the album. Starting life as a rejected remix of the Jean Michel Jarre track Oxygene (turned down as it bore no resemblance to the original) the single reached number 4 in January of 1996. The album saw the band re-capture some critical ground as reviews celebrated the long-player as something of a ‘return to form’.

Despite the various corporate reshuffles at the Orb’s label, Cydonia, the final album for Island, finally emerged in 2001. Recorded in 1999, the album played to the Orb’s strengths. Moments of bass heavy ambience, recalling the heady days of the early 90’s sat alongside ‘pop’ moments such as the first single from the album, Once More. Soon after its release the band parted company with the label, following a final ‘greatest hits’ complilation U.F.Off and a legendary show at the Royal Albert Hall.


Essentially the brainchild of Alex Paterson, the Orb sprang forth from the punk rock ethos of ‘anything-goes’. Initially working with Killing Joke’s Youth and KLF-er Jimmy Cauty and inspired by New York mix-tapes from the likes of Shep Pettibone, the Orb’s initial game plan was to operate outside any restrictive notion of genre by utilising anything from dub to punk to abstract electronic bleeps and blips. The mentality, which spawned the Orb, stemmed from having a laugh but being deadly serious about amazing music of whatever strain or period.

With the advent of acid-house in 1988 their ambient workings and DJ sets, which straddled the gaps between the ambience of Eno & White Noise, early house tracks and the wide-screen space of classic dub, saw them much in demand in the capitals nascent club-scene. Providing back-room entertainment at legendary bashes such as Trancentral and Land of Oz the early incarnation of the Orb soon gained a reputation for something different in a world where the 4/4 beat ruled supreme.

It wasn’t long before their formative ideas made it to vinyl and early releases such as A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Ultraworld and Little Fluffy Clouds became acclaimed as defining a genre that would be loosely referred to as ‘ambient-house’.

Their debut album, The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld, released in 1991 established them as one of the UK’s most innovative and expansive electronic bands; a deeply textured album of other-worldly sounds and subtle beats it was widely hailed as unique and highly original record.

The following year, 1992, saw the release of arguably their ‘piece de la resistance’ U.F.Orb which saw them really capture the spirit of the time: rumbling bass heavy moments in dub, dis-jointed snippets of sound, abstract beats and dialogue segments from long-forgotten counter-culture films. It reached number one upon release, the first album by a British electronic / dance act to do so and went on to become one of the definitive electronic releases of the period.

20-years after acid-house first exploded it’s easy to forget how pioneering artists such as the Orb really were. They took the DIY ethos of punk and fused it with a sense of musical exploration afforded by the explosion of electronic music and created a sound that was unique and something that would spawn a slew of imitators.

Alex would continue to record as the Orb putting out albums that continued to explore beyond the norm and became a much in-demand collaborator / remixer working with the likes of Primal Scream who all appreciated the pranksters one-off, devil-may-care musical abilities.

The full tracklisting of the albums are as follows:

Pomme Fritz

Disc 1 (original album)

Pomme Fritz (Meat ‘n’ Veg)

More Gills Less Fish Cakes

We’re Pastie To Be Grill You

Bang ‘Er ‘N’ Chips

Alles Ist Schoen

His Immortal Logness

Disc 2 (Remixes)

Sausage Tats Mit Gravy (Dom Mix no.1)

Star Twister (Pomme Fritz & Apple Sauce Mix)

Potato Fields Of Electric Gliding Blue (Ambient Mix)

Eastern Hot Dogs In Gardens Of Dub (Lx Mix)

Wrapped With Salt & Vinegar (Thomas Fehlmann Mix)

Orbus Terrarum

Disc 1 (original album)



Oxbox Lakes

Montagne D’or (Der Gute Berg)

White River Junction


Slug Dub

Disc 2 (Remixes)

Plateau (All Hands On Deck Mix – 2am)

Slug Dub (Dumpy Dub)

Valley (Mix 3 Dubby)

White River Junction (Zoom Vinegar Mix)

Oxbox Lakes (Andy’s Space Mix)

Peace Pudding (Occidental)


Disc 1 (original album)

Delta Mk II




Molten Love

Pi – Part One



Log Of Deadwood


Passing Of Time


Disc 2 (remixes)

Delta Mk II (Love Bites Mix)

Bedouin (The Sheiks Film Mix)

Log Of Deadwood (Implanting Machines Mix)

Secrets (I Love A Woman In Uniform Mix)

Passing Of Time (Ambient Mix)

Molten Love (Orbits Of Venus Mix)

S.A.L.T. (Snow Mix)

Toxygene (Kris Needs Up For A Fortnight Mix)

Asylum (Soul Catcher Mix)


Disc 1 (original album)

Once More



Turn It Down



A Mile Long Lump Of Lard


Plum Island

Hamlet Of Kings


Edm – The Blackhole Mix

Thursday’s Keeper


Disc 2 (remixes)

Centuries (Europhen Mix)

Ghostdancing (version)

Hamlet Of Kings (version)

Firestar (Front Bits)

Centuries (Wine, Woman & King Mix)

Once More (Scourge Of The Earth Mix)

Plum Island (Flat Mix)

Promis (Version)

Once More (Bedrock Edit 2)

Turn It Down (Long Version)

Terminus (Andy’s Mix)

For further information contact:
Steve Phillips
Coalition PR 0208 987 0123

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