Friday, 7 October 2011

The Orb - C Batter C

All a bit quiet from me at the mo... but nothing like a new Orb release to whet the appetite

here's the official word on the matter:
Cat no: MD704
Artist: The Orb
Label: malicious Damage Records
Release date: 11.11.11
Barcode: 5060174952678
Territory: World
Format: CD+60pp Hardback Book+DVD; Download
Distributor: Cargo

1 Battersea Bunches Original Soundtrack, 17m 28s
2 To Battersea With Bunches [HFB remix], 6m 03s
3 Meandering Through The Emerald Turf [Gaudi remix], 5m 09s
4 Brixton Hundreds [David Harrow remix], 4m 39s
5 Latchmere Allotments [Nocturnal Sunshine remix], 4m 02s
6 Red House, Brown Dog [Being remix], 4m 59s
7 Beyond the Legend of the Battersea Asparagus Triangle [Autolump remix], 8m 15s
8 Batter C Bunny's Munching Orbular Marrow Mix [Thomas Fehlmann], 9m 03s

1 Battersea Bunches original film [17m 40s]
2 Esmerelda's Turf [5m 09s]
3 Nocturnal Bunch [4m 02]
4 Brixton to Harrow [4m 39s]

Having spent over two decades fast forwarding the future while looking at the world through its own inimitable super-telescope, The Orb's next album project returns to Earth and also goes back in time as Alex Paterson teams up with graphic artist/video maker Mike Coles to release C Batter C, a powerfully evocative audio-visual celebration of family, vanishing London and times gone by.

Released on November 11 [11,11,11], the unique package is the physical manifestation of Battersea Bunches, the film shown at Brixton's Red Gate Gallery last December along with an exhibition of related visuals by Colesy. The soundtrack is a 17-minute, specially-written piece by Alex and esteemed Berlin-based electronic pioneer Thomas Fehlmann, an Orb satellite member for over 20 years, now accompanied by a string of remixes which home in on the track's constantly morphing moods and take them further out in total sympathy.

While the world gets increasingly more snarled up in instant hit gratification and soul-sucking technology, thankfully there are still corresponding currents in art and music which cast back to simpler, more innocent times; recalling childhood glimmers, mysterious half-memories and indelible images. On another level, these can be haunting and irreplaceable, especially when of a vanished location or dear friend or relative no longer here. Using the derelict but still imposing shell of Battersea Power station as centre-piece, the 17-minute film is based on Super 8 footage shot by Alex's Aunt Lil of a 1956 family day out led by his father. The three kids - his brother Martin and cousins Sue and Jen - are obviously having a great time feeding the ducks in Battersea Park [overseen by the still-billowing power station] and pigeons in Trafalgar Square, along with a journey along the River Thames from Battersea to Greenwich, taking in other London landmarks such as Tower Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral and Big Ben, the same spots effectively cut between then and now. The film is, in turn trippy, fascinating, emotions-stoking and sometimes incredibly poignant, lingering long after it's finished, bound to inspire similar warm memories for the viewer. It's without doubt the most personal project that Alex has embarked upon, Colesy surpassing himself on the editing.

Alex and Thomas' hauntingly atmospheric soundtrack is a remarkable counterpart to the film, veering from spectral mood-enhancing to beautifully melodic, the marching band sequence a particularly nagging half-memory. The CD features the original soundtrack along with an electronica-spanning bevy of remixes by Gaudi, H.F.B., David Harrow, Nocturnal Sunshine, Autolump, Being and Fehlmann/Orb, ranging from ghostly dubstep to contagious techno-boogie. These are producers which the Orb loves and trusts implicitly; not one fails to to turn up trumps.

The DVD boasts the original film plus three video mixes and both discs come in a gorgeous 60-page hardback book [the cover based on Alex's father's pilot's log-book] featuring Colesy's film-related images, plus poetry and musings by Alex and his Aunt Lil.

Such love, care and intricacy is a rare thing in the modern world. The Orb and Malicious Damage are about to unleash a new kind of time capsule classic. Even by referencing the past, the future can still be prodded.

Do Robots Dream? [session 054]