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New book charting the rise of The Orb book out in May

The Orb
(Image credit: The Orb)

The Orb and founder Alex Patterson are the subject of a new book which charts their history. Babble On An' Ting: Alex Paterson's Incredible Journey Beyond The Ultraworld With The Orb is the first full account of Alex Paterson’s life, written in close collaboration by long time friend and Prog Magazine writer Kris Needs.

"I decided to do a book now as I have reached one full human cycle of 60," says Patterson. "Also to tell my side of stories untold and set the record straight in planet orb.” 

The new book reveals a frequently astonishing journey from a traumatic childhood through punk, Killing Joke and The KLF to starting The Orb in 1988 and the five decade rollercoaster that followed. It features a comprehensive discography, unseen personal photographs, an afterword written by Youth, and first hand interviews with friends, collaborators and starship mechanics.

“Working with Kris was seriously brilliant fun," Patterson continues. "We have been friends and allies for decades now. He’s a beautiful man with a deep knowledge of all things secret and we actually lived through some of the stories together. We met when Killing Joke played at the Zigzag Club in 1980. His knowledge of music is unparalleled and he has skills in writing which are second to none.”

At the same time Pattersaon has set up Orbscure Recordings; a new vehicle for side projects beyond The Orb. Set up under the Cooking Vinyl umbrella, Orbscure will also be an outlet for new music from artists from around the world.

“The name is a play on the Obscure label Eno set up on Editions EG in the 1970s. Orbs Cure. Clever parrot-Orbscure! Orbscure! Orbs Cure for all ills. Orbs Cure made 2 chill” says Patterson.

Picking up on Patterson's past experiences in A&R for the legendary EG Records, there are a raft of new releases in the pipeline with three albums set for release this year, including Sedibus The Heavens, the first release from the label. Orbscure will feature artists from Uganda, Kenya, Argentina, Japan and America, with further collaborative projects to follow.

The Orb

(Image credit: Omnibus Press)
Jerry Ewing

Founder and Editor of Prog Magazine. Enjoys almost all progressive music in its many guises, but is especially partial to a slice of post rock.