Given that ambient electronica collective The Orb celebrates its 30th anniversary this month, this week’s Throwback Thursday revisits one of Alex Paterson and co’s finest works.
Occupying the entirety of Side C of 1992 double LP U.F. Orb, Towers of Dub kicks off in brilliantly bonkers fashion, with a hoax call to London Weekend Television, asking for Haile Selassie, the long-dead Ethiopian king held up as Jah Incarnate by the Rastafarian movement.
The playfulness continues with a guest appearance from Rags the robot dog from Woody Allen’s Sleeper, reverbed to the max (“Woof, woof, woof! Hello, I’m Rags!”) and some epic harmonica work (by an individual named Marney Pax, according to Discogs), before the infectious, dub-heavy bass kicks in.
Weighing in at an impressive 15 minutes, Towers of Dub is, to me, the very epitome of what The Orb is about – an ethereal soundscape punctuated with laser beams, tinkling pianos and a bassline King Tubby himself would have been proud of.
Also worth a listen is the ‘Ambient mix’ version, which features an extended clip from comedy duo Hudson & Landry, entitled The Hippie & The Redneck. Mental stuff.
Now, where did I leave those Rizzla..?