by Paranoid
Source: Relevant BCN - The Orb Interview
Cosmic storytellers The Orb have such a long term impact on electronic music that they even came up with a new genre name to try to clasify them back when everything was quite new around town. Here at Relevant BCN we've met Thomas Fehlmann some time ago, and now he's back with his partner in crime in a duo that carries more than 25 years tripping in sound and had collaborations with names like David Gilmour or Lee 'Scratch' Perry in the last 5. No one else than Dr. Alex Paterson.
We made them talk about each other, UK & Berlin, their return to Kompakt after 10 years with their new album MOONBUILDING 2703AD, The Orb's essential tracks and even the mutation of rave in 1992. Listen & read.
Hi there, please introduce your partner in crime.
Thomas Fehlmann: It's my pleasure to introduce you to Alex Paterson, ORB mastermind and a very amicable chap when he's in a good mood. That is when the monitors are loud enough, there's just enough milk in the tea, the grass is green, some friends are around and a new record by TEEBS or MADLIB has just been released.
Alex Paterson: The one & only Thomas Von Funk man. The man with the magic touch. We are but all human & Thomas is a real gentleman & scholar. The only man I know who knows nothing of Star Wars.
Loves tea & cake at 4pm & has a delicious way of preparing & cooking wonderful veggie dishes & the such. We are both still excited by our love for things new & epic hooks. Weird noises are us.

Which would you consider his highlights while working on music?
Thomas: Pulling off a 25 year long career with THE ORB gets him my endless respect.
Alex: Sun Electric, Teutonic Beats, The Orb, 3MB , & my favourite is " I Want To Be A Little Fishy". Watch:

Remember his best performance you've seen?
Thomas: I recall a dj set Alex did at the Knitting Factory in LA in the late nineties that really blew me away. On the other hand he did a spectacular job a week ago at the 'Les Nuit Sonnores' in Lyon.
Watch: VIDEO. The Orb au festival Nuits Sonores
Alex: The above is what we do best & it's actually caught on film.
Thomas playing with "Silver Apples" was a highlight for me in Berlin in my lifetime sometime.


You are based in two different and emblematic cities, could you live in each other's place?
Thomas: I think it's important to know where your roots are and stay true to them. Mine have definitely grown deeply in Berlin and it's surroundings. So no, I wouldn't want to swap.
I do like alex new garden though...
Alex: I could for a week , but the Germans have faces of thunder & I grew up in a colourful district of South London with a huge Jamaican population. We know in the UK that we lived in black & white before the late 50's. Then a huge explosion of colour & sound came & we loved it.
Our national dish here is Indian, need I say more? Germans eat too much meat for my liking too. But the German influence is all over the world. Heck the English should wake up & realise our past. Anglo Saxon is a clue. German composers & artists litter our history. Wake up & realise it's not about us & them, but we are all in it together. Btw we drive on the right side & the Germans on the wrong side. Case closed.
(I do like Thomas's forest & I could squat there for many a fortnight)

A couple years ago it was common to hear that UK was maybe too much influenced by what was going on in Berlin at the time. Which is your view on that?
Thomas: Art knows no borders and the art police should be abolished right now anyway.
Alex: Bollocks. It's a two way street & don't believe the hype. If anything the Tories destroyed music in the UK for a few years. Generations come & go, but the music will go on & on forever. Music knows no borders too.

I'd like to know if the 90's Fehlmann/Paterson would be particularly surprised by something on nowadays scene?
Thomas: Yes, the vinyl record is coming back!
Alex: And cassettes too

Pick one or two tracks-albums that define best The Orb's essence.
Thomas: Very happy to report that our new album 'MOONBUILDING 2703AD' pretty much nails it on the head.
Check: The Orb – Moonbuilding 2703 AD: listen | Music | The Guardian
Alex: Towers Of Dub. Because it is what it is. Gods Mirror Ball, Listen To The Future.

'The mutation of rave in 1992 might not have been politically orientated, but anyone who argues it wasn't caused by politics is a liar.' Do you agree w/ this affirmation by Jonny Mugwump?
Thomas: Yes! I do like to look at pretty much everything through my socio-political glasses. This is when i'm not drinking tea and reading the papers.
Alex: RIP Tony Benn. It became politics in the early 90's because the government couldn't control the masses of happy people. But the government control the press (it isn't free baby). They fed the nation lies & it became political. Plus major record labels didn't have a clue on how to market a DJ/band back then. It became tough, but we rode out of that situation with our heads held high. Good morning the 21st century !!!


What's the most interesting thing you recently heard from your partner?
Thomas: That he fell in love with dogs and goes on walks several times a day with 'Ruby', his malamute.
Alex: That Teebs might do a record with us .

What's the latest thing that blew your mind?
Thomas: The Hamburg football team HSV just escaped beeing relegated in the very last minute of the match last night. I would have loved to see them going under so much.
Alex: My team winning the league. Can't beat that. Our dog Ruby singing, can sample that ! & NZ.

Any plans for the near future?
Thomas: We have roughly 79 gigs on our agenda for the rest of the year and after that we plan to go on a proper tour.
Alex: A road movie. World tour finishing in Oz , so we can explore NZ again.

How come no one else does it like The Orb?
Thomas: They don't drink enough tea!
Alex: Or greenery the nights away in deep thought .

by Paranoid
Source: Relevant BCN - The Orb Interview