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The Orb Live at the Biltmore Cabaret

Friday 18th, August 2017 / 12:32
By Jeevin Johal

The Orb – Photo by Bryce Hunnersen

The Biltmore Cabaret,
August 16th, 2017

VANCOUVER – If you were still rushing off of the Shambhala high and needed an excuse to keep the party going into the work week, there was no better place to be than at the Biltmore Cabaret on Wednesday night to witness the legendary that is the Orb. More tame than a four day outdoor music festival, but with equal amounts of sweat, the Godfathers of House dug deep into their 30 year old library of sounds, offering the sold out audience a hefty dose of beats and rhythms.

The Orb – Photo by Bryce Hunnersen

Orb creator Alex Paterson hit the stage in a bright, neon pink Adidas soccer jersey, while longtime collaborator Thomas Fehlmann followed suit, wearing a pink Polo shirt. An obvious homage to the early days of fashion trendsetter Kanye West. The duo, both in their late 50’s, looked more like out of place scientists than modern club DJ’s, but make no mistake, these guys are the real deal.

The Orb – Photo by Bryce Hunnersen

Like the warm hug of a crushed velvet blanket, the Orb began their set with some smooth ambient jams as creamy pastel colours flourished in pretty patterns behind them, soothing the soul and shakin’ the booties. As the calming rhythms progressed, so too did the visuals. Simple patterns altered into bleak photographs of London Skyscrapers and jarring closeups of garden gnomes, juxtaposing the mellow tunes with slightly unnerving images.

There was no hype DJing or fat bass drops, and transitions between songs either flowed cleanly or suddenly smacked you in the face. The two hairless wizards hardly even acknowledged one another during the set, communicating telepathically as they strung together melodies they may have just come up with on the spot, and may never even be heard again. Having seen electronic music progress (and regress) for decades, the Orb treat the club as a laboratory, ever experimenting with sounds and samples to create a unique experience at every show.

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