Lunar Orbit Screening With Dr Alex Paterson
The Cube Microplex: http://www.cubecinema.com/programme
It’s dark and drizzly on a mild September evening; after wandering the streets of Bristol we find the venue, tucked away in all it’s glory. “The Cube Microplex is a social art experiment, existing in the form of a cinema and event venue in central Bristol, which operates as a non-profit cooperative”, with bags of character and a friendly bunch of people.
We’re here to take in The Orb, an English electronic group who are considered the pioneers of ambient house. The Orb started in 1988 with Alex Paterson and KLF’s Jimmy Cauty.
Growing up in the middle of nowhere, with only a dial-up web connection, music was difficult to get hold of. There was one shop in the local town that sold records and tapes of a more eclectic variety than Woolworths. I’d heard Little Fluffy Clouds on the radio fell in love immediately. This was what I needed. Leap forward twenty years and my feelings remain the same; total admiration and thanks for the way The Orb have influenced my musical journey.
Opening was 13.2 from the TR13BE collective of Bristol, providing trippy and dubby, pre-film vibes, putting everyone into the right headspace for the rest of the evening. The bar is draped with cloth and projections of K Foundation Burning A Million Quid are creating appropriate visuals.
Moving through to the cinema, Spaces Between provided us with a live set of “meditative electronica” - a scored animation made up of mesmerising graphics of monsters and strange landscapes, depicted in monochromatic colours using high contrast light and dark.
Eerie undertones and an impactful, epic sound make the film feel like a dark adventure into the unknown. Something I found captivating, which I hadn’t expected, was the reverberation of sound coming through the seats, bouncing around in my chest, making the music a much more physical experience than usual.
As documentaries go, “Lunar Orbit” isn’t ground breaking in its composition. Consisting of old footage, talking heads and new footage compiled thoughtfully, it’s an honest insight into the creative mastery of The Orb in all their forms. Stories were shared, tales were told and opinions were aired, all with a deeply satisfying fondness. The most alluring aspect for me, was the footage of Alex Patterson and Thomas Fehlmann working together in Thomas’ Berlin home. A true observation of reality, providing an understanding of their creative process, I came away with a sense of purpose surrounding my own creative journey. A documentary I will watch this again with great pleasure.
Following was a Q&A with Alex Patterson and Joe Muggs (The Wire/ Guardian / Arts Desk etc.) where art, technology, musical collaborations, psychoactive exploration were discussed.
After a cigarette and a quick break, Alex and Joe hit the decks with what can only be described as sublime soundscapes, chilled beats and edited samples, spinning a web of sound that enveloped everyone with sense of allegiance to musical exploration.
If I were to leave with three thoughts, these would be them:
Do everything with a sense of humour, make it fun. Otherwise, there’s no point.
2018 has some kind of Warp records anniversary, things will be happening!
Alex Patterson was a silkscreen designer at the age of 17 (which makes me even more enamoured by him).
For more information on Lunar Orbit, check out the trailer here
Watch ‘K Foundation Burn A Million Quid’