by Don Crispy
Although hes taken something of a beating
in the music press of late, the fact is that Alex Paterson
a.k.a. The Orb, as one of electronicas seminal figures,
remains a divinity in the techno firmament. Critics may have
found The Orbs latest release, Cydonia, devoid of new
ideas, but Paterson has always been as much a dynamic creator
of live music as a knob-twiddling studio genius, making it
difficult to judge him from one album alone.
In his many appearances in Japan, at Rainbow 2000, Fuji Rock,
and Yellow as DJ, or at Liquid Room with his expanded Le Petit
Orb unit, Paterson has always proven to be nothing if not
unpredictable. In fact, unpredictability is perhaps the only
thing one can predict with any degree of safety about his
upcoming debut DJ set at Shibuya superclub Womb. Where other
DJs can be counted on to play more or less in a certain style,
Patersons eclecticism means that anything and everything
will make its way into his music.
Despite this, critics have labeled his style ambient
house, a moniker that comes from his revolutionary early
90s experimentations in which he slowed down the upbeat
rhythms of Chicago house, layering the beats with ambient
effects inspired by Brian Eno and obscure and often riotously
funny vocal samples. Tracks from this era include a number
of dance music classics, including A Huge Ever Growing
Pulsating Brain that Rules From the Underworld and the
unforgettable Top Ten hit Little Fluffy Clouds.
Patersons contributions to trance, ambient, and all
variants of psychedelic techno have indeed become so integrated
that, for him to do something that critics consider original,
he would have to jettison his style entirely. But the producer/DJ
was always about more than ambient house.
Patersons recent doings can be sampled on his new mix
CD for the acclaimed Back to Mine series on DMC. The disc
is a typically bizarre journey that includes Paterson-selected
tracks by Aphex Twin and Juno Reactor, among others, as well
as a new piece by The Orb to be released on the forthcoming
spring album, Orbisnowhere...
Shifting over to the sounds of New York house, club Yellow
in Nishi-Azabu will again be hosting NYC DJ Romain as part
of Brand New Mades Afro Sessions tour.
Brooklyn-born DJ Romain boasts 20 years behind
the turntables at leading New York nightclubs ranging from
the Palladium to Limelight, Nells, and Body&Soul. As part
of the Romatt unit with Matt Keys, he has also released some
no-nonsense four-to-the-floor tracks, including the 2000 UK
hit Philly Groove featuring house legend Danny
Krivit. In a visit last winter, Romain proved himself a formidable
DJ, mixing perhaps the wildest, woolliest set of tribal house
this writer has heard.
At Yellow, DJ Romain will be backed by local talents DJ Khadhi,
and in the lounge, the N.H.C. Magic House Crew.
Cyclone@Womb, 2/10, 10pm, ¥3,500.
Tel: 5459-0039. www.womb.co.jp
Afro Session 2003@Yellow, 2/10, 9pm, ¥3,500. Tel: 3746-2368.
courtesy of Womb