The Orb Featuring Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry – The Orbserver in the Star House

“I’ve got something to say,” intones Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, as ‘Ball Of Fire’, the opening track of The Orbserver in the Star House, starts to rise off the launch-pad. Amid horn samples and a stuttering, mechanised groove, it’s a beguiling opening to Perry’s intriguing collaboration with ambient house luminaries The Orb.

Of course, it’s also not especially true: he doesn’t have much to say. Most of Perry’s utterances are dub platitudes or endearing, crazy-uncle nonsense. However, the man’s presence is such that it doesn’t seem to matter – his sheer benevolent presence drifts through these songs like stoned clouds of pixie dust.

Meanwhile, The Orb offer up a variety of minimal grooves, ranging from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry-esque dub (funny, that) to the sort of sci-fi-tinged ambient house with which they made their name. While some tracks are a tad vanilla (‘Go Down Evil’), dubbier tracks like ‘Police and Thieves’ fit Perry perfectly. Things get even more interesting on the more spaced-out compositions such as ‘Soulman’, with Perry set adrift in a Solaris -esque mecha-dreamworld. In short …Star House is a woozy delight of a collaboration.