The Orb

History of the Future, Vol. 2

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The sequel to History of the Future covers the Orb's post-Island, 2002-2012 antics on an assortment of labels, including Cooking Vinyl, the End, Malicious Damage and, perhaps the most appropriate partner of all, Kompakt, a Cologne-based label whose development owes much to the group's Thomas Fehlmann. The Orb's 2010 collaboration with David Gilmour excepted, this touches upon the significant releases from Bicycles & Tricycles through their meeting with Lee "Scratch" Perry, and it mixes highlights with deep cuts as a way to appeal to fanatics and those who don't track their multitude of releases. In standard two-disc form, History of the Future, Vol. 2 adequately exposes the variety of output from the period: airy hip-hop ("Aftermath," featuring MC Soom T), sludgy dub ("Codes"), hard shuffle-tech ("Cool Harbour"), weightless ambient ("Baghdad Batteries," "Glen Coe"). Select remixes come from a handful of well-regarded peers like Dabrye, Deadbeat, and the duo of Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer. The three-CD/one-DVD version, tucked inside a clamshell box instead of the DVD-style packaging of the first volume, furnishes a dozen additional tracks, including the crucial 1989 track "Suck My Kiss" and Fehlmann's previously vinyl-only remix of "Dolly Unit." Promotional and live clips from 2009 through 2014 fill out the DVD, and there's a substantial booklet, almost as thick as the packaging of the standard edition, that contains track information and dozens of full-page photos.

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