Release Date: Mar 27, 2020
Record label: Cooking Vinyl
Alex Paterson and his merry band are back with a new record, this time with a vaguely colonial theme. The album is ostensibly about the British royal family's involvement in the opium trade, although this is not something one would pick up on by actually listening to it. The whole sonic approach on Abolition Of The Royal Familia is at once a lot more coherent than The Orb's previous record, the transitions between different genres and moods more methodical and well-paced.
With Andrew Weatherall gone and the KLF occupied with conceptual art, the Orb are the last act standing from the magical moment in British music when house, reggae, and ambient collided with a mischievous sense of humor. Abolition of the Royal Familia, the Orb's new studio album, is no match for Chill Out, Screamadelica or other landmarks of the post-acid-house era. But it feels like a guardian of the flame that Weatherall and his peers ignited: melodic, adventurous, and slyly political, a far-out dispatch from one of the most brilliantly infuriating sonic adventurers of the electronic age.