Michna & Dust La Rock Mix The Orb

Posted on Oct 21st, 2010 in Interviews > Shopaholics by Mr. Goldbar

The spirit of collaboration between friends is exactly how Fool’s Gold got started in the first place. So it’s great to see projects like Mix The Orb take shape. This cassette-only mix is a labor of love between FG art director Dust La Rock and iconoclastic BK producer/DJ Michna, who linked up to dig through 20+ years of music by their favorite group, electronic pioneers The Orb.

The resulting mix is an awesomely heady trip worth dusting off your tapedeck for. There are 100 hand-numbered yellow Mix The Orb cassettes available now at Turntable Lab (and alongside the Fool’s Gold Vol 1 Compilation at Opening Ceremony boutiques starting next week). Hit the jump for a Q&A with Dust and Michna about how Mix The Orb came together.

What was the first song you ever heard by the Orb? When and where did you hear it?

D: That’s like asking when I dropped my first hit of acid… In the early 90’s The Designers Republic were doing cover art for all the early Warp and Mr Modo/WAU artists like LFO, Nightmares On Wax, and the Orb so anything they worked on I listened to. The first thing I heard from them was either The Kiss EP or “A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Ultraworld.”

M: My neighbor and friend Matt Brown bought Live 93 on quadruple LP when it came out. The magic about that album is when you are 15 years old and someone puts that on you, there is just NO way you can wrap your head around it in one sitting. All I knew was The Orb was this huge mysterious beast and I had to know more. Within a few weeks I bought The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld. I clearly remember playing “Perpetual Dawn” over and over.

What about their music and their aesthetic made you a fan?

D: Their music was a mix of all my favorite styles of music. Ambient, dub, house… Also, it was the perfect come down music from a night of raving.

M: The artwork fit the music perfectly. Castles in space, stars, buddah, purples, yellows and reds. The mystery. How did they make their music? Why did nothing else in the world sound like The Orb? But the main thing for me was that feeling you got when you pictured the art. It was the same feeling you got holding a NASA rave flyer.

How did the two of you become friends?

D: A mutual appreciation of BMX and early 90’s techno.

M: I remember buying U.F.Off in ’98 and being perplexed as to why there was an Ecko Unlimited Logo inside the CD booklet. Was this a sign of things to come? Was Ecko looking to make it big in the “electronica” market? Fast forward to 2003 and Bicycles & Tricycles came out. I really liked that artwork but didn’t know who did it. Finally in 2005 at a party I met Dust and it came up that he designed Bicycles & Tricycles and used to work at Ecko. All the pieces then fell into place.

What made you decide to team up for an all-Orb mix?

D: I have a good portion of the Orb discography and Adrian and I had discussed working on a project for some time so this just sort of made sense.

M: Their catalogue is just massive, it had to be done.

What’s your personal favorite track in the mix?

D: “Towers of Dub.” The vocal sample at the beginning is probably one my favorite intros of all time. A close second would be the Youth/Orb mix of Art of Noise’s “Art of Love” but it didn’t make the final cut.

M: “Slug Dub” (also known as “Slvg Dvb”) holds a special place for me. But really every track off the Orbus Terrarum LP is super heavyweight.

This mix is done with the blessing of the group – Dust, how did you first meet Dr Alex?

D: I was working at Ecko doing design and marketing and noticed that Alex was always dipped in the gear so I reached out to his manager, went to one of their shows with a box of clothes, struck up a friendship with Alex and another member of the Orb at the time, John Roome aka Witchman. After showing John and Alex my work I was invited to do the single and album artwork for their Bicycles & Tricycles album. Jimmy Cauty (The KLF) art directed me on it and a side project entitled Transit Kings which was and still is fucking mind-blowing to me.

M: The crazy thing for me was meeting Thomas Fehlmann, (one of the longest running members of The Orb) and I went to his studio and saw the gold records up on the wall.

What do you want Orb superfans to take away from the mix? Casual listeners?

M: I hope superfans spot some long lost gems, and have a quick flashback or two. For the casual listener it’d be nice if something catches their ear and they go out and buy an Orb full length. We also threw a lot of obscure movie samples in there, to keep with the spirit of The Orb.

D: Ditto.

What’s next for the Michna La Rock dynamic duo?

D: I’ll be designing Michna’s as-of-yet untitled sophomore album which will be released early next year on Ghostly International. Also, you’ll notice a “Skyway Records” logo on the cassette – expect more collaborative efforts from the two of us such as this mix and other miscellany under that umbrella.