Interview: Thomas Fehlmann caught on tour

I was lucky enough to persuade the legendary Thomas Fehlmann to take two minutes out of his busy tour schedule and answer a few questions for ASIP.

Long-standing member of The Orb and producer in his own right, i’ve  been a fan of Thomas for years and constantly revisit his unique melodic album ‘Gute Luft’ along with some of his other productions on Kompakt, include the recent ‘Titan One/ DFM’ – not to mention eveything he has done as part of The Orb.

Luckily i’ve seen him live in Berlin a few years back and i’ll get to see him perform as The Orb (something i’ve dream’t for ages now) along with a rare individual after-hours set at this year’s Decibel Festival (festival preview here). Thomas will be playing the Saturday night with The Orb and live at the Kompakt after-hours showcase.

May I also take this moment to point you towards a few Fehlmann mixes for Plasmodium Radio and of course his Resident Advisor mix.

First of all, happy 25th Anniversary to you and The Orb. What are you most looking forward to from the tour? Is it your first-time atDecibel?

Thanks Ryan. It’s being on-tour and not just off for a weekend where the playing actually evolves and at best reaches a new level and understanding. And of course, meeting the crowd!

I’ve often played in Seattle on my own, maybe around 7 or 8 times and i’ve also played at Decibel before.

What can we expect from your Decibel performance with the Orb, and your DJ slot? And will you be looking forward to one more than the other?

The Orb gig will focus on some historical tracks in their current form. I won’t be DJ’ing when I play on my own, i’ll play a live set of my tracks. Always funny how this gets mixed up these days. Djing for me means bringing records, always and exclusively.

So what record never leaves your bag, and what are you enjoying right now?

Something by Jan Jelinek is always in my bag. I’m currently enjoying Moritz von Oswald, Max Loderbauer and Tony Allen > session tapes for an upcoming album on Honest Johns. Max Loderbauers new album ‘Transparenz‘ is also recommended highly.

Your album, Gute Luft is a soundtrack to Berlin (and is an amazing album). What inspires you?

Places do inspire me. people, nature, situations and… pieces. My new 12″ EYE/TREE coming in october is focused on similar, but generally my biggest musical influence is Miles Davis I guess.

The Orb are famed for having quite a few members over the years and some amazing collaborations with people such as David Gilmour and more recently Lee Scratch Perry. Who else would you like to see the group partner with?

That would be Dilla. I think I can speak for lx (Alex Paterson) too on this. Personally my favourite collab is the one with Robert Fripp on theFFWD album.

You and the Orb are well-known to like dub music. What would you recommend to anyone new to the genre?

Besides the usual Jamaican related originals i’d like to mention Andy Partridge’s ‘Take Away’ album from 1980. Coming form Absolutely nowhere that was a strong statement to apply and extend dub-thinking to the times. And always Rhythm and Sound….

And what’s in store for the future Fehlmann?

Oh man! There is going to be a ORB/PERRY remix 12″ by deadbeat coming out soon on Deadbeats label BLKRZ. A new album by the Orb is also in the making – The working title is ‘Moonbuilding’ and it consists of only one long-ass track. Solo, there is the new EYE/TREE 12″ and a new album for Kompakt sometime after these tours.

And lastly, do you really ‘Wanna be a fishy‘?…

Hehe, yes, off course! it’s about dreaming, innit?