The Orb are an English electronic music group known for being the pioneers of ambient house. Founded in 1988 by Alex Paterson and The KLF member Jimmy Cauty, the Orb began as ambient and dub DJs in London. Their early performances were inspired by ambient and electronic artists of the 1970s and 1980s, most notably Brian Eno and Kraftwerk. Because of their trippy sound, the Orb developed a cult following among clubbers "coming down" from drug-induced highs. The Orb has maintained their drug-related and science fiction themes despite personnel changes, including the departure of Cauty and other Orb members Kris Weston, Andy Falconer, Simon Phillips, Nick Burton and Andy Hughes. Paterson has been the only permanent member, continuing to work as the Orb with the Swiss-German producer Thomas Fehlmann and, later, with Martin "Youth" Glover, bass player with Killing Joke, until having a psychotic drug induced episode which led to him being sectioned under the mental health act.
Beyond recognition on their albums and concerts; his unauthorised use of other artists' works has led to disputes with musicians, most notably with Rickie Lee Jones. During their live shows of the 1990s, the Orb performed using digital audio tape machines optimised for live mixing and sampling before switching to laptops and digital media. Despite changes in performance method, the Orb maintained their colourful light shows and psychedelic imagery in concert. These visually intense performances prompted critics to compare the group to Pink Floyd..