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MAY 10

The Orb isn’t a band of innovators so much as resuscitators, revitalizing the dead sea of ambient sound. In the late ’80s, space cases who exhausted themselves jiving to acid house while jacked up on acid would take refuge in chill-out rooms tucked inside the clubs. One of the first such scenes was the infamous Land of Oz party, where the Orb’s Alex Paterson and Jimmy Cauty (later of the KLF) DJ’d the darkened hive with whooshes of beatless sound collage, laying the foundation, for better or worse, of ambient house. 1989’s “A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From the Centre of the Ultraworld” and 1990’s “Little Fluffy Clouds” singles were club megahits in Britain, and they inspired many artists to take up the Orb’s design for living. Unfortunately, most just made modern flower-power fluff, no better than Yanni’s windblown epics. But the Orb, always a loose collective led by Paterson, has always managed to inject its curvilinear compositions with humor, not the puffy positivity its descendants have championed. From the cover of its Live ’93 album (which featured a stuffed cow floating over a factory a la the Floyd’s Animals), to its punning album titles, such as 1995’s Orbvs Terrarvm and the new Orblivion, the Orb realizes the point of chillin’ out isn’t to go deep inside yourself to find an answer, but to simply chuckle at the question. At 9 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $20. (202) 393-0930. (Christopher Porter)