Andy Hughes: DJ and mixer whose work with The Orb entranced a generation

While the producer and DJ Alex Paterson has been the core member of the ambient, electronic group The Orb for over 20 years, he has been ably seconded in his pioneering sonic endeavours by creative musicians such as Jimmy Cauty, Kim Weston (aka Thrash), Simon Phillips and Thomas Fehlmann.

The tenure of engineer and producer Andy Hughes, between 1993 and 1999, coincided with The Orb signing to the Island label, and took in the high watermark of "Toxygene", their Top 5 single from 1997, the studio albums Orbus Terrarum, Orblivion and Cydonia, and the EP Pomme Fritz. Hughes' role within The Orb encompassed mixing, remixing and arranging as well as engineering, production and live performance.

Born in 1965, Hughes grew up in Harrow and became a music and technology obsessive in his teens. In the late Eighties and early Nineties, he produced, mixed, remixed and engineered many tracks for acts such as Fuzzbox, Working Week, Galliano, Mica Paris and M C Wildski. He also began designing and building studios to specification. This brought him into contact with Paterson and he joined The Orb as sound engineer. Having built Bunk, Junk & Genius recording studios in London, he helped to mix The Orb's Live 93 album.

His role within The Orb grew after Weston's departure following the release of the Top 10 Pomme Fritz in 1994. Now comprising Paterson, Fehlmann and Hughes, The Orb completed Orbus Terrarum. In partnership with Paterson, Hughes also remixed "Zombie" by The Cranberries, as well as "Halleluwah" by Can and "Towards the Evening Star" by Tangerine Dream.

"Toxygene" started life as a 20th-anniversary remix of the Jean-Michel Jarre composition "Oxygene 8", but featured so little of the original track that the Frenchman opted not to use it. Undeterred, Paterson, Fehlmann and Hughes made further changes and issued the hypnotic, trance-like single, much shorter and punchier – and therefore easier for radio stations to playlist – than The Orb's other signature tunes, "Little Fluffy Clouds", "Blue Room" and "Perpetual Dawn". It duly became the biggest hit for a group that had always operated outside the mainstream on its way to becoming the Pink Floyd of the chill-out generation; the band were equally at ease collaborating with the guitarists Robert Fripp and Steve Hillage or adding techno and house beats to their groundbreaking sound.

The release of Orblivion coincided with a renewed bout of touring which took The Orb around the world, much to Hughes' delight. He relished his occasional turn at the wheel of the group's truck while on tour in the US and Canada, and enjoyed their sell-out headline appearance at London's Royal Albert Hall in 1998.

That year, Hughes also arranged, mixed and co-produced a dubby version of "I Started a Joke", credited to The Orb vs Robbie Williams and the most unusual contribution to a Bee Gees tribute album and charity project entitled Gotta Get a Message to You. Having helped Paterson build his Back Passage studio in Clapham, Hughes left The Orb in 1999, before the much-delayed appearance of Cydonia, which sat on the shelves for more than a year due to restructuring at Universal, Island's parent company.

He subsequently wrote and produced several tracks for the deep-house act Powder Productions and worked with Kovak and Basement Jaxx, as well as mixing the "Vuja De" single and other tracks on The Dream album for The Orb in 2007. Hughes died of liver failure at King's College Hospital in London.

Andrew Paul Hughes, engineer, producer, songwriter, DJ, arranger: born Harrow, Middlesex 11 November 1965; (one son, one daughter); died London 12 June 2009.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
News
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
Sport
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
News
The spider makes its break for freedom
VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Event Management and Marketing Admin Support

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Recruitment Genius: Lettings Negotiator

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Central London based firm loo...

Recruitment Genius: Events / Conference Operations Manager

£25000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot