Billboard Bits: Orbital, Slayer, 'Gatemouth' Brown

News on Orbital, Slayer, 'Gatemouth' Brown

OrbitalVeteran U.K. electronica duo Orbital has inked with an improbable label for the North American release of its final studio set. "The Blue Album" will arrive Sept. 21 via ATO Records, which is co-owned by Dave Matthews and is home to such roots-leaning rock acts as Gov't Mule, My Morning Jacket and the North Mississippi Allstars.

The set came out last month internationally and was followed up by what was said to Orbital's final U.K. appearance at the Glastonbury Festival.

A spokesperson says the group is planning to tour North America this fall, with dates to be announced. "The Blue Album" to 2001's "The Altogether," which debuted at No. 9 on Billboard's Top Electronic Albums chart. It features guest appearances by former Dead Can Dance vocalist Lisa Gerrard and eccentric sibling act Sparks.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

SlayerSlayer will unleash the live DVD "Reign in Blood Live: Still Reigning" on Sept. 28. The film will be shot at a show Sunday (July 11) in Augusta, Maine, and feature a full performance of the 1986 album "Reign in Blood" by all original members of the veteran hard rock outfit.

Slayer has modified its stage backdrop to reflect the look of the mid-'80s "Reign in Blood" tour. A ten-camera crew will be on hand to document the show plus all the backstage action.

"'Reign in Blood' is our signature record, and if people think that it helped set the path for that genre of music, that's great," says vocalist Tom Araya. "It's a record that means a lot to all of us in the band -- it was our first record for a major label, and our first record with [producer] Rick Rubin, who gave it unconditional support."

Slayer is among the main stage acts for this summer's
Ozzfest tour, which kicks off Saturday in Hartford, Conn. On off days, the group will play select shows with Slipknot and Judas Priest.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

BrownVeteran multi-instrumentalist Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown has signed with Oakland, Calif.'s Hightone Records. His latest studio album, "Timeless," will be released on Sept. 14. Produced by longtime manager and producer Jim Bateman, the set features Texas blues-style covers of Joe Zawinul's "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" and the Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody."

Since his first signing with Houston-based label Peacock in the '50s, the artist has recorded for several labels, including Rounder, Alligator, Verve and Blue Thumb. Brown won a best traditional blues recording Grammy Award in 1982 for "Alright Again!" and has received six other nominations. He is also in the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame and is a past recipient of the foundation's entertainer of the year award.

-- Margo Whitmire, L.A.