The Orb (Alex Paterson & Thomas Fehlmann) are back, hot on the heels of their last release Moonbuilding 2703 AD, a project which took six years due to the circumstances behind its production*, COW has taken just a measly six months** Described as their most ambient album yet it features only the occasional presence of buoyant, gently rhythmic pulses and loops. Sounds bubble, flutter and float through various atmospheres and moods, we also have the whimsical trademark salvaged narrative samples on several tracks.
“COW (Chill Out, World!) is an off the cuff, immediate album” says Thomas. “We produced it in the span of half a year, trusted our first instincts and allowed the ideas flow freely. We’ve gained self confidence in our continuous search for surprises, and in many ways it’s a naivety we’ve found again, that lets us treat each tune as if it were the first.”
Alex gives us a further insight into the development of the album “Making the album became so natural for us that a track like 9 Elms Over River Eno (Channel 9) consisted only of material collected at North Carolina’s Moogfest in May – second-hand records from local stores, found sounds, live samples from gigs that we liked, and of course an excursion to the Eno river, which actually exists”, recalls Alex. “I discovered it on Google maps, whilst looking for somewhere to chill out. The name stood out, for orbvious reasons! This geographic intimacy and spontaneity are among the top reasons why we love this album.”
Check out the album in full here:
It’s not a return to form, for me The Orb have never lost their form, they have ventured down different avenues with each of their albums, though never wandering too far from ambient. Some of the previous directions may not have pleased everyone but then, when has being a pioneer of a sound meant playing safe. COW has traces of Orb’s early work and is, as they have already confirmed, their most ambient work to date. A light and dreamy landscape with sparkling sounds that shimmer over field recordings and loops. It’s time to take another wondrous journey with the boys from The Orb. It’s time to Chill Out World!
*Moonbuilding 2703 AD was originally commissioned by the English National Opera, the duo immersed themselves in that new world and maintained a close, continuous dialogue with the opera’s orchestrator and technicians. The production fell through due to budget cuts and the recordings were then adapted for album format, hence its 6 year gestation period.
**One of main reasons for its speedy completion was Alex’s recording of sounds whilst touring the world, straight to Ableton, using his iPhone. Field recordings were easily captured, whilst the countless hours of ‘downtime’ travelling, or at sound-checks became valuable moments for spontaneous creative laptop productivity.
- ‘First, Consider The Lillys’
- ‘Wireless Mk2’, Featuring Roger Eno On Piano
- ‘Siren 33 (Orphee Mirror)’
- ‘4am Exhale (Chill Out, World!)’
- ‘5th Dimensions’
- ‘Sex (Panoramic Sex Heal)’
- ‘7 Oaks’
- ‘Just Because I Really Really Luv Ya’
- ‘9 Elms Over River Eno (Channel 9)’
- ‘The 10 Sultans Of Rudyard (Moo Moo Mix)’ Featuring Roger Eno on piano and cornet / co-written Roger Eno and Youth)
The Orb’s 16th album, COW / Chill Out, World!, It features contributions from Youth and Roger Eno, and is encased in minimal ‘ambient cover art’ courtesy of The Designers Republic.
October 14th 2016
Vinyl + download / CD / download
ATTENTION:::::::::::The Orb also play the following tour dates, which encompass Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld played in full, plus other classics and music from COW / Chill Out, World:
Sheffield, Plug, 24th November,
Manchester Academy 2, 25th November,
Glasgow, SWG3, 26th November,
Waterfront, Norwich, 1st December,
Brighton, Concord 2, 2nd December
Nottingham, Rescue Rooms, 3rd December,
Southampton, Engine Rooms, 8th December,
Cardiff, Tramshed, 9th December,
Bristol, Marble Factory, 10th December,