Published Oct 12, 2016Partly responsible for ushering in the genre of 'chillout' in the early '90s, the Orb have transported their craft into the 21st century with the release of COW / Chill Out, World! In fact, Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann have created their most simple, uncluttered and sparse collection of music to date.
After spending the entirety of this decade as collaborators (working with David Gilmour, Lee "Scratch" Perry and the English National Opera), the London two-piece have returned to their roots for their 14th LP. Recorded in just six weeks and often using simple applications like Ableton and iPhone Music Studio, the Orb delve deep into ambient soundscapes as they abandon their dub and acid house tendencies to focus on formless melodies and natural flourishes. Although the Orb insert beautifully faint pulsing beats into tracks like the cascaded opener "First, Consider the Lillys" or the glossy, moody "Just Because I Really Really Love Ya," the LP's standout moments demonstrate a more developed and autumnal use of space and noise, as "Sex (Panoramic Sex Heal)" and closer "The 10 Sultans of Rudyard (Moo Moo Mix)" utilize compacted pacing and animal sounds, to great effect.
On COW / Chill Out, World!, the Orb's easily digestible and absorbent songs make it simple for the listener to take the album's titular advice. (Kompakt)