March 8, 2001

Test Spin: The Orb

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From ambient spacey grooves to harder house beats, the Orb demonstrates its mastery of the ambient house genre it helped create on its latest album, Cydonia.

Cydonia is characterized by weightless, floating effects, synth noise, voice samples, and instrumentation over fast-paced live beats. The opening track, “Once More,” embodies this style. Most songs do conform to this structure, but there is still some variety on the album. “Terminus” is an Eno-like ambient space mix, reminiscent of their early work, while “A Mile Long Lump of Lard” mixes pure ambience with a hard, plodding beat. Cydonia is full of solid electronic tracks, but the Orb fails to uphold their identity as pioneers by not treading new ground.

Archived article by Andrew Gilman