Ambient chill-house duo The Orb is back with a new record following last year’s Moonbuilding 2703 AD. Set to release on the 14th of October via Kompact, the band’s 14th studio album, COW/Chill Out, World! has pretty high expectations to live up to, and it sounds like hopefully it will.
Consisting of Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann, The Orb is often credited for spawning the genre of ambient house, influencing countless other acts such as Aphex Twin or Boards of Canada.
Featuring only the occasional presence of buoyant, gently rhythmic pulses and loops, Paterson describes COW as “our most ambient album yet”. Sounds bubble, flutter and float through various atmospheres and moods, from bucolic and picturesque, childlike wonderment, the texture of bygone memories, to the universe’s infinite depth.
COW‘s creation came together in different circumstances with a different working method to their last album. As 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.
COW on the other hand, took just 6 months to make. One of main reasons for its speedy completion was Paterson’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.
“COW / Chill Out, World! is an off the cuff, immediate album”, adds 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.”
“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 cover, track list and tour dates in support of COW/Chill Out, World! below.
COW/Chill Out, World! Tracklist
1. First, Consider The Lillys
2. Wireless Mk2 (ft. Roger Eno On Piano)
3. Siren 33 (Orphee Mirror)
4. 4am Exhale (Chill Out, World!)
5. 5th Dimensions
6. Sex (Panoramic Sex Heal)
7. 7 Oaks
8. Just Because I Really Really Luv Ya
9. 9 Elms Over River Eno (Channel 9)
10.The 10 Sultans Of Rudyard (Moo Moo Mix) (ft. Roger Eno on piano and cornet/co-written Roger Eno and Youth)
The Orb Tour Dates
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10/19: Allston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
10/20: New York, NY – Webster Hall
10/21: Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
10/22: Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
10/23: Asheville, NC – Mountain Theatre
10/26: Seattle, WA – Neumos
10/27: Portland, OR – Star Theater
10/28: Dever, CO – Cervantes’ Other Side