Cydonia (album)

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Cydonia
Studio album by The Orb
Released 27 February 2001
Recorded 1998
Genre Ambient house, trip hop, IDM, drum and bass, electronica
Length 68:38
Label Island (UK)
MCA/Universal Records (US)
Producer Alex Paterson, Thomas Fehlmann, Andy Hughes
The Orb chronology
Orblivion
(1997)
Cydonia
(2001)
Bicycles & Tricycles
(2004)

Cydonia is the fifth studio album by the Orb, released on Island Records in the UK and MCA Records in the US. Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann, along with usual collaborators Andy Hughes, Nick Burton, and Simon Phillips, wrote and produced Cydonia for a planned 1999 release.[1] Featured on the album are Robert Fripp, John Roome, and Fil Le Gonidec, who had previously only worked with the Orb in live performances.

Production[edit]

Unlike previous Orb albums, Cydonia featured several proper songs with vocals, which critics felt did not sound similar to Orb songs.[2] Singers Nina Walsh and Aki Omori appeared on two tracks each on Cydonia, providing vocals and co-writing lyrics with Paterson, who felt that this new direction for the Orb was more similar to the experimental work of Orbus Terrarum, rather than the poppish techno of Orblivion.[3] The Orb produced two CDs worth of material for the album and eventually cut it down for the final release. However, to the displeasure of Paterson, large portions of both CDs were leaked through Napster.[4] As Island Records was trapped in major-label-restructuring limbo because of its recent merger between the MCA and PolyGram families that created Universal Music Group, Cydonia was not released until 2001.[4][5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[6]
CDNow 2.5/5 stars[7]
Dot Music 3/5 stars[8]
Magazine 3.5/5 stars[9]
New Musical Express 1.5/5 stars[10]
Revolution 4/5 stars[11]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[12]
Onion AV Club 4/5 stars[13]
Pitchfork Media (6.1/10)[14]
Sonicnet 3.5/5 stars[15]
The Wire 3/5 stars[16]
Clip from "Ghostdancing" of the trip hop and drum and bass influenced Cydonia.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Upon release, critics noted that Cydonia merged pop, trance, and ambient-dub, which they felt to be a conglomeration of bland vocals and uninventive ambience.[5][17] NME harshly described it as "a stillborn relic, flawed throughout by chronically stunted ambitions" and describing its only appropriate audience to be "old ravers" seeking nostalgia.[18] With the album came the single "Once More" featuring remixes from Bedrock and Mark Pritchard. Paterson believed that "Centuries", another vocal piece from Cydonia, was also worth releasing as a single, but Island chose to wait and see how successful the album was before making a final decision.[4] Not only did the album receive poor reviews, but The Orb was frequently regarded by the UK press as past the peak years of the creative years, being an "ambient dinosaur" out of place in the current dance music environment.[17][19] After the release of Cydonia, Hughes left the group, becoming "another acrimonious departure from The Orb".[20]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Once More" – 4:17
  2. "Promis" – 5:27
  3. "Ghostdancing" – 7:29
  4. "Turn It Down" – 8:38
  5. "Egnable" – 1:59
  6. "Firestar" – 0:46
  7. "A Mile Long Lump of Lard" – 6:21
  8. "Centuries" – 4:22
  9. "Plum Island" – 5:22
  10. "Hamlet of Kings" – 7:56
  11. "1.1.1" – 0:36
  12. "Thursday's Keeper" – 4:09
  13. "Terminus" – 11:16 (w/ Robert Fripp)

UK edition[edit]

  1. "Once More" – 4:17
  2. "Promis" – 5:27
  3. "Ghostdancing" – 7:29
  4. "Turn It Down" – 8:38
  5. "Egnable" – 1:59
  6. "Firestar" – 0:46
  7. "A Mile Long Lump of Lard" – 6:21
  8. "Centuries" – 4:22
  9. "Plum Island" – 5:22
  10. "Hamlet of Kings" – 7:56
  11. "1.1.1" – 0:36
  12. "EDM" – 4:12
  13. "Thursday's Keeper" – 4:09
  14. "Terminus" – 11:16 (w/ Robert Fripp)

Remastered and Expanded edition – 2008[edit]

CD1

  1. "Once More" – 4:17
  2. "Promis" – 5:27
  3. "Ghostdancing" – 7:29
  4. "Turn It Down" – 8:38
  5. "Egnable" – 1:59
  6. "Firestar" – 0:46
  7. "A Mile Long Lump of Lard" – 6:21
  8. "Centuries" – 4:22
  9. "Plum Island" – 5:22
  10. "Hamlet of Kings" – 7:56
  11. "1.1.1" – 0:36
  12. "EDM" – 4:12
  13. "Thursday's Keeper" – 4:09
  14. "Terminus" – 11:16 (w/ Robert Fripp)

CD2

  1. "Centuries (Eurofen Mix)" – 4:42
  2. "Ghostdancing (Version)" – 6:45
  3. "Hamlet of Kings (Version)" – 7:58
  4. "Firestar (Version)" – 1:14
  5. "Centuries (Wine, Woman & King Mix)" – 4:01
  6. "Once More (Scourge of the Earth Mix)" – 4:53
  7. "Plum Island (Flat Mix)" – 5:21
  8. "Promis (Version)" – 5:46
  9. "Once More (Bedrock Edit 2)" – 8:04
  10. "Turn It Down (Long Version)" – 9:03
  11. "Terminus (Andy's Mix)" – 11:07

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bush, John. "The Orb Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 October 2006. 
  2. ^ Cowen, Andrew (19 March 2001). "What goes around comes around". Birmingham Post. p. 13. 
  3. ^ Demby, Eric (27 February 2001). "Orb Back From Orblivion With New LP, Cydonia". VH1. 
  4. ^ a b c O'Neal, Sean (19 April 2001). "Q and A: Alex Paterson". Philadelphia City Paper. 
  5. ^ a b Bush, John. "Cydonia Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 October 2006. 
  6. ^ Allmusic review
  7. ^ CDNow review
  8. ^ Dot Music review
  9. ^ Magazine review
  10. ^ New Musical Express review
  11. ^ Revolution review
  12. ^ Rolling Stone review
  13. ^ Onion AV Club review
  14. ^ Pitchfork Media review
  15. ^ Sonicnet review
  16. ^ The Wire review
  17. ^ a b Walker, Richard (4 March 2001). "A dance pioneer who's just going round in circles". Sunday Herald. p. 10. 
  18. ^ Pattison, Louis (2001). "Orb : Cydonia". New Musical Express. Retrieved 13 October 2006. 
  19. ^ Smith, Aidan (16 February 2001). "A master of the ballistic". The Scotsman. p. 10. 
  20. ^ Simpson, Dave (19 January 2001). "The Friday Interview". The Guardian. p. 6. 

External links[edit]