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The Orb



Dr. Alex Paterson came to fame behind the wheels of steel at London's seminal acid-house club Heaven, situated under the arches by Charring Cross station. While Paul Oakenfold whipped the crowd into a veritable frenzy with cuts from Kid Batchelor, Baby Ford, and Model 500 on the main floor, the Dr. brought the tempo down a few notches in the chill-out room. He creatively blended early Chicago and Detroit techno with samples and snippets from '70s legends Steve Hillage (Gong), Manuel Gottsching (Ash Ra Temple), and Mike Oldfield. Inevitably, Paterson graduated from the revolving deck to the mixing desk. His early '90s single, "A Huge Ever Growing Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Ultraworld" was a fitting prelude to his debut album, Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld, which included the groundbreaking single, "Little Fluffy Clouds." By now, Paterson's fusion of smooth-flowing electronic beats, filmic samples, and nature sounds was known throughout post-acid Europe.

Paterson completed three more albums in the early '90s, collaborating with an array of established musicians such as Steve Hillage (Gong, System 7), Thomas Fehlmann (Sun Electric), Andy Hughes, Jimi Caulty (KLF), Youth (Killing Joke), and Kris Weston (aka Thrash). Cydonia is Paterson's fifth album to date. Its thirteen tracks range in style from Middle Eastern dub ("Promis") to abstract drum and bass ("Hamlet of Kings") to out-and-out distorted ambience ("A Mile Long Lump of Lard"). The album features a number of female vocalists, including Nina Walsh on the lazy, downtempo excursion "Ghostwalking" and Aki on the quintessentially Orb-esque "Centuries" and the featured "Once More," a track marked by otherworldly synths, flowing breakbeats, and trance sensibilities.