The Orb released their 16th album called Chill Out, World!, or also referred to as COW, this last Friday, October 14th through Kompakt. The duo are launching a US tour this Wednesday, October 19th in support of the release. One half of The Orb, Alex Paterson, calls the album “a protest album in reverse” and “our most ambient album yet.” The other half of The Orb, Thomas Fehlmann, further explains “we didn’t intend to rehash old chill out vibes. On the contrary. It’s the 21st century and it seems like a good idea for people to sit back and chill the fuck out, before continuing to act destructively. To chill out is to act consciously, guided from a calm centre.”
COW only took 6 months to produce thanks to Alex’s recordings of sounds using his iPhone while they toured the world. The field recordings were captured during endless hours of ‘downtime’ traveling and then imported to Ableton. Thomas also sees The Orb’s heavy touring schedule as a major influence for the album.
Thomas said, “The countless gigs we’ve played in recent years – probably up to 300 – have brought us closer as a musical unit. Our concerts consist mostly of non-verbal communication and improvisation – a fertile process that we’ve brought to the studio, where we operate with very simple rules of engagement (in this case ‘ambient’) and go wherever the flow takes us. We’re quite happy and a little bit proud that we’ve reached this level of unscripted levity with purely electronic means. We’re finessing ourselves, sort of, always looking for the next sonic surprise that leaves us rubbing our eyes about how the heck we got there. COW/Chill Out, World! is an off the cuff, immediate album. 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.”
The track “Wireless MK2, Featuring Roger Eno On Piano” is “a nod to my dad, who worked for Cable and Wireless and helped build the Telstar satellite”, while the track’s “jazzy trumpet is a reference to the jazz bar in Fulham where my Mum and Dad met”, said Alex.
The Orb will be kicking off the first leg of their US tour this Wednesday, October 19th in support of COW. The tour will be bringing their critically acclaimed live shows to both the west and east coasts. US audiences can expect the duo to perform their greatest hits as well as select songs from COW. The Orb will close out their tour aboard the Ghost Ship Halloween event in San Francisco on October 29th.