It’s fair to assume that with the state of the world right now, ambient albums should be in high demand. Even more so when those albums are from sources like The Orb, unafraid to add a bit of humour and light-heartedness to proceedings. The title says it all really – and as ‘COW’ unfolds it turns out to be one of the most relaxed things even The Orb have done in years. There are relatively few beats, not many basslines, not many vocals either – and yet everything comes together just as it should, with the minimum effort. They are light to the touch in warm, thoughtful tracks like ‘Siren 33 (Orphee Mirror)’ and even a title as provocative as ‘Sex (Panoramic Sex Heal)’ turns out to be an easily strummed guitar loop and dreamy atmospherics. ‘Oaks’ is persuasive though, swaying in a slow dance that works really nicely. There is no reinventing of the wheel here but there didn’t need to be – all The Orb need to do, and continue to do, is play to their strengths, making calming music like this to help us deal with the horrors the news throws at us!
Ben Hogwood
4 out of 5