Alex Paterson and fellow ORB original Andy Falconer to release new album

The simpatico sophomore by the unstoppably prolific Alex Paterson and fellow Orb original Andy Falconer is an epic sail through the sky at night. Helmed by gentle spirits with warmth in their hearts, ‘SETI’ feels cold and dark, yet also glowing and welcoming. Aboard a cosy candlelit spacecraft, the duo experience the cosmos as somewhere overwhelmingly infinite, yet reassuring and friendly. A sort of ‘ambient unplugged’, it’s full of acoustic instruments and nostalgic samples, folding space between the old world, and places where no man has gone before.

The various junctures include a glacially-paced sublime melody unfurling, and Nyabinghi percussion melding with mandolin and acoustic guitar, like Penguin Café Orchestra weaving around Pat Metheny. Elsewhere there’s finely detailed deep ambience, stoner conspiracy, and a continually growing uplifting chuggers anthem. All at once it’s rootsy and folky; electronic and processed; minimalist and composerly; and not of this world.

Falconer, engineered/co-wrote the ambient sides of the ground-breaking ‘Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld’ album back in 1991 – an album that defined the ambient house movement.

Initially proclaiming one morning in West Norwood, “It’s just two old blokes doing tunes”, after a couple of coffees the good Dr Paterson began to warm up and divulge: “The first LP had a great reception and sold so well I couldn’t even get a copy myself. Andy is brilliant at making ambient music, and working with him is always rewarding. We understand each other’s brains – it’s easy and organic – so doing another made total sense.” He adds, “SETI stands for Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence, but it’s also something you sit on, to chill out, which is why the album contains a Three Piece Suite. This record is musical ambience, which is what we like to make, rather than drone ambience, which there’s a lot of these days.”

Over email from his studio in Portugal, Falconer adds, “The first album The Heavens was very much a reflection of our shared roots, and in many ways saw Alex and I simply picking up where we’d left off 30 years ago with Ultraworld. For SETI, we still wanted to keep a connection to the sound of The Heavens, but to also crack open that musical mould and explore new ground. Part of that aspect was to further expand the use of acoustic instruments in both recognisable and processed forms. We’ve always been very much on the same page creatively and one of the great things with working with Alex is that nothing is out of bounds, and we’ve just continued to build on that solid relationship of trust and shared curiosity.”

Tracklisting:

  1. ‘Paradise’
  2. ‘Purgatory’
  3. ‘SETI Part 1’
  4. ‘SETI Part 2’
  5. ‘SETI Part 3’
  6. ‘The Armchair Astronaut’ (CD only)

Pre-order here