|Despite featuring a cheeky nod to their remix of Primal Scream’s “Higher Than The Sun”, vocal led opener “The End Of The Road” makes it clear this is virgin territory. But despite new paths being forged, Paterson’s omnipresent humor remains on “I Wish I Had A Pretty Dog”’s animalistic rhythm – joined by tablas, strings, half speed beats and bass, which collide like planets in the cosmos.
Hollie Cook returns a favor following Alex’s production work on her Vessel Of Love album, lending her vocals to the Battersea-referencing, classic dub house throbber “Rush Hill Road”, alongside Brother Culture.
The first of several tracks to feature Roney FM’s plummy, faux vintage BBC voice, “Pillow Fight At Shag Mountain” is airy and bright like stratus on a clear day, bubbling in pleasing fashion through various styles and samples tethered by Jah Wobble’s bass and Roger Eno’s piano, somehow coalescing, making illogical logic in a way only The Orb can.
“Isle Of Horns” pares things down to a loping, dusty and organically-minimal piece that’s closer to the last two albums, yet works well as a subtler break from other more maximal moments herein.
Driven by Youth’s double bass, “Wolfbane” is a lysergic romp through hip hop across the ages, from Run DMC to Dre to Dilla. It also withholds the anti-war stance expressed on COW, putting vintage nuclear threat back on the menu, thanks to Trump, Jong-un and Putin.
Paying homage to another or Alex’s faves is the boom bap of “Doughnuts Forever”, which swings from chilling, pensive atmosphere into reassuringly lush, 50’s Hollywood strings and back again.