Alex Paterson and company return with Cydonia, a tribute to the face, pyramids and other structures found on the red planet. Along with longtime collaborators Thomas Fehlmann and Andy Hughes, Paterson offers up another slab of dub, silly samples and spaced out atmospherics. The big (and pleasant) surprise on Cydonia is the inclusion of some sublime vocal pop songs. The single Once More opens the album with luch atmospherics and perky percussion backing Aki Mori's lovely vocals. Later, Nina Walsh's voice is heard on the deceptively tranquil dub journey Ghostdancing and Aki returns later on the ballad to space exploration Plum Island.
As usual, The music of The Orb is best listened to, otherwise you might miss the subtle touches on Cydonia. Exotic violin and flute flourishes flitter through the drum'n'bass beats of Promis. Harps, ethereal voices, chirping birds, guitar strums and splashing water break up Hamlet of Kings whose beats and synths recall The Orbs earlier excursions into space.

Along with the smooth dub and luxuriant vocals that make up the bulk of the album, your senses will be treated to the Orb-style trance workout Turn It Down, the menacing mechanical pulse and distorted drums of A Mile Long Lump of Lard and the frenetic cut and paste drum'n'bass of Thursday's Keeper.
Cydonia's closer, is another classic ambient churner that floats along for several minutes before hitting your ears with carousel keyboards, bass swoons and a slow, chugging beat that fades out to air, then a woman's voice can be heard counting out some numbers. What a trip.