Label: Columbia Release date: 04/10/10 Link: Official Site Buy: Amazon Having been labelled by some as the Pink Floyd of house music, it is quite fitting that for their tenth album in a career spanning over two decades The Orb would work with David Gilmour. This is a dream collaboration for anyone who is a fan of both Pink Floyd and The Orb, or an intriguing listen for those who like one or the other. The album itself was apparently born from a jam session between David Gilmour and producer Martin “Youth” Glover (probably best known as bassist for Killing Joke), which led to The Orb’s Alex Patterson taking these sessions and manipulating them into an full length LP. Metallic Spheres consists of only two tracks (or as they are labelled, sides); ‘Metallic Side’ and ‘Spheres Side’; both in excess of twenty minutes and both with an extremely different feel. ‘Metallic Side’ contains the classic ambient house groove that The Orb are so famous for: The beats are slow, and the track evolves seamlessly between sections. David Gilmour’s guitar sound and style is exactly as you would expect; it is clean, smooth and full of sustain. Using both his lap steel guitar and a standard electric in the recording, the combination of the two creates a powerful and almost psychedelic sound over the top of Patterson’s production. They compliment each other to perfection, making me wonder why it has taken so long for this collaboration to come about. Continuing through the first side, there comes along an unexpected folk breakdown which kicks into a few minutes of what could quite easily be a song in itself. This cleverly breaks up this twenty-eight minute piece, adding a little bit more for someone who might only be listening to The Orb for the first time as a Floyd fan. It is a great touch; just enough to add a bit more interest but not too much to take away from the ambient house that is the main focus of the album. ‘Spheres Side’ immediately starts more aggressively than its predecessor; the guitars are being strummed harder, the synths sound much harsher and there are delays a plenty. Only three minutes in and the beat is getting heavier by the bar, and now Gilmour’s guitars are getting more distorted with howling high notes cutting through the mass of noise. However this is only a taster for what is to come as everything quietens down again, with only the drums that have now become more reminiscent of a break beat sound keeping things moving. This is quite consistent for the next ten minutes, broken up only by occasional moments of vocals from Gilmour and the odd breakdown here and there. However as the side is coming toward its close things start to get very interesting: A breakdown that sounds like something from the Australian Outback leads to some heavy rock drumming and then Youth’s bass kicks in. The sound is huge, dirty and very welcome. Gilmour is in his element and you can hear it as he jams along, his guitar singing every note perfectly. This is the moment that it all comes together for me, the moment that some of the most influential musicians in their respective genres collaborate and show all the kids how it’s really done. I can’t quite express how much I recommend going and getting Metallic Spheres when it comes out on 11th of October. For those who like The Orb, Pink Floyd or just hearing how great music is made, this is well worth a listen. The excessively long tracks might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you give it a go you will notice how it flies by and before long you are starting the album over again. Photobucket