Cydonia is the fifth studio album by The Orb released on Island Records. Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann, along with usual collaborators Andy Hughes, Nick Burton, and Simon Phillips; wrote and produced during 1998 Cydonia was for planned a 1999 release although as Island Records was trapped in "major-label-restructuring limbo" due to its recent purchase by Universal Music Group, Cydonia was not released until 2001. Featured on the album are Robert Fripp, John Roome, and Fil Le Gonidec, who had previously only worked with The Orb in live performances.
Unlike previous Orb albums, Cydonia featured several "proper songs" with vocals, which critics felt did not sound similar to "Orb songs". Singers Nina Walsh and Aki Omori appeared on two tracks each on Cydonia providing vocals and co-writing lyrics with Paterson. Paterson felt that this new direction for The Orb was more similar to the experimental work of Orbus Terrarum, rather than the poppish techno of Orblivion.
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