‘Orbit5’ by Matthew Squibb is an adventurous ambient odyssey that you need to add to your collection right now. Hit play on ‘Horizon Problem’ below if you still need convincing, THEN pick it up on Bandcamp, AND THEN explore ‘Orbit5’ in my album review below.
Matthew Squibb’s solo project ‘Orbit5’ was written between October 2016 and March 2017 as an ambient “…soundtrack to your reading/writing/studying/working” departure from his past work with For Astronauts and Satellites (callback to my review of their 2014 chiptune album ‘A Homing Light’) which, by no small coincidence, is also highly recommended. Designed with themes of “space fairing and discovery to worlds beyond our own” in mind, Squibb succeeds in constructing the framework for revelatory creative influence, conveying limitless expanse and opportunity in each of the album’s 10 gloriously boundless tracks.
‘Orbit5’ is an excellent ambient album, fully living up to its claim as the inspirational soundtrack to your creative endeavours. Painting a space odyssey through deliberate use of echoes, instrumental breaks, and silence, ‘Orbit5’ delivers big on its promises and is a staple for any ambient soundtrack lover.
Five ‘Orbit5’ standout tracks are highlighted below hand-chosen to whet your musical palette and spotlight just how excited you should be about Matthew Squibb’s latest release:
‘Raumschiff’ opens ‘Orbit5’ with an echoing synth foundation under flittering chimes and a light percussion accompaniment, immediately setting an expansive tone for tracks to come. A sense of looming unknown and a daring to explore is clear, underscored by a booming baseline as a swell of singular instruments mirror the original echoing synth melody until an abrupt near-silence cements the vast open tone ‘Raumschiff’ offers.
‘Orbit5’ brilliantly challenges the boundaries of ambient storytelling with grand sweeping flares of haunting melted chords filling the great expanse while persistent crisp runs maintain a sense of speed and urgency as a morse-code-like percussion grasps at your attention. Controlled snares focus the beat, conveying a looming authority surveying for the origin of the chaotic creativity. Completing its sweeps, the authority moves on, leaving the elegant chaos to comfortingly fade to father corners of the universe.
‘Pulsar’ is a musical homing beacon searching for togetherness. The light simulated crunching of untouched rock underfoot adds to the expeditious mystery of searching an isolated planet. A sudden eruption of percussion and melodic synth decries more than may have been bargained for; a considerable threat or immediate crisis. Overcome, the danger is averted, and the search continues as sounds fade to minimums; a sign that beyond strife is reward, as long as you understand that that reward is more journey.
‘Outside For A Spacewalk’ takes a laser-focused approach: assembling layered harmonious runs to create a sense of purpose and duty alongside the fleeting chimes of stars beyond. A minimalistic interlude allows bated breaths to foster before the great spacewalk, represented by an all-encompassing, booming wave that invokes pure wonderment. The chiming solo to follow rewards past braveries with visions of a front row view of the cosmos. ‘Outside For A Spacewalk’ is a tentpole track album seller and is a must-listen for anyone who holds a place in their heart for explorative ambience.
‘You Should See This World’ wraps ‘Orbit5’ up in a whimsical bow of chimes and deep strings as an echoing melodic cascade holds its own behind a pulsing bass competing for your sense of spectacle. The chimes win the day, building together and biding their time while calculated percussion gathers in their absence. An all-encompassing pulse melds both worlds together for a final wave, and the melodic chimes persist through the force; a gentle perseverance that weaves itself throughout ‘Orbit5’. Beautiful, endearing, and inquisitive.
‘Orbit5’ navigates its ambience with grace and bravery as it tackles themes of loneliness, ambition, and reverence with free-flowing execution. More whimsical than Squibb’s previous work with For Astronauts and Satellites, ‘Orbit5’ dutifully expands Squibb’s repertoire. Future solo and collaborative works will greatly benefit from Squibb’s musical growth here, and can only mean more great offerings to come.
‘Orbit5’ by Matthew Squibb is an atmospheric feast for anyone craving an original enrapturing ambient experience. Inspiring, expansive, and thoughtful, ‘Orbit5’ is available now on Bandcamp for £5 GBP (or more) and comes highly recommended. Pick up a copy and support Matthew in his continued musical journey.
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