It is a truism to say that dance music albums are some of the most difficult records for producers to make. Hardly anyone will be able to name more than a handful of LPs off the top of their head that blaze through with a four-to-the-floor beat and make sense over their entire length, let alone lay claim to any kind of narrative tension. Anthony Naples seems to have acknowledged this as well: in the wake of his admittedly successful tech-house LP »Fog FM«, he turned to more experimental guitar sounds and slower, playful beats on his 2021 »Chameleon«. What didn’t quite click back then now works really well on »orbs«, released on Naples’ own ANS label.
Gently plucked guitars with a swelling synth understructure set the tone on »Gem«, and the opening track »Moto Verse«, with its understated downtempo beat, is reminiscent of Four Tet’s »Two Thousand and Seventeen«. »Ackee« goes in a similar direction, with Naples using soft dub chords to create his own version of tech house – the only thing missing is the hi-hat. The album’s centrepiece, »Silas«, is unexpectedly emotionally overwhelming. It builds tension with a terrific guitar intro à la TV On The Radio’s »Staring at the Sun«, transfers it to the slowest downbeat on the record and dissolves into a mystical mood in the final minute. This track alone has more facets than a conventional techno album – Anthony Naples has understood how to make profound musical statements without using words.