It's impossible to imagine the ongoing progress of dub- and ambient-influenced electronica artists like Kruder & Dorfmeister, LTJ Bukem, and Paul Oakenfold without the work of the Orb -- a.k.a. Alex Paterson -- whose late-'80s ambient-pop masterpieces, such as "Little Fluffy Clouds," brought together the styles of chill-out pioneer Brian Eno, reggae maestro Lee "Scratch" Perry, and pumping Chicago house. Cydonia, the Orb's fifth studio album and the first since 1997, continues Paterson's raison d'être -- to create majestic electronic music that works equally well on the dance floor and on headphones. He succeeds, as Cydonia induces both sweaty locomotion ("Turn It Down") and deep contemplation ("Ghostdancing"). Holding it together is the Orb's distinctive sonic stamp -- the aural equivalent of soft-focus photography -- which owes more to new age music and Pink Floyd than acid house or Detroit techno. The foreboding industrial cyberfunk of "A Mile Long Lump of Lard" is truly nightmarish, but for the most part, Cydonia is stocked with utopian visions like "Centuries," a soothing slice of Björk-ish electro-pop. The Orb's psychedelic sound sculpting, epic grooves, and blissful moods might not be revolutionary anymore, but Cydonia successfully ushers the halcyon and mind-expanding vibe of early ambient-house into the 21st century.