The album contains five tracks, with 'Orbital Pertubation' being my personal favorite. This massively immersive track is a thirteen minutes lasting trip through soul, time and space, pretty much the best piece of music ever produced by this nine-piece band.
But let's go over the personnel first because there are some massively interesting names here. Obviously, there are Aidan Baker (Nadja, Caudal) and Eric Quach (Thisquietarmy). Then there are the drummers: David Dunnett, Jérémie Mortier (Alice in the Cities, Nearest Gas Station) and Felipe Salazar (Caudal). They seem perfectly aligned with one another and with the two frontmen, so to speak. Finally there are the the contributions of Simon Goff (Molecular, Bee And Flower) on violin, Duchamp on baritone guitar, Felix-Florian Tödtloff (ex-Sun Worship) on bass, and Diego Ferri (Alice In The Cities) on synths.
Although split up in five tracks, the album can easily be enjoyed as a continuous whole. Opener 'Serial Staging' repeats the previous sound of Hynodrone Ensemble, which mostly resembles krautrock. After a while it gently makes place for the amazing 'Orbital Pertubation', a track which brings even Godspeed! You Black Emperor to mind. The violin plays a strong role in that reference, something I can easily appreciate. 'Restabilization' then seems to grab back to the old fashion sounds,driving on a groovy bassline and calmly lingering on.
'Monotransitive' feels heavier than the other tracks. It's not mixed in with the previous track, as most of the album is but it opens part two in a strong and somewhat impending manner. Here,the whole band seems to have borrowed elements from Aidan's Nadja project but also from Dirk Serries' FearFallsBurning. This is perhaps the least easy-digestible track on the album but a seasoned drone/ambient/kraut/psych fan will definitely embrace this dramatic tune. In the end, 'Pulsations in the Hypnosphere' finished the album in style, with some good old fashioned krautrock.
The verdict? I can't think of anything to criticize this album with. It's simply the next incarnation of a cooperative band, further exploring their sound and possibilities. Perhaps I can say it's too short or that the album title is a bit weird but that won't harm my opinion in any way. 'Plays Orchestral Favorites' is an energetic and immersive masterpiece, if I may use that word. So all I can say is; pre-order the hell out of it before they're all sold out and join me in hoping for a tour soon. This I have to see live...