Cipher are Theo Travis (soprano sax, alto flute, piano) and Dave Sturt (fretless bass, loop programming). No Ordinary Man, their second album, echoes Brian Eno's Ambient 4: On Land with its gentle ambient soundscapes and a slightly melancholic jazz feel. Sampling through various moods that evoke ideas of contemplation or meditation, the duo is joined at various times by Richard Barbieri and Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree. The atmospheres are mostly wordless throughout, with the notable exception of "Desert Song," a noir-ish phantasm featuring the gorgeous vocals of Rabbi Gaddy Zerbib. Travis expertly produces beguiling textures on his wind instruments, and Sturt provides subtle and moving foundations beneath. Best for quiet times, No Ordinary Man is an excellent starting point for this project, especially for people who come to Theo Travis via his Thread album with Robert Fripp.
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AllMusic Review by James Mason