I would always say that Orbital is that fraternal electronic duo you go to see performing live. They did so at the Brixton Academy in London, on Thursday 24 June, immediately after England’s Euro 2004 defeat. “Within minutes sporting shame was forgotten as the Academy became one huge, bouncing, seething dancefloor” .

Thursday’s show was something of a greatest-hits set: from the early years: Chime and Satan –accompanied by an updated video backdrop incorporating G.W.Bush-, the 1996 hit single The Box, a personal favourite: Halcyon On and On containing some fresh new samples from the contemporary Darkness, and Doctor ? at the end, as a filling encore.

The duo also performed live the cinematic new single One Perfect Sunrise. One perfect sunrise by those ready to ride off into the sunset… Contradictory, huh? I bought the seventh and last Orbital album on the official date of its release. I normally don’t buy their cds. I just listen to their tracks here and there, mainly relying on the shots of euphoria with every deafening performance. Well, it also has to do with the dance. The dance! Yet the crisis in dance music scene caused the Hartnoll brothers to decide upon their retirement… or so they say.

I bought the Blue Album on a rainy day in London. It suits rainy days in London: first thought. I would suggest a release in October… It is suited for autumn. It must have been the first track. Some enhanced echo effects in a musical tank. It’s as if the musical event happens in a tank..
Transients: an instrumental tank! Nice! Strings over piano! They make quite an effect! It could be part of a soundtrack. Hans Zimmer and Michael Nyman would like it I guess; or at least the second half of it.

The next one, Pants, is my ‘pace’. That’s how I call it. Tread lightly and sensually upon the tune of the Pants
A track that could easily be introduced to dancefloors.

Tunnel Vision could somehow be part of the Octane Score. It could precede or follow Initiation. They share the same mysticism and at some point the same extended thrums.

The fifth track, You Lot, contains a sample from “The Second Coming”, written by Russell T Davies; featured actor is Christopher Eccleston. Well, I wouldn’t have said that if it hadn’t been for the booklet. Percussions lead the way and a synth bass is ‘engaged in’ the maintenance of the good impressions.. Complete track. I like!

Time for bath now. Bath Time: A track for our splish-splash times, that is! A playful ambient workout! It’s been making my days for quite some time now. Original and so fresh! Don’t use the skip button on it. Better try it while eating ice cream Smile provoking…

In Acid Pants the Hartnolls have used some of the Fahrenheit 303 FX. The track is written by Orbital, vocals by Sparks. Not easy to get along with this track. Overused vocals, repetitive tune… Well, it could satisfy some acid house preferences. Yet, the constant tribal rumble somehow annoys me. I’ve never been a fan of that new progressive tribal house music anyway.. Sparks said: “Paul (Hartnoll) contacted us and asked if we’d be interested in collaborating in some way for their new album. It was a process of them sending us a track which they wanted us to come up with some vocal elements. We took their track in our studio in LA, and then came up with the line, ‘when the laugh track starts, then the fun starts.’ It was in various permutations to fit with their track. We sent our work back to the guys in Brighton and they spliced and diced” [from]

I’m jumping at the closing track. Nice epilogue for an album and… for a whole career. I like the way percussions are thoroughly introduced. Then at the end of the first minute they utterly kick in! Vocals by Lisa Gerrard! In the end the track ‘recycles’; end meets beginning… The track slightly sums up and concludes… and so they do… the Orbital! The orbit is concluded… The memories will remain within it …constant.

1. Transient
2. Pants
3. Tunnel Vision
4. Lost
5. You Lot
6. Bath Time
7. Acid Pants
8. Easy Serv
9. One Perfect Sunrise

Release date: June 21, 2004


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