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LW1DSE > MUSIC    03.11.19 20:33l 274 Lines 14166 Bytes #999 (0) @ WW
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Subj: Orbital (Biography)
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[ฏฏฏ TST HOST 1.43c, UTC diff:5, Local time: Sun Sep 30 14:44:17 2018 ฎฎฎ]

          Orbital was an English electronic duo consisting of brothers Phil
and Paul Hartnoll whose career lasted from 1989 until 2004. They took their
name from Greater London's orbital motorway, the M25, which was central to
the early rave scene and party network in the South East during the early
days of acid house. One of the biggest names in British electronica during
the 1990s, Orbital were both critically and commercially successful, being
particularly known for an element of live improvisation during their shows,
a rarity with techno acts. They were initially influenced by early electro
and punk rock.

Contents

1) Career
1.1) Early years
1.2) 1994 breakthrough
1.3) Later albums
1.4) Following the break up
2) Political commentary
3) Selected discography
3.1) Albums
3.2) Singles/EPs
3.3) Compilations
3.4) Featured songs


1) Career

1.1) Early years:

          In 1989, Orbital recorded a track called Chime on their father's
cassette deck. It was released on Oh Zone Records in December 1989, and
re-released on FFRR Records a few months later. The track became a rave
anthem, reaching number 17 in the UK charts, and earning them an appearance
on Top of the Pops, during which they wore anti-Poll Tax t-shirts. A few
singles and EPs followed, and their first self-titled album  a collection of
tracks recorded at various times, was released in late 1991.

          In late 1992, the Radiccio EP barely reached the UK top forty, but
it included probably their most well-known song, Halcyon. The song featured a
backwards sample of Kirsty Hawkshaw from It's a Fine Day (a chart hit for
Opus III earlier that year), and B-side The Naked and the Dead was similarly
based on a line from Scott Walker's rendition of Jacques Brel's song Next.
Halcyon was dedicated to the Hartnolls' mother, who was addicted to the
tranquiliser (Sedatives) Halcion (Triazolam) for many years.

          The duo's popularity grew rapidly with the release of their second
album, titled Orbital 2, in 1993. The album featured complex arrangements and
textures, and opens with the two minute track Time Becomes, which comprises
nothing more than 2 slightly detuned, looped samples of a Michael Dorn line
from Star Trek: The Next Generation, "...where time becomes a loop" being
played simultaneously through the left and right channels, respectively
(until 1 cycle of phase difference has happened). This very same sample was
used at the beginning of The Mobius, the opening track in the previous album.
This audible pun was intended to make listeners believe that they had bought
a mis-pressed album (orbital 1 packaged in orbital 2). The album reached #28
on the UK album charts, staying in the top chart for fifteen weeks. Halcyon
was remixed for the album, as Halcyon + On + On. The version played live has
also gained notoriety amongst fans for containing a complete mashup of diverse
samples including You give love a bad name by the band Bon Jovi, Heaven is a
place on Earth by Belinda Carlisle, and most recently I believe in a thing
called love by the band The Darkness. The first two albums are commonly known
as "the green album" and "the brown album", after the colour of their covers.


1.2) 1994 breakthrough:

          Orbital won a NME award for Vibes Best Dance Act early in 1994, but
it was their headline appearance at the Glastonbury Festival on 25 June 1994
that brought them most attention. Q magazine classed it as one of the top 50
gigs of all time, and in 2002 included Orbital in their list of 50 Bands to
See Before You Die. Orbital gave an improvisational element to live electronic
music as the brothers mixed and sequenced their tracks on the fly, wearing
their trademark head-mounted torches behind banks of equipment. Orbital were
one of the few electronic acts invited to play at Woodstock '94.

          The third album Snivilisation was released in August 1994 . Alison
Goldfrapp provided vocals on a couple of the tracks, including the single Are
We Here?. This track also included a sample from Man at C&A by The Specials.
Among the remixes of Are We Here? was Criminal Justice Bill? - four minutes
of silence, a reference to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994,
which was in part intended to clamp down on the rave scene which had given
birth to Orbital. The other track with Goldfrapp vocals, Sad But True, was
remixed for the Times Fly EP, the band's only release in 1995.

          The single The Box was released in April 1996, reaching #11 in the
UK, and its parent album In Sides, released in May 1996, became their second
top five album. It revealed a less obviously dance-oriented sound than
previously, and had more in common with soundtrack music. In Sides has since
come to be considered one of their most critically well-regarded works. As
with the previous album, there was a vague theme of ecological disaster and
dissatisfaction with society.

          The following year, the duo contributed to film soundtracks (The
Saint, Event Horizon) and enjoyed the biggest singles of their career, with
a live version of Satan and their reworking of the aforementioned The Saint
theme both reaching #3 in the UK. 1997 also saw the inclusion of the In Sides
track "Out There Somewhere (Part 2)" in the long-awaited game series relaunch
Test Drive 4.


1.3) Later albums:

          1998 saw a return to the studio to work on their fifth album The
Middle of Nowhere. This was released in 1999, becoming their third top five
album, and was a return to a more upbeat style, with Alison Goldfrapp
returning on vocals, and included the single Style featuring the stylophone.

          In 2000 the single Beached was released from the soundtrack to the
film The Beach, mixing the brothers' musical style with a melody by Angelo
Badalamenti and the words of Leonardo DiCaprio from the film.

          2001's The Altogether featured guest vocals by the Hartnolls'
brother-in-law David Gray, a sampled Ian Dury, and a version of the Doctor Who
theme. It was to be their last album for FFRR, and had a mixed critical
reception. The following year, Work 1989-2002 collected various singles from
Chime onwards.

          Orbital split up in 2004. They played a final series of gigs from
June through July 2004 at the Glastonbury Festival, the T in the Park Festival
in Scotland, the Oxegen festival (formerly known as Witnness) in Ireland, and
the Wire Festival in Japan concluding with a live Peel Session gig at Maida
Vale Studios in London on 28 July 2004. The release of their seventh and last
original album, The Blue Album (which, unlike the untitled previous green and
brown albums, was actually named The Blue Album), coincided with this final
wave of shows. The album featured Sparks (on Acid Pants) and Lisa Gerrard (on
the final single One Perfect Sunrise).

1.4) Following the break up

          Paul Hartnoll continues to record music under his own name,
including tracks for the new Wipeout Pure game for the PSP. He released his
first full length solo album, entitled "The Ideal Condition" on the ACP
record label in June 2007. Phil Hartnoll formed a new electronica duo, Long
Range, with Nick Smith. Their debut album, "Madness and Me", was released on
their own label, Long Range Recordings, on August 6.

          In 2008 as Long Range, they signed to commercial management company
Angel Artists who additionally represent the likes of Dave Ball (of Soft Cell,
The Grid, Paul Dakeyne & Icehouse Project. He lives in Brighton with his three
sons, Louis, Milo and Conrad. Orbital released a 2 CD/DVD compilation Orbital:
Live at Glastonbury 1994-2004 on 11 June 2007. The collection contains over
2 hours of music recorded from the group's performances at the festival over
the course of a decade of appearances there.

2) Political commentary:

          Orbital sometimes incorporated political and environmental
commentary into their music. The track Forever on Snivilisation samples a
speech by Graham Crowden from the 1982 Lindsay Anderson film Britannia
Hospital, in which he lambasts humankind for its destructive ways; and the
track You Lot on the Blue Album, features a confrontational, partially vocoded
anti-genetic engineering sample from Christopher Eccleston, originally from
the TV two-part series The Second Coming written by Russell T. Davies.

          They recorded The Girl With The Sun In Her Head from In Sides using
Greenpeace's mobile solar power generator CYRUS. They named an early record
Belfast after playing live in the city of Belfast at the height of The
Troubles in 1990. Other album track titles suggest environmental concern such
as Kein Trink Wasser ("no drinking water" in German) from Snivilisaton and
Dwr Budr ("dirty water" in Welsh) and P.E.T.R.O.L. from In Sides.

          Orbital are sometimes confused with The Orb, a similarly named band
that has also been very influential in the realm of electronic music. In its
early days, The Orb often did remixes of other artists' songs and called the
result an "Orbital Mix", but these remixes have nothing to do with the band
Orbital. The Orb stopped this practice after Orbital became popular, hoping
not to cause any more confusion.


3) Selected discography:


3.1) Albums:

Orbital (aka the Green Album)                               1991
Orbital (aka the Brown Album)                               1993
Peel Session                                                1994
Snivilisation                                               1994
In Sides                                                    1996
Satan Live                                                  1997
Event Horizon (OST) with Michael Kamen                      1997
The Middle of Nowhere                                       1999
The Altogether                                              2001
Work 1989-2002                                              2002
Octane (OST)                                                2003
Blue Album                                                  2004
Halcyon (Best of compilation)                               2005
Orbital: Live at Glastonbury 1994-2004                      2007

3.2) Singles/EPs

"Chime"                                                     1990
"Omen"
"Satan"                                                     1991
"Midnight" / "Choice"
Mutations EP                                                1992
Radiccio EP
"Halcyon"
"Lush"                                                      1993
"Are We Here?"                                              1994
"Belfast"                                                   1995
"Times Fly"
"The Box"                                                   1996
"Satan" (re-recording)
"The Saint"                                                 1997
"Style"                                                     1999
"Nothing Left"
"Beached" (In collaboration with Angelo Badalamenti)        2000
"Funny Break (One is Enough)"                               2001
"Illuminate" (12" Only)
Rest/Play EP                                                2002
"One Perfect Sunrise" / "You Lot"                           2004

3.3) Compilations:

The Bedroom Sessions (Various Artists, selected by Orbital, released with the
April 2002 issue of Mixmag                                  2002
Back to Mine (D.J. Mix album)                               2002

3.4) Featured songs:

Hackers                                                     1995
Halcyon + On + On (shortened version)  used as the film's theme Mortal
Kombat                                                      1995
Halcyon + On + On Johnny Mnemonic                           1995
Sad But True Event Horizon (film)                           1997
The Saint                                                   1997
A Life Less Ordinary                                        1997
The Box and Dwr Budr Spawn                                  1997
Satan (with Kirk Hammett)                                   1998
P.E.T.R.O.L Human Traffic                                   1999
Belfast (Played when the ravers are driving back from the house party)
The Beach                                                   2000
Beached Groove                                              2000
Halcyon + On + On CKY2K                                     2001
Halcyon + On + On FreQuency                                 2001
Funny Break (One Is Enough)- Weekend Ravers Mix xXx         2002
Technologicque Park (original to this film)  Orbital appear in the film
during the night club/rave sequence.
ER (episode: "Insurrection")
Frenetic BBC 40th anniversary celebration of Doctor Who     2003
Doctor? Keen Eddie (original to this programme)
score for first episode                                     2003
Haggard: The Movie                                          2003
Doctor? Played while Valo and Falcone tape faeces to
Glauren's garage door
Mean Girls                                                  2004
Halcyon + On + On (not on soundtrack)
It's All Gone Pete Tong
Frenetic (Short Mix)
Wipeout
Forza Motorsport 2
Left Behind

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