Brace yourself: It's almost Orbital time
Fri 27th Apr, 2012 Newsin
We’re now just a week away from pioneering British duo Orbital hitting our shores and kicking off their anticipated Australian tour. Keen Orbital fans – and there’s a lot of them – need not be reminded that this is a tour with 20-odd years of heritage behind it. With a career that began in 1989 (and is still going strong) and produced seminal tracks like Chime, Halcyon, Satan and One Perfect Sunrise, brothers Phil and Paul Hartnoll’s legendary status is, by now, well and truly cemented. So while word of the brothers calling it quits in 2004 was naturally met with disappointment, the news that they’d reformed in 2009 for a number of live shows was serious cause for celebration. Included in that run of performances was a 2010 tour of Australia – their first in eighteen years.
For the legions of Orbital’s Australian fans, that tour was a chance to see why the duo had rightly earned themselves a place in NME’s 50 Bands to See Before You Die list. Not that they had an ego about it – when Paul Hartnoll first walked on stage at Sydney’s The Forum, he greeted the audience with a coy “Hello. Sorry it’s been so long since our last visit.”
From there, our reviewer wrote, it was into the lengthy back catalogue of hits: “From ethereal rave anthems like Chime, Belfast and Lush 3.1, to acid house cuts like Impact and more electronica-derived breakbeat such as Know Where To Run and Satan (arguably the highlight of the show), the pair crafted their set with expert technique and polished programming.”
Similarly, our Melbourne reviewer had only the highest of praise for the pair. “Behind the myriad of sound boards, mixing desks, keyboards and sequencers was a visual display screen which opened the show with static TV interference then green swirls and heart monitor visuals. From the first moments of the first track, it was very clear that Orbital are still at the top of the pile when it comes to productions in the field of EDM. Their ability to fuse subsonic basslines with ethereal vocals, breakbeats, keys and strings is second to none and I doubt there are many modern production artists that will still be able to fill venues 20 years from now.”
So given how (very, very) good their last visit was, it’s unsurprising the 2012 tour announcement had one ITMer summing it up with an elated “life is complete…again”. But the 2012 visit promised to bring even more than the last, as this year also saw the release of Orbital’s ninth studio album, Wonky. After delving into Wonky tracks like Straight Sun and New France, our reviewer for the long awaited release wrote: “What is for certain is that Wonky is loaded with tunes that will sound infinitely better live. And as a duo that have prided themselves on making people dance, dating back to a time where they partied under the M25 in London, Orbital have just given themselves more than enough ammunition to keep doing exactly that.”
Tickets for Orbital’s Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane shows are on sale now. We’d strongly advise heading along.