“2;. Orbital were among those who pioneered the entire concept of ‘Iive dance music’ and are back with The Altogether, an album of barefaced party music.

Words: Tim Abrahams

or such a pleasant pair of gents. the llartnoll brothers have got themselves something of a bad reputation in lidinburgh. Rumours that

()rbital were responsible for causing large sections of

plaster to fall from the ceiling of the Queens Hall during a gig in 1990 proved to be unfounded. (It was actually New York crooner Tony Bennett who was responsible). Similarly. during their performance at the |‘)‘)() l’estival in Princes Street (iardens they managed to commit

that most heinous of crimes —— ‘M/idd/e NOWhere l8 lOr Sitting in a field and listening to by yourself and The Altogether is to at a party with

interrupting the Lone l’iper playing at the Tattoo behind them.

Yet it‘s hard to believe you have a sonic terrorist on the line when chatting to Phil. elder of the llartnoll brothers. partially because of the soothing noises which are emanating from the world of ()rbital. Yet what sounds like the ambient swish of water falling on rock that accompanies llartnoll seniot”s every pleasant word turns out to be the noise of him filling a kettle.

('rafted ambient dudes or deafening threats to authority ()rbital have managed to be somehow both. Although they emerged from the early-90s rave scene to play '(‘himeX one of the first dance cross- over hits. on 'Io/) ()f The Pops sporting Anti Poll Tax T-Shirts. the llartnoll brothers were never purely a ravers outfit. Younger brother Paul was a fan of The Dead Kennedys in his youth and throughout the years ()rbital have been hoovering up influences and

for listening

collaborating so frequently with artists. musical or

otherwise. that they no longer appear to notice that

your mates.

they are doing it.

'l‘ypical of their methods is a superb track on their latest album. ’l‘he Altogether. called ‘Shadows‘. As Phil explains. it is a reworked section of a soundtrack they did for a series by Paul Anderson for whom they recorded the soundtrack to live/1t Horizon. "l’ootled'.

on the other hand. is constructed from a bundle of

samples from one of Paul’s current favourites. Tool. and the cover of the Dr Who theme tune gets a look in simply because fans who had heard it played live left messages on their website demanding to hear it on the album.

It is a refreshingly familial attitude which they take to a logical conclusion by including Illuminate the result of an updated session from two years ago with Phil's brother-in-law. singer David (iray. ‘Dave happened to pop round for a coffee and we had a track which we thought needed a vocal. It wasn‘t right for [the preceeding album] Nowhere btlt it‘s turned out nice. I think.‘

Whilst some fans may feel that ()rbital have stepped into dangeroUs A()R territory. llartnoll‘s evaluation of the track is spot on. lndeed although the album may not pulsate with the thinly supressed anger of .S'ttivt'lt'mtt'ott or the shimmering beauty of In Sit/es. all accusations of slowing or dumbing down are unfounded.

‘Whereas .llirh/le ()t’.\'on'here was written for a detached mood. for sitting in a field and listening to by yourself. The .-l/together is for listening to at a party with your mates. That‘s what I take it to mean anyway. Paul thinks it's about not having any clothes on.‘

A party. naked or otherwise. is certainly something to look forward to.

Orbital play The Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, Thu 10 May and Barrowland, Glasgow, Fri 11 May.


Surface noise

Music news now

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PAUL WELLER HAS BEEN confirmed to play a solo set at this year‘s T in the Park. James, Wheatus, Sunna, Nelly Furtardo, Relish, Little Hell, Astrid, Tom McCrae, Alfie, The Bush, The Tree And Me, Mushtaq and Goldfinger have all also been scheduled to play the festival at Balado on 7 & 8 July.

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TRAVIS RETURN FOR A show at Barrowland, Glasgow on 5 June and Gorrillaz make their Scottish debut at Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange on 27 June.

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