Undefeated champions of British electronic music, Orbital, get back in the ring in 2012 with Wonky, their first new album in eight years.…
Undefeated champions of British electronic music, Orbital, get back in the ring in 2012 with Wonky, their first new album in eight years. Recently reunited following a long sabbatical, Paul and Phil Hartnoll are back on fighting-fit form and ready to reclaim their title as lightheaded lords of the dance arena. Both timeless and contemporary, heartwarming and exhilarating, Wonky puts a vividly modern spin on their signature blend of richly melodic, deeply emotive electronica. Confident, energised and eclectic, Wonky already sounds like the duo’s finest album to date.
Like all previous Orbital albums, Wonky blows away narrow-minded caricatures of electronic music as cold and mechanical. Playful humour and warm humanity are woven into its musical fabric - from the heart-tugging harmonies and woozy vocal layers of "Never" and "Distractions", to the guest appearance by the highly acclaimed LA-based electronic musician, Zola Jesus on the brooding, atmospheric epic "New France". These are machine-made symphonies to stir the soul and electrify the senses.
Wonky was recorded in a small studio in Orbital’s Brighton home base, then mixed in London with help from internationally acclaimed producer, Mark “Flood” Ellis, whose stellar list of previous collaborators includes PJ Harvey, U2, Nine Inch Nails and The Killers. Paul credits Flood with giving the album a more rounded, holistic sound.
From the intoxicating energy rush and glistening fanfares of its mighty opening track, "One Big Moment", to the restless bounce and optimistic glow of its galloping finale, "Where Is It Going", the new Orbital album was designed to follow an emotional and musical “road map” that Paul and Phil pinned to their studio wall in Brighton.
Orbital were formed in the late 1980s by Paul and Phil in their native Sevenoaks, on the southern fringes of London. Embraced and championed by rave culture, but never fully immersed in it, they released a string of classic 1990s singles including "Chime", "Style", "The Box", "Satan" and a witty techno-glam reworking of the Doctor Who theme. Besides remixing Madonna and Kraftwerk, they also worked with an impressive range of collaborators, from soundtrack composer, Angelo Badalamenti to Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammet.
Putting Orbital on hold in 2004 after seven albums and more than 15 years together, Paul and Phil worked on separate solo projects and recharged their musical batteries. But a five-year absence only increased demand for their emotionally uplifting music, especially their legendary live shows in front of huge festival crowds. The brothers finally announced their comeback with a triumphant headline set at the Big Chill in 2009. The idea for Wonky sprang from Orbital’s rapturously received live comeback. During a year of sell-out tours and euphoric festival sets, Paul and Phil fired up a glow-stick army of new converts at Coachella, in the California desert, before making a victorious return to Glastonbury. A further year of globe-trotting DJ sets followed, allowing the brothers to road-test the new album in raw form, making adjustments in the studio in response to crowd reactions – an unprecedented flow of energy and ideas between artist and audience.
Reunited, rebooted and revitalised, Orbital have come full circle with Wonky. Paul and Phil can hardly wait to unleash the full album in its natural habitat, the live stage – from London’s Royal Albert Hall to summer festival stages around the world. The undefeated champions of British electronic music both agree that this is the start of a bright new chapter for Orbital.
Wonky includes a bonus disc with 5 of their most popular hits recorded live in Australia.
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