- 15 Aug 22
Dance pioneers revisit some of their greatest hits.
Brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll missed their actual 30th birthday as Orbital due to Covid-19, but the pandemic gave them time to think about how to mark the anniversary. The result is 30 Something, where the duo revisit, and not so much remix as remake some of the finest moments from their first three decades, as well as roping in a load of their mates, like Jon Hopkins and David Holmes (who contributes a very chilled version of ‘Belfast’), to remix them.
There’s a new take on the breakthrough ‘Chime’, which took them from their parents’ house to Top Of The Pops, where they infamously unplugged their synths and sported anti-Poll Tax t-shirts, which still sounds just as euphoric as it did in 1990. ‘Satan’, meanwhile, manages to be unsettling and an absolute banger at the same time.
New track, ‘Smiley’, is seven minutes of skittish beats, with what sounds eerily like a church organ playing ‘Champion The Wonder Horse’, alongside samples from ITV’s famous World in Action report about a police raid on an acid house party in Sevenoaks, Kent, where a young Paul Hartnoll was among those beaten-up and subsequently interviewed.
There’s also the previously unreleased ‘Acid Horse’, a giddy synth-driven gurner, as well as ‘Where Is It Going?’, featuring the voice of Stephen Hawking, written for and performed at the 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony, showing just how much Orbital have pervaded popular culture. And they’re not sitting still.
Key Track: ‘Chime (30 Something Years Later Mix)'
Check out the rest of our album reviews in the new issue of Hot Press.