Orbital Returns to Mess With America’s Biggest Chillout Rooms

Electronica pioneers Orbital are set to play a series of dates in the US in 2010, appeasing a long-standing craving for more of their particular brand of infectious (and we really mean that – think “I Wish I Had Duck Feet” from their 1994 release Snivilization) chillout room shenanigans. Between 1989 and 2004, Orbital released a string of addictive, eclectic singles including Chime, Style, Belfast, The Box and Satan. Many became evergreen club anthems. Some even became Top Three hits culminating in a seven-album career that included collabs with Goldfrapp, and composer Angelo Badalamenti.

Since releasing their swansong Orbital opus The Blue Album and disbanding in 2004, both Hartnoll brothers have ventured into new musical territory. Paul took a more orchestral direction with his 2007 solo album The Ideal Condition, while Phil launched his short-lived collaboration project Long Range and carved a thriving career as a DJ. But they never closed the door on Orbital, and demand remains high for their fabled live shows. Always leaving room for improvisation on stage, unlike many electronic acts, Paul and Phil are world-class experts at building up large crowds into a frenzy of excitement. Their offstage manner may be deadpan and low-key, but their live performances are orgies of sensory overload and revved-up euphoria.

“Audience reaction is part of the process,” Paul explains, “It really becomes like a friendly football match between you and the crowd. That was always one of our strong points – and for people to say that about an electronic band is a real honour, because it’s the one genre of music that’s normally crap live. We’ve got 15 years of active service, making songs,” Paul says. “If you boil that down to a 90-minute festival set you should get something thoroughly good from beginning to end. Let’s put some fun back into it.”

Even though their contemporaries The Orb has been seen every so often (we are sorry we missed their two night stint at the Disney Concert Hall in LA a few years back) getting Orbital back into the mix makes it feel a little more like the dawning electronica scene from 1990 and that is a really good thing.

Orbital US dates:

  • Saturday Friday, April 16 – San Francisco – Warfield Theatre – 10:15 tentative set time
  • Sunday, April 18th – Indio, CA – Coachella

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