It is so scary how fast time flies. Years seem like months, and decades, well feel like half of that. So when the news broke that Orbital were ending their run, I realized they had been the dynamic duo of dance for close to 15 years.
The Hartnoll brothers Phil and Paul were definitely pioneers in the late ’80s, not going the route of new wave, but rather forging a path that took them into a mixture of punk, electro, and hip-hop. Over the years their tracks became classics like the ever so popular “Halcyon+on+on,” which is on more compilations than I can count.
With twinklings that seem to emanate from a huge jewelry box complete with the ballerina, “Bath Time” is lovely and define, while “You Lot” spotlights the most attention getting line taken from a movie, “If you want the position of God, than accept the responsibility.” Then they go into an almost Heaven 17 type chant on “Acid Pants” thumps and grinds, a track that would most certainly get the lights swirling and the dancers twirling. This is complemented by something suited for the lounge, complete with a Belvedere martini, extra olives, and the subdued cocktail effervescence of “Easy Serv.”
But it’s the best for last on “One Perfect Sunrise,” which reaches to the sky as none other than Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance puts us in an inescapable trance.
This epilogue is bittersweet, taking us back to their earlier days of the Green Album innovation. With simplified robotic rhythms that transcend into more complex orchestration, we take a journey through what seems to be a very personal finale for the brothers.