Legendary UK Duo Orbital Releases First New Single in Five Years
When monsters are loose in a darkening world, we need monsters of our own to fight back.
After a barnstorming live reunion which saw them play to ecstatic audiences across Europe throughout 2017 Britain’s giants of electronic music Orbital announce they’re back for good – with new music and an upgrade of the legendary live show that transformed festivals across the world.
Reunited brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll have just released their new single, “Tiny Foldable Cities.” An intricate piece of electro-hypnotica in the lineage of “The Box” or “Style,” it restates why Orbital were always a cut above the bargain basement boom-and-bosh crew, and takes their signature sound forward into a new and fascinating phase.
Their first new album in five years – the one even fans wondered if they’d ever hear – called Monsters Exist is out September 14.
Monsters Exist is a more classically structured Orbital album than their previous release, Wonky, drawing inspiration from the international political landscape all the way back from Paul and Phil’s pre-rave squat-punk roots right up to the volatile tensions and erratic rhetoric of today.
“When you haven’t made an album in five years it just comes tumbling out,” says Paul. “Because of the global situation, I was torn between writing a really aggressive Crass-type album that says ‘F— The Man!’ or going back to rave sensibilities. You know, let’s really rebel by stepping away and actually living that alternative lifestyle.” But the idea of Monsters Exist tied it all together.
Phil puts it succinctly: “It’s a reflection on modern-day monsters,” he says. “That can mean anything from bankers and The Man or your own demons and fears. The monsters inside you,” he says, evilly.
When they’re in balance these leading figures of British dance music constitute their own self-regulating yin and yang. Analytical, detail-oriented Paul listens to everything from new electronica by Nathan Fake and Jon Hopkins to Beck and Belle & Sebastian. Born-again German techno fan Phil is hammering Bicep and the resurgent minimal sound of Berlin. If time is a loop then Orbital have completed their own revolution to a new equilibrium.
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