ORBITAL MUSIC, PLAYGROUND RELEASE:
JUNE 21, 2004, (EUROPE) SEPTEMBER
21, 2004 (USA) REVIEW: JULY
Hartnoll brothers could have ended
the Orbital saga on a totally different
note, and would have gotten away with
it. They could have made a re-hash
of their earlier work, with loads
of dance-floor anthems like "Shime"
and all the old fans would have been
pleased and would have said "Yeah,
this is what Orbital should sound
like. It reminds me of that night
in Brighton in 1994… But I understand
why they call it quits now –
they just don’t have it in them
anymore to make new music".
Orbital don’t choose this easy
path to some extra money to put in
the bank. No. Instead they take us
on a cinematic journey through the
urban cityscape on a cold, cold night
– and both them and us gain
so much more from it.
with hauntingly beautiful (just listen
to those strings!) "Transient"
– which easily would have made
the cut for a new "Bladerunner"
– the Hartnolls have created
an album of more subtle beats and
harmonies. Someone has said "Kraftwerk
meet Philip Glass" and that is
as good a description as any. Within
the nine songs on "Blue Album"
Orbital creates a richly textured
beat world that may sound simple,
almost tedious in one listen, at first,
but slowly opens up to reveal intricate
Album" isn’t made for the
dancefloor. More – as hinted
– for the big screen. There
are no sure singles on it, but it’s
a great listen if you drive through
your city and watch the neon glitter
on rain-wet tarmac. And as for the
Hartnoll brothers – they surely
have a bright future ahead of them
making scores for movies in the years