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In Sides 1996
“Orbital” is an electronic duo consisting of brothers Phil Hartnoll and Paul Hartnoll formed in London, England whose career originally lasted from 1989 until 2004.
Orbital took their name from Greater London’s orbital motorway, the M25, which was central to the early rave scene and party network in the South East during the early days of acid house. One of the biggest names in British electronica during the 1990s, Orbital were both critically and commercially successful, being particularly known for an element of live improvisation during their shows, a rarity with techno acts. They were initially influenced by early electro and punk rock.
In 1989, Orbital recorded a track called “Chime” on their father’s cassette deck. It was released on Oh Zone Records in December 1989, and re-released on FFRR a few months later. The track became a rave anthem, reaching number 17 in the UK charts, and earning them an appearance on Top of the Pops, during which they wore anti-Poll Tax t-shirts. A few singles and EPs followed, and their first self-titled album, a collection of tracks recorded at various times, was released in late 1991.
In late 1992, the “Radiccio” EP barely reached the UK top 40, but it included probably their most well-known song, “Halcyon”. The song featured a backwards sample of Kirsty Hawkshaw from “It’s a Fine Day” (a chart hit for Opus III earlier that year), and B-side “The Naked and the Dead” was similarly based on a line from Scott Walker’s rendition of Jacques Brel’s song “Next”. Halcyon was dedicated to the Hartnol