From the very 1st sound I am immediately taken back in time; with a twist.
Its historical rave moments followed by fitting Orbital sounds then the modernization synth stabs drop in the background. Hooked by the melodic sound only Orbital can deliver. Then words drop and fit! Paul's history at the Kent rave! The stereo that just wasn't as accurate 30 years ago. That's Smiley, track 1!
The time machine brings us up to date at the start of track 2 - Acid House - new but old. Just as you get used to the techno bass drum, incomes a vocal noise, another layer is added, then another, then relatively quiet and a male voice repeats, then more electronic sounds. Punchy electronic house techno (mildly poppy) jazz? (Chorus only!) Bye bye I'm off on a journey! Eyes shut! Then stop!
Where is it going? Stephen Hawking (SH) reels you into a visualised story of, for me, a Galactic tunnel. Then we get tempo and sounds! Energised! Then SH again. This (album) is an amazing story book already!
Impact remix. A classic. Then again, what aren't! This, after a minute (ish) suddenly seems to have extra beats, subtle and cleverly and succinctly in the speakers for a short period. Then again the subtlety of the extras - it is a remix - show their headshaking presence and let it be known! What an impact (Sorry not sorry)! The classical (my favourite electronic Orbital sound) sound shows up after 5 minutes. As if there is *A* classical sound! Phew. A cry for survival indeed. Stunning. An amazing eye-squeezing outerspace 12 minute audio trip for me.
SatanThe echoes, the darkness even in the beats themselves, then the melody! It's modern, with a higher-level tune added, is 100% Satan, not that that was ever in doubt!
Visualisation of 70s horrors spinning in the milky way! Techno dancers including me doing what can in a scary techno environment in space somewhere!
Then the smiles. The loving respect of the sound of Chime. It's on speed but it's not! A view of Jaws! On the boat ready to hook a shark! I am beyond hooked! The changing dynamics that remain are sooo damn clever and fabulous! Tweaked beats here and there with an echo! And breathe.
Have to stop. Close eyes for Halcyon. An extra piano chord? Then that voice. That bass tune. Wow. The first extra added beat, is of course fitting. I'm in a bubble. A tube of audio delight. The vocal echoes mesmerising. Spanish strings? The future drops! On a specially dancing X-Wing with no Empire! The soul in this!
Gets better?! Help! Rubbing temples with wondrous joy as Belfast hits (official Orbital video here, not the remix)
Orbital by Orbital
I forgot I was trying to make notes! Yes, maybe a slight change to a beat's sharpness somewhere - amazing - tune on top newer, top top layer Orbital classical electronic brilliance. Vocals subtler? Incredible. Another layer as the pace starts to slow. What millennia is this?! To the finish. I feel like I need some kind of drink. Shock from amazement.
Thing is, on reflection, could there be a bad mix of Belfast? I'm not tempting fate. Diamond is hard to break. This is that.
Back to 1998. My marriage with Insides began. This - The Box remix - sparked many a memory. Now with new welcome distractions, to the original beauty that are unbreakable, yet open to a bit of an addition to jump forward in time (with a subtle synth stretch). Done very successfully.
When I say stereo, that is a complete understatement. Are We Here has sounds coming from all directions. Is it 4D?! Beautiful. Rivers (mind's eye), flows so well. Every part.
The Girl With The Sun In Her Head (Floex remix)- my favourite Orbital tune since I landed Insides, 1998.
This remix start doesn't grab me like the original. The stabs start to 'freshen up' with the fundamental tune. Then arguably THE tune lays over again to make this what it is. A modern remix. Different tempo maybe, newer layers, too ambient? (which is something I love), but. I'll stick with the original.
Last track starts with intent. Doesn't initially sound like Halcyon & On (this ‘Logic 1000 Mix’) to me. A remix Roj! However, as it develops, classic sounds arrive to make it what it is. Acid-House (Detroit) Techno remix with different angles and again a good tune; not as good.
All in all an absolutely stunning album well worth the wait (I had pre-ordered). Based on and/or around live performances or not, it makes me smile galore! Proud as punch to have been an Orbital fan for so long, and long may it continue!
When I recover from this welcomed onslaught, CD 2 words will follow, but don't hold your breath!