Retrospectives are all the rage, every band and their bespectacled aunt are trawling through their back catalogues and cobbling together their finest moments to offer to a new generation of listeners (or to wring the last sorry dollar from their existing devotees). Worse still some of the fucker’s are stuffing aged legs into trousers too tight and wombling back on the road. There are many cases where I would love to play the role of the ‘country vet’ and happily put down such miscreants.
It’s not all bad news though, sometimes a quick gander over your shoulder at what has gone before is a welcome thing. Take Orbital for instance, twenty years in and with very little pomp or circumstance they release ‘2Orbital’ (out June 8th). The most striking thing about this release is how low key it all seems. Proof that when it’s done right it’s the music that does the talking.
The two CD collection is a mixed bag of tracks, a couple of tracks are given a bright and shiney re rub, others left in their original states. Regardless of their origins however the tracks pull together well, of course some aren’t quite as fresh as they were (but then who amongst us is). ‘Chimes’ still the capacity to deliver a covert thrill and there’s still something enigmatic about ‘Belfast’, it is still like staggering out of a wrought iron hangar after a massive night out into a sunlit but strangely abandoned world. Familiar but with a bleak slightly uncomfortable air about it, still beautiful though.
Tracks like ‘Satan’ don’t quite have the bite they used to, but ‘Halcyon’ appears in seriously beefed up form courtesy of Tom Middleton who takes us one of his slow burn/slow build epics and his new incarnation of this song is something of a revelation. Some material is represented in live form taken from shows from The Royal Albert Hall, although in all honesty you wouldn’t know. I’m presuming the mixes came straight from the desk because there is little evidence to suggest otherwise.
Overall this makes for a good introduction for anyone who hasn’t delved too deep into the band’s back story. You get the bite sized delights of their better known stuff as well as a few epic meanderings over slightly less trodden ground.
In order to be in with a chance to win a copy of this album, just answer the following stupidly easy question. Who remixed the Orbital track ‘Halcyon’ for this new release.
Answers on a postcard to email@example.com, first out of the hat etc etc etc…you’ll know if you won because I will be in touch with you.
(I’d like to dedicate this article to my friend Jessie 29.02.1980 – 04.06.2009, you’ll be missed kiddo)