Orbital, the Sevenoaks-born duo of brothers Phil and Paul Hartnoll, have crafted a vast catalogue of ambitious yet accessible electronic music, informed by a wide range of genres such as ambient, electro, punk, and film scores. They became one of the biggest names in music during the mid-’90s by completely reinventing the notion of what a dance act could do live, turning multitudes of rock fans on to the limitless pleasures of electronic music. It’s not for nothing that the band’s colossal set at Glastonbury Festival in 1994 is regularly cited as one of the greatest gigs of all time
Since breaking through with their landmark 1990 Top 20 hit “Chime,” Orbital have released a string of critically praised albums, including the 1993 landmark Orbital 2 and 1996’s In Sides. As the duo’s own music became more cinematic-sounding, they scored films such as Event Horizon and Octane. The pair disbanded in 2004, only to re-form in 2009 and release full-length Wonky and soundtrack Pusher in 2012, when they performed at the 2012 London Paralympics with Professor Stephen Hawking.
Following a second breakup in 2014, they returned once again in 2017, releasing Monsters Exist the following year. In 2022, Orbital celebrated over three decades of making music with 30 Something which, unlike other Best Of’s, contained reworks, remakes, remixes and re-imaginings of landmark Orbital tracks by luminaries including Yotto, David Holmes and Jon Hopkins.
2023 saw the band embark on a UK tour to coincide with the release of their tenth studio album Optical Delusion, a deep dig into the unquiet psyche of our increasingly surreal and disordered world announced by the fabulous, furious lead single “Dirty Rat”, a collaboration with Sleaford Mods, which was playlisted by BBC Radio 6Music and further supported by a Radio 1 residency.