our score: 4.5 out of 5.0
buy it: here
In a world
steadily becoming saturated with a plethora of electronic artists,
it sometimes becomes difficult to tell the good from the bad.
Still, it is in times like this that certain acts continue to
shine. Such is the case with Orbital, who throughout the 90s were
considered one of the premier names in electronic music. And now,
in their first album of the new millenium, Orbital prove once
again why they rightfully deserve their place among electronic
long been known as one of the more musically technical groups
in their scene, and for this reason casual listeners sometimes
were slow to adopt to their style. With The Altogether,
this may possibly change.
works , most notably 1999's Middle of Nowhere, the Hartnoll
brothers created a melodic form of electronic music which was
more suited to a listener than a pulsing club. Songs flowed from
one to another, making the listening experience the album rather
than the each song. However, on The Altogether songs have
been created which stand alone from each other much more than
before - making the new album the group's most commercial to date.
Also, in a
move contrary to previous work, Orbital has implemented the use
of samples and vocals on the new tracks. Opening the album is
"Tension," featuring a sample of an 80s rework of the
song "Surfin' Bird" while "Tootled" takes
Tool's "Sober" (with whom the group shared the bill
in 1997's Lollapalooza tour). "Funny Break (One Is Enough)",
already a hit in the UK, features vocals by Naomi Bedford - creating
a sound vaguely reminiscient of the group's signature 1992 track,
"Halcyon and On and On."
The most notable
track on the disc is "Illuminate" featuring David Gray
on vocals. For the first time in their history, Orbital have decided
to create a "conventional" song - structured and radio-friendly.
Still, it follows the basic style Orbital has pioneered and subsequently
true hidden gem of the album is in the U.S. Limited Edition pressing
- the second disc of remixes and B-Sides. It's on these tracks
that Orbital truly prove their skills, as each one is better than
most electronic music being pumped out to pop clubs today. Remixes
of "Style" and "Nothing Left" from Middle
of Nowhwere prevail, and a "Weekend Ravers Mix"
of "Funny Break" is included as well. Be sure to check
out "An Fhomhair" and "Old Style" (also previously
included in URB Magazine's compilation Urbal Beats 3).
In the past
decade Orbital have proven to deserve their place in the halls
of electronic music history. 2001 marks a new step forward for
the group, and they are on their way to getting it "just
right." Still, they you can tell they still haven't hit their
mark. Here's to hoping each step along the way is as good as this
liked The Altogether...
2. Funny Break (One is Enough)
4. Pay Per View
6. Last Thing
9. Waving Not Drowning
3. Much Ado About Nothing Left
4. An Fhomhair
5. Doctor Look Out
7. Nothing Left Out
8. Old Style
9. Funny Break (Weekend Ravers Mix)
10. Mock Tudor
11. New Style