Orbital - Orbital [1993] - Review
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critics' view

It’s no surprise that Orbital became one of the first electronic acts to bridge the gap between techno and rock audiences. With their second full-length release, the aptly-titled Orbital 2, brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll incorporated the improvisational feel of their famous European live shows with live guitars, bass keyboards and sampled horns and voices. And even if tracks like “Monday” and “Impact (The Earth Is Burning)” weren’t actually “live,” the duo still gave one grand attempt at creating the illusion that it was, in a sense, organic. Techno goddess Kristy Hawkshaw lends her angelic voice to the ethereal vintage-drug anthem “Halcyon + On + On” while tracks like “Remind” and “Lush 3-1” are home to spiraling sirens which seem to soar skyward with catchy pop hooks. “Planet of the Shapes” features a shower of cascading synths and worldly textures that produce a “techno symphony” that was much warmer—even “wiser”—than the hard, four-on-the-floor Techno that dominated in the mid-’90s. Though the album is structured like your average mix CD, the multi-textured Orbital 2 offers much more.

Sal Cinquemani
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Co-founded by Ed Gonzalez and Sal Cinquemani in 2001, Slant Magazine has become known for its edgy, irreverent, and often funny pop cultural criticism. Using a grassroots approach, the site has carved a unique niche for itself in both the online film and music circles.
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