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Articles

Few merge the innovative with the accessible like Orbital. The duo's first album since 1996's brash 'In Sides', finds the Hartnoll bros. continuing to tap the infinite potential of an electronic universe, while at the same time merging it with their considerable melodic prowess. The album begins rather unexpectedly with "Way Out," a dazzling, eight-minute cut that, contrary to the premise of its title, is as conventional a piece as Orbital has created. It features a console of synthesizers made to sound like an orchestra, with singing "strings," a plucked "guitar," Spanish "trumpet," and the woozy sound of Theremin woven over a thunderous bed of percussion. What follows is more in keeping with what you'd expect from Orbital; edgy opuses and tunes that have you hanging on for one passage to pass by on the merry-go-round. Breakbeat resistance is 100%, leaving beautifully constructed piston-pumping drum patterns and playfully intertwining synth lines.