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Orbital were purveyors of the finest in Bald Man techno from 1989 onwards. Chime was written in a bedroom while the Brothers Hartnoll held down jobs in a chip shop to fund a bleep habit. After 15 years the band spilt, with Paul & Phil going on to do their own things, although to this day there hasn’t been much in the way on output so far, although the Orbital webiste loopz states there will be something soon from Long Range.

Chime on Top of The Pops was one of those “what the hell?” moments that ridiculed the no live performances rule that was in place at the time for the show. Watching two bald men pressing buttons really wasn’t all that interesting, and many similar performances led to dancers being pushed to the fore to allow the cameramen close up shots of their breasts in the long standing Top of the Pops tradition. Another particularly memorable band for this was 808 State performing Cübik.

By all accounts it seems that they broadened their act and took up the live band performance mantle, as later live performances of Satan, Chime & The Girl With The Sun In Her Hair are particularly popular versions. Additionally, the live version of Halcyon includes samples of Bon Jovi and Belinda Carlisle in a wonderful act of sampling.

It’s a band I regret not getting the chance to see, but I never had any desire to go to a festival and they were never in my neighbourhood. Also, it’s kind of unfair to select just a few tracks from their output, as the width of their sound can’t really be bottled so easily. The following tracks are more on the obscure side of things as opposed to those that are particularly notable, but you can hang out at Amazon for the easier to find ones.

If you only listen to one track, make it the Rhyme & Reason remix of Satan. It’s, erm, pretty special.

Orbital – Chime(JZJ Oh Ya remix)

Orbital – Satan(Rhyme and Reason)

Orbital – Midnight(Sasha remix)

Orbital – Lush 3-3(Underworld remix)

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