Orbital are back! The London duo have always been revered as live show pioneers and their latest long-play, their 8th studio album, sees the duo doing what they do best: electronica.
The brothers aren’t ones to worry about genres and are certainly aren’t going to pander to any form of hipster trends. Their latest album is a easily the most mature album to date. That’s not to say it’s sonically weak. It comes across, most importantly, as a body of work for them to perform, and their fans to enjoy – you’re certainly not going to see Tiesto charting one of their tracks.
From the opening salvo of acid stabs in ‘One Big Moment’ to the progressive tones of ‘Straight Sun’ you know your going to be taken on a journey of sonic intensities that will pull and push you through the last 20 years of popular dance music. There’s some lovely moments of melancholy from ‘Never’ and stadium intensity from ‘Distraction’ and ‘Beelzedub’.
This is inward mentality to making music means ‘Wonky’ sounds truly original. Sure you can pick up influences from big beat a la Chemical Brothers, wonky electronica in a similar vein to Underworld and soaring grandeur of Hybrid. But, the whole album steers well clear of simple, done-a-million-times, 4/4 beats and goes for something a bit more forward-thinking and unique.
‘Wonky’ manages to capture the light and dark side of duo. For every hands-in-the-air banger there’s a introvert, handcrafted piece of subtle electronica – it never sounds too dated, doesn’t come across as cynical and will, ultimately, remind you of raves gone by. The true impact of ‘Wonky’ probably won’t come until the torch-wearing duo take their new material on the festival circuit and we’re almost certain you’ll be blow away.
HBF Rating 4/5