Orbital - Wonky (ACP)

After an extended hiatus, brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll are ready to return to the front lines of electronic music with long-awaited new album Wonky. According to the brothers, the birth of the album came after their heroic welcome at comeback dates around the world. This is their first album in eight years, and the techno legends have made this LP worth the wait. The newest effort sees them reclaim their crown as top dogs in the British electronic scene as the duo return to the iconic, genre-defining music of their early albums. Take notes dormant artists, this is how to do a comeback.

Released Jun 11th, 2012 via ACP / By Larry Day
Orbital - Wonky (ACP) Champions of rave culture back in the 1990s with seminal tracks like 'Chime' and 'Satan', the pair lurch their sound forward, dabbling in dubstep adding a fresh twist to their signature sound. Breathtaking album opener 'One Big Moment' creeps up and injects a mighty dose of oomph into the record from the get-go, the sparkling lead synth falling somewhere between delicate lullaby and cosmic hugeness. Following is 'Straight Sun', a surefire festival favourite which recalls the classic Orbital sound. The pulsating drum beat writhes in tandem with the swelling bass, concocting an energetic rush that's just impossible to keep still to.

Lead single 'New France' features the ethereal vocal stylings of Zola Jesus, the enigmatic gothtronica singer famed for her sprawling soundscapes and inimitable voice. The introspective track is one of the moodier cuts, immersing the listener in a brooding atmosphere splattered with howling vocals and emotive synths. Birmingham grime MC Lady Leshurr raps on rhythmic tempest and eponymous track 'Wonky', the song bubbling over with uneasy synths and dissonant percussion. Galloping ahead, 'Wonky' is one of the more mainstream tracks, and one that will easily fill dance-floors around the world.

Vintage hit 'Satan' has been chopped and mashed by the brothers in a modern edit titled 'Beelzedub', a dubstep monster with nervous snares and robotic bleep-bloops abound. The updated sound fits snugly alongside other selections from Orbital's acclaimed back catalogue, and surpassing the calibre of their more recent albums. 'Stringy Acid' relives the glossy sheen of mid-nineties trance, a throwback to earlier moments of their career where drums rampage forth and hyperactive Electro leads bounce off every surface.

Wonky is filled to the brim with crowd-pleasers and festival-closers, with enough deviation- primarily in the form of dubby remix 'Beelzedub' and the experimental epic 'New France'- to satiate hardcore fans and provide a widespread scope of talent. This album touches upon the excellence of the Hartnoll's early work, yet bringing a new dimension to the music, and hinting at the glorious future that Orbital have in store. Catch the band live at one of their many festival performances this year – with a hoard of new material this sublime, you'll not regret it.