[sic] Magazine

Orbital – Wonky

Something of a curate’s egg this, let’s say it, long-awaited album by unarguably one of the greats of stadium electronica. Perhaps that’s unfair. Nothing really poor and lots of top beats.

Starting with the poppy Robert Miles rave of ‘One Big Moment’, it opens with “found” voices similar to those Robert Fripp uses on the Exposure album before buggin’ Euro blips skid across the speakers. ‘Straight Sun’ is a bit more Big Beat with a nod to John Carpenter ‘s synth soundtracks in the mix somewhere. Although excellent neither track could be described as a banger and it’s only after a few listens that you get to fully appreciate the “spaces”. This is also apparent on the next, ‘Never’, a gentle melodic slow burn that would inititally make good ad soundtracking before picking up a little for the second half.

‘New France’ – despite the disco goth Zola Jesus “Feat.” starts like Human League ‘Love Action’ before Ms Jesus comes in with a fairly underwhelming vocal. I’m hoping for a remix that cuts her and ups the Ryuchi Sakamoto -sounding middle eight. More experimental music library or theme music is apparent from the triggered puttering of ‘Distractions’. It provides a good base for blissed out drugging and slides into the full-on rave of ‘Stringy Acid’ – a gem that bubbles away like prime Orbital with some truly wibbling synths and just begs for Balearic sunshine.

The menacing chug of ‘Beezledub’ (arf) is huge – it is hard to overstate what a killer it is, dubstep repays its debt to Orbital and it’s a match made in the heavens on the forge of Vulcan. Cannot wait to blast this in a DJ set. The single ‘Wonky’ feat. Lady Leshurr is a rhythm factory, gated snare leading into something like King Crimson ‘s underwater cymbals before Leshurr brings the attitude sorely lacking on the Zola Jesus guest app. Even so, I would advise you to search out the brilliant Pusher remix on the Record Store Day issue 7″. It all rounds off with the breakbeat ‘Where Is It Going?’, a track that would provide the perfect accompaniment to a pilled up/(piled up) spin down the motorway. The boys pull away and cruise off leaving another danced-out audience blissfully satiated.