Album: The Altogether
Summary: Just plain fun.
Orbital were one of those groups which started off churning out
mediocre albums with one noteworthy, epic track each (Belfast; Halcyon
+ On + On; Are We Here?), then slowly got better with practice before
finally splitting up.
Towards the end of their output, they released what were arguably
their two best albums, The Middle of Nowhere and The Altogether.
Out of the two, The Middle of Nowhere is probably the best in that
it's a cohesive whole and generally sounds more professional, but
The Altogether is actually more fun. With the exception of only two
tracks, the skippable Pay Per View and Shadows, every cut is a catchy,
upbeat number that you can dance to and that, above all, is just
As soon as the opening track's energy fuelled bass kicks in, I can't
help but picture the Hartnoll brothers wearing their head-mounted
torches while bopping around the stage to the sound of their playful
rhythms. Almost the whole album captures this feeling, making it
one of the most enjoyable releases in my collection.
The production is clean and the mixes are loud, but while that's a
bonus, it doesn't really matter. At the end of the day, this album
makes you want to dance around regardless of how silly you might
look. If you want upbeat music that you'll actually enjoy without
having to analyze it to death, then this album is a good one to go
For good measure, the Hartnoll brothers have also finally included
their remix of the Dr. Who theme tune, which was a much-loved part
of their live sets for some time. It fits in well with the rest of
the album, continuing the theme of your brain thinking "I really
shouldn't be listening to such silly nonsense" while your body's
jumping around and enjoying it.
This is how I want to remember Orbital: their silly, untamed best.