A fake geographic descriptor often used to say you are lost or very, very far away from where you need to be. The middle of nowhere is only a few klicks west of Buttfuck, Egypt.

Album: The Middle of Nowhere
Artist: Orbital
Label: FFRR
Year: 1999
Rating: 4/5
Summary: Full of energy and well polished.

After releasing a string of albums which each have one compelling epic track - Belfast, Halcyon + On + On, Are We Here?, and The Girl With the Sun in Her Head - it's nice to finally see Orbital bring out a more solid album which sounds consistently good throughout.

The actual production of the album is more professional than usual, and it has a well polished feel throughout. Most surprising is the credit stating that the Hartnoll brothers didn't program any of the percussion themselves - a serious move given that this is largely beat driven music. They seem to have made the right decision though, as The Middle of Nowhere is their slickest sounding album to date.

The emotional tone of the album varies from the atmospheric intro to Know Where to Run and the relatively dark Otono to the silly, lighthearted melody played on a sample of a Stylophone on the appropriately named Style. Despite this variety, you're never too far away from a dance rhythm, ensuring the tracks are all upbeat.

All in all, this is the most consistent and professional sounding album from Orbital. It's still as full of energy as their previous work, yet also well polished. If you like dance music, you can't really go wrong with The Middle of Nowhere.

That's where I live. If you're not sure where The Middle of Nowhere is, it's located right next to BFE.

When you first drive into The Middle of Nowhere, there's a sign that tells you how Middle of Nowhereish you really are. POPULATION 1550 (or something close to that). To me that's tiny; to other's that's HUGE. I'm used to being Somewhere and in my Somewhere, 1550 was the number of people living in an apartment complex, or in a neighborhood block. My Somewhere has stores open 24-hours a day, and clubs to go dancing at, and tracks to go running on. There is green grass, and plants of all kinds, and the scent of flowers fill the air. My Middle of Nowhere, however, has none of that. But, there are mosquitoes, and snow or blistering heat depending upon the season, and lots of dusty soil, and dormant volcanoes, and dirt roads that seem to go on forever. In the summer the grocery is open until 10:00 - Whoooppeeee!

I can't say that I love The Middle of Nowhere, because I don't. But it's not because it's not beautiful here, because it is. And it's not because there aren't things to, because there are (just not a lot of things that I like to do). And it's not because the people here aren't great, because they're probably the sweetest, most down-to-earth people I've ever met. But even with all the plusses of living in The Middle of nowhere, it's just not right for me. It's too damn small and too damn quiet!

The worst part of being in The Middle of Nowhere is that the other people that live here actually like living here. What that means is that I have nobody to complain to without looking like a complete jerk from Somewhere other than here. So I stay quiet (kind of). I keep thinking if I stay here long enough, I might start to like it here too. But I don't think so.

The funny thing about the people from The Middle of Nowhere is they don't like people from Somewhere moving here.

I can't imagine why?

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