Orbital are two brothers, Phil and Paul Hartnoll from Sevenoaks, Kent. The two became synonymous with the early rave scene, producing and DJing acid house and rave music. Orbital took their name from travelling up and down the M25 motorway in the early days of raving.
One of Orbital’s anthemic tunes “Chime” was recorded on their father’s cassette deck and it became a massive dance floor smash hit, reaching #17 in the UK. The pair had further hits with “Halycon” and their eponymous album released in 1993, which contained complex sampling techniques and reached #28 on the UK Album Chart.
In 1994 Orbital earned their place as one of the leading dance acts of the time, winning the NME award for Vibes Best Dance Act. Orbital went on to become one of the foremost live electronic acts ever, when they performed at Glastonbury in the same year, and were even asked to perform at the predominantly rock festival Woodstock ’94.
Snivilisation, Orbital’s third album was released in 1994 and contained vocals by Alison Goldfrapp and contained a sample of The Specials with the song “Man at C&A”. Further success came with producing music for two films, The Saint and Event Horizon, which both peaked at #3.
The Middle of Nowhere (1999) was another big hit and the duo recorded more music for various films, including The Beach, but by 2004, Orbital had parted ways.
Post Orbital, Paul Hartnoll continued to produce music but with new music partner, Nick Smith and together they produced one album, Madness and Me.
Four years later in 2008, Orbital reformed and toured as part of their 20th century anniversary tour. Phil and Paul Hartnoll brought out a ‘best of’ collection called 20 – 20 tracks, celebrating the 20th anniversary of “Chime.”