Orbital’s return to the world of dance music and subsequently their previous glory, is marked by their forthcoming album Wonky. Despite the terrible name and the altogether confusingly placeless lead single (of the same name), the album is a complex yet completely solid piece of work that will remind listeners of the early 90’s techno-film-score Orbital and their self titled first albums, rather than the latter day The Altogether & Blue Album era.
For a lot of people the album will probably ooze that romanticism that comes with the joy of hearing a once loved band return and finally impress you with their output. Critically & publicly the Hartnoll brothers later output never received much adulation – with a series of questionable collaborations and brief forays into concept work, for the vast majority of Orbital fans their output was less than appreciated.
Sadly, the confusing choice of lead single ‘Wonky’ still might put off a few fans from delving in – with a heavy breakbeat feel and Nicki Minaj esq shout rapping from MC Lady Leshurr over the top, its a completely different beast to the rest of the album. Tracks like the buzz filled ‘Distractions’ and heavily wrenching ‘Never’ are in a completely different class to ‘Wonky’ but despite their strength both are still further outshone by the two strongest tracks on the album. Detroit Techno homage ‘Stringy Acid’ which will tug at the heart strings and vibrate the soul of anyone that fell in love with the distinct Detroit flavour. But the real shining moment; album closer ‘Where Is It Going?’ in which the boys pull of an attempt to create a track that could easily sit along their debut ‘Chime’ and not feel out of place.
Have Orbital returned to form? Yes. Should you ignore the lead single and delve straight in to the long play? No. ‘Wonky’ as a track has a certain charm and provides solid proof that Orbital are as diverse as they want to be, it just doesn’t belong on this album – if you want a radio friendly lead into the album, you should focus on their second single from the album ‘New France’ which features everyones favourite electro-goth Zola Jesus.
Wonky hits stores April 2nd on CD, Double CD (which includes 5 live tracks) & Vinyl via ACP Records. You check out both singles below and find out more at orbitalofficial.com