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Middle of Nowhere

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Amazon's Orbital Store


Image of album by Orbital


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Undefeated champions of British electronic music, Orbital get back in the ring in 2012 with Wonky, their first new album in eight years. Recently reunited following a long sabbatical, Paul and Phil Hartnoll are back on fighting-fit form and ready to reclaim their title as lightheaded lords of the dance arena. Both timeless and contemporary, heartwarming and exhilarating, Wonky puts a vividly ... Read more in Amazon's Orbital Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Jun 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00000J8LA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 551,313 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Way Out --> 8:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Spare Parts Express10:07Album Only
Listen  3. Know Where To Run 9:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. I Don't Know You People 7:47£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Otoño 5:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Nothing Left 1 7:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Nothing Left 2 8:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Style 6:24£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

ORBITAL ~ Middle Of Nowhere, The

From Amazon.com

Having outgrown the happy house of the green and brown albums and exploited narrative too complex for merely ambient techno, the Hartnoll brothers--Phil the elder and Paul the younger--really do find themselves in some vaguely Far Eastern adventure in The Middle of Nowhere. Thus they prove again that they are the most reliable innovators in danceable electronic composition. The inchoate political rage of 1994's Snivilisation is here, but it has found purely instrumental claws that are unafraid to dig for new melodies. "Know Where to Run" gathers itself from some beastly buzzing weather to become a dance-floor creature lurching through the village at night like some urban nightmare and "I Don't Know You People" turns the dance floor into an escapist fantasyland once more with its grousing refrain, "nothing changes--goddamn you!" The highly evolved vocal softness of "Autumn" and the weirdly Tangerine Dream-gone-hip-hop "Style" keep a trip-hop story line seamlessly borne out on jungle and electro beats. Nowhere comprises a portrait of boom-boom techno that carjacks beats once lost in space to whole new worlds where breakthrough songwriting is an aesthetic ideal. The U.K. act who forced the sales charts fully into the postrock '90s is now realizing the participatory promise of rock & roll liberation in the dance clubs, where music lives now. --Dean Kuipers

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kesh on 30 Jan 2002
Format: Audio CD
The Hartnoll brothers released The Middle of Nowehere over the summer of 1999, amplifying the sheer variety and style of music around at the time. Most of Britain was still in pseudo-trance shock, so this, the fifth Orbital album going, was not only a welcome change, but also a sublime musical experience in its own right.
The opening and eclectic Way Out -> sets the tone for the remainder of the album, which has an almost Jazz-like feel to it. True orchestral brilliance is followed by a more easily recognisable Orbital-stylee number, in the shape of Spare Parts Express.
And so it continues in a slightly muddled though always familiar gait, past oddities like I don't know you people (an Orbital song with vocals??), through chilled Ontono and then into Nothing Left. Part Two is absolutely fantastic, with a slight trance twinge to it; classic builds and a simple melody keep you hooked.
So P and P Hartnoll decide to mess with your head, in eight long tracks, and end with the messed up track 'Style'. Only Orbital could shove a drowning puppy in the middle of freaky electronica and expect to get away with it. Oh, and they do. Flip back and listen to it again.
If you buy one Orbital album this year, make sure it's The Middle of Nowhere. If you buy two albums this year, well, then you're more well off than I am.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Moss VINE VOICE on 27 Aug 2006
Format: Audio CD
1999's "The Middle Of Nowhere" in many ways encapsulated everything that Orbital were about up until then. While 2002's "The Altogether" and, to a lesser extent, "The Blue Album" can be seen as compilations of individual tracks, Middle Of Nowhere is a seamless, cohesive one-listen album. After two albums of more ambient, introspective work, Middle of Nowhere harks back in many ways to 1993's "Brown Album" (Orbital II) in that the dancefloor once again is king. The beats come constantly and the rhythms flow and alter seamlessly over the course of the record.

While Brown channelled the rhythms and structures of the UK rave scene with more epic techno flavouring that was distinctly the Hartnolls, Middle Of Nowhere is a much more unique sounding album that shows just how far Orbital had left behind any simple genre tags. The beats are arguably more chunky than at any other point in Orbital's discography, but their snap and crackle is more electro than the big-beat you might expect from the era. Meanwhile the melodies are intoxicating and truly unique- critics have struggled to liken them to any number of fellow electronic acts but the truth is they're pure Orbital: bizarre and strange yet simultaneously infectious and memorable.

What this album manages better than any other Orbital record is the density and complexity of the composition. While the Brown Album will forever be my favourite Orbital record, Middle of Nowhere surpasses it and the overrated and over-indulgent In Sides for musical depth. Never is this more apparent than those moments where you hear a melody re-emerge after seven minutes and realise that you're still in the same track as back then, despite all that has happened since.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By opuchko@hotmail.com on 18 Sep 2000
Format: Audio CD
Hartnoll brothers has established themselves as dance music intellectuals a long time ago. This is their fifth and IMHO the greatest work. In a sense, it collects all their prime beats and glories form the past up to 1999 and presents them albeit in a nostalgic, but nonetheless very impressive manner. Orbital's compositional tradition once again revisited by a stunning opener "Way Out" before '70s electronica of "Spare Parts Express", track that samples the tune from John Craven's Newsround (! ), takes over and never fully lets go until the closing "Nothing Left" and "Style" (with surprising appearance of Suzi Quatro), which have almost a straightforward hands-in-the-air vibe in them. This record, frankly speaking, frightens me every time I put it on the stereo. The rhythm in the songs always builds up - slowly, but surely - and one can just shiver on the edge of the seat or, God forbid, a middle of dancefloor, - in expectation of what the peak might be. Such is a cry at 7:47 into the second track, a horror effect of a girl drowning in the emotionless music. Very creepy indeed. Rocking guitar of the fourth track is probably less terrifying, but it too helps in creating a very claustrophobic atmosphere throughout the LP and by the time you reach "Style" you're grateful for some lightness and at least a shadow of good feeling it contains. Recommended for listening pleasure only at the maximum value. The stand-out tracks: Spare Parts Express, I Don't Know You People, Style. The best moment: the above mentioned sonic nightmare courtesy of the second track.
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Format: Audio CD
Frenetic and interesting melodies punctuate the heart of Orbital's fifth album Middle of nowhere:- The compositions are slightly progressive and extended in length as per usual but the quality of songwriting and transitions admittedly does not reach the lofty standards of the first four albums. That said, a raft variety of electronic runs create an abundance of atmosphere; and on that note it has to be one of the greatest aspects from the album.

There are still plenty of very memorable tunes from the album including the real stars of the show here:- "Spare parts express, Know where to run and Style". There are some songs however that don't quite cut it:- the second half of "Nothing's left" is a disappointment in comparison to the inspired first half of the song and it seems to get stuck in a rut and doesn't actually go anywhere. "I don't know you people" deserves a mention as one of the more adventurous songs present on the album and it is indeed, moderately satisfying.

Ultimately a step down from Orbital 1 & 2, Snivilisation and In sides; better though than the uneven follow up album:- The Altogether.
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