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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finding Style in the Middle of Nowhere
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...
Published on 30 Jan 2002 by Kesh

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars bland, lazy, random electronica
Orbital's early albums saw them pushing all before themselves with a carpet-sweeper of new metallic industrial sounds and busy drumbeats. They could have developed that but instead they got lazy. Everything seems so random here - just notes played in no particular order, and by pure chance here and there certain sequences overlay to produce something vaguely listenable...
Published on 3 Aug 2011 by F. M. Havicon


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finding Style in the Middle of Nowhere, 30 Jan 2002
By 
Kesh (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Middle Of Nowhere (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Orbital on top form, 27 Aug 2006
By 
D. Moss "systemj" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Middle of Nowhere (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. Because the tracks flow into each other without any pause, the boundaries of tracks are obscured and really irrelevant- every sample, hook and synth on the album seems placed with regard to what preceded it and what will follow.

As said before- for me this is not the best Orbital record. That would be The Brown Album. Middle Of Nowhere, for all its intricacy, never quite manages to be as perfect or varied as that masterpiece. The melodic side is also more demanding than The Blue Album- arguably the most satisfying and approachable Orbital record in terms of catchy and memorable melodies. Middle of Nowhere demands a degree of acclimatisation either to Orbital or to more experimental electronic music, and the dazzlingly unconventional array of sounds employed further that. However, Middle Of Nowhere certainly sits up there with those two as my favourite Orbital records, and aside from the weak ending of Style (hardly Halcyon & On & On, is it?) it's absolutely stunning from start to finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply personal electronic music at its finest., 18 Sep 2000
This review is from: The Middle of Nowhere (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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4.0 out of 5 stars In a loop or the middle of nowhere?,., 22 Oct 2014
This review is from: The Middle Of Nowhere (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dance music taken to another level, 30 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Middle of Nowhere (Audio CD)
This is one of those albums which is worth buying for jusy one track and that track is Way Out, which is a hauntingly beautiful track. the rest of the album just falls short of this track but Nothing Left 1/2 is another song which pushes this album above all other alternative dance albums out there. Highly recomended, orbital do it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A truly uplifting and memorable experience, 10 Feb 2000
By 
D. A. Watson (Basingstoke,Hants) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Middle of Nowhere (Audio CD)
Orbital are the only consistantly brilliant musical duo amongst a sea of here today gone tomorrow acts. Their live show is still one of the best and this album encapsulates that wonderfully uplifting experience that only the Hartnolls can produce. Anyone who has seem Orbital live will tell you that the combination of excellent visuals, lighting and sound balance is totally spellbinding, especially "Satan". 'Middle of Nowhere' starts superbly with Way Out, a track that makes me think of a rocket launch, or being totally above everything and the whole album just soars from there. Not all dance music is just monotonous, repetive cheese. Orbital remain the best at what they do, and each album sees them progress further and sound amazing. If you have never considered a'dance' album then buy this one and I promise you won't be disappointed. If you see them live, then look out for their set closing,mindblowing version of the Dr Who theme.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is the biz, 2 Dec 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Middle of Nowhere (Audio CD)
What will these guys do next? I first heard some of the tracks from this album when saw them in concert in March and couldn't wait untill they realesed the album to see if the live tracks they played were on it. I was instantly spellbound when I listened to the CD for the first time with the first song 'Way Out' being the most supercharged dance tune I think I've ever heard. The songs are varied and some can be compared to their previous offering 'In sides'. The track called 'I don't know you people' is totally industrial sounding with bangin' drums and heavy guitars - wicked! This album has not been given the credit that it overwhelmingly deserves and when you see the trash that makes loads of money it makes you a bit sad. Nevertheless, Orbital are determined to plough through the nonsence and deliver absolute sonic delight. Buy it - now!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pure and beutiful music, 24 Jun 2000
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This review is from: The Middle of Nowhere (Audio CD)
Even before listening to this CD I knew it was something special. The white packaging, with blurred images has a certain cleanliness about it. The music on this label is nothing short of inspiring. The first few seconds of this album hit you full on with a beutiful loop of bells, and then the music gets going, it just has to be experienced. The album could just contain the song Way Out and still be worth the full £15! Not meaning the other songs are worthless, they are all masterpieces with the same vibrant flowing energy. The epitemy of Orbital.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Soundscape, 14 Jan 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Middle of Nowhere (Audio CD)
Orbital continue to show why the two Hartnoll Brothers remain the most consistently exciting act in dance music today. Somehow, they manage to combine an almost cinematic or even classical soundtrack with the most driven beats of today's dance genres. What Orbital contine to do overall, however, is to provide heart-wrenching songs that will inspire the most cynical observer of 'clubland.' This is a beautiful record that will last in the memory long after the current trends have gone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In the middle, 3 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Middle of Nowhere (Audio CD)
This album sticks the return of smooth sophitcation of the ozzing beats that make Orbital the Elctronic band of the last century. From the opening tracks to the end you are encaplsulated inside a deep trance of fluctating beats. Prasie the Hartnol Brothers It is like a cosmic joyride through, the outer limits of conception. Buy this album and every other album Orbital have released and you will not percive Electronic music the same way.
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The Middle of Nowhere
The Middle of Nowhere by Orbital (Audio CD - 1999)
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