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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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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 Orbital's best, 30 Mar 2011
This review is from: The Middle Of Nowhere (Audio CD)
Orbital's Brown album is what got me into Electronic music. It also introduced me a whole new scene and/or culture, which I completely immersed myself in for four years from 1993 to 1997. The need to grow up a bit and take a break from it all, especially the hedonistic accompaniments, meant I lost touch with the music almost entirely. I never dismissed it; I simply took a greater interest in more traditional styles of music. Consequently, everything Orbital released after the Insides album passed me by. A recent chance encounter with The Moebius off the Green album meant I revisited my Orbital back catalogue, which, in turn, resulted in me getting everything else I was missing.

Having avidly listened to all those releases, I can confidently say that Middle of Nowhere is my favourite Orbital album. OK, so it doesn't wear its 'intellingent dance music' tag with as much pride as Insides and Snivilisation, but for instant gratification and epic dancefloor tracks, MoN cannot be beaten. Now I'm older and with my head no longer clouded with those hedonistic accompaniments I mentioned earlier, I'm perhaps more easily drawn to these crowd pleasers than the more 'challenging' stuff. I dunno. All I know is that this is a wonderful record, full of brilliant tracks that (worryingly) make me want to go raving again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Contains 2 of their finest tracks ever, 13 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Middle of Nowhere [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Track 3 and 6/7(especially 7)played asloud as you can are my favourite Orbital tracks, and I have got everything they've done I think. Still getting lots of plays nearly 2 years on. Buy with confidence. Alisdair 12 12 00
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Loud, brash, great. Yeah!, 17 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Middle of Nowhere (Audio CD)
The first track "Way Out" is absolutely excellent. It's one of the most exciting, uplifting dance tracks I've ever heard. You just can't ignore it! This is quite a loud, commercial album for Orbital - there's not much ambience to be found, and at times it grates a bit. On the other hand some of it is amazing, so it's definitely worth a buy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - bloody fantastic, 20 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Middle of Nowhere (Audio CD)
WHAT? YOU HAVEN'T GOT IT YET? I got it as soon as it came out the middle of last year and it still has pride of place at the top of my 500 strong CD collection. For those that liked/loved the brown album, it's all here but in a more "straight-laced" context. As said, fantastic - bloody fantastic
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pure and beutiful music, 24 Jun 2000
By 
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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