- See Orbital's favourite albums in their Amazon.co.uk guest edit.
The Middle of Nowhere Import
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ORBITAL The Middle Of Nowhere (1999 UK 8-track electro classic CD album including Orbital Otono & I Dont Know You People stickered picture sleeve)
Having outgrown the happy house of the green and brown albums and exploited narrative far too complex for ambient techno, the Hartnoll brothers--Phil and Paul really do find themselves in some 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 UK act who forced the sales charts fully into the postrock 90s is now realising the participatory promise of rock & roll liberation in the dance clubs, where music lives now. --Dean Kuipers
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Quality album, obviously. CD works in a CD player but can't rip - tried 3 different PCs. Useless if you don't want to ever listen to CDs. Shame.Published 17 months ago by Dave Roberts
Orbital's early albums saw them pushing all before themselves with a carpet-sweeper of new metallic industrial sounds and busy drumbeats. Read morePublished on 3 Aug. 2011 by F. M. Havicon
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... Read morePublished on 30 Mar. 2011 by The_Man_The_Myth
Two of my favourite Orbital albums are In Sides and this album, Middle of Nowhere. I think that the former is a higher quality album on the whole, but Middle of Nowhere has a... Read morePublished on 20 July 2004 by the great amphibian
The header refers a bit in "Spare Parts Express" that doesn't have put the wind up you on first hearing. Read morePublished on 6 May 2001
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. Read morePublished on 13 Dec. 2000
Orbital's albums always seem to represent a bizarre mixture of some of dance music's most powerful material with genuine tosh, which is why listening to their work is such a... Read morePublished on 8 Nov. 2000 by Koyner
This album sticks the return of smooth sophitcation of the ozzing beats that make Orbital the Elctronic band of the last century. Read morePublished on 3 Nov. 2000