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on 3 September 2016
Another amazing Album by th Hartnoll Bros!!! Wish they would get back 2gether again!!!
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on 13 November 2016
Like Orbital
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VINE VOICEon 13 July 2003
I have been a HUGE fan of Orbital for ages and can safely say this double CD is excellent value especially for the casual orbital fan. The 2nd CD is the real selling point. It's really a collection of the best b-side tunes from the previous albums singles (Middle of Nowhere). These tunes were excellent in their own right, as many orbital b-side/bonus tunes are, but a lot of people would easily miss them unless you are willing to buy every single CD single. It is even easier to miss out on these singles as Orbital let themselves go the way of the "double single" which is all too often (with other artists) a case of dodgy remixes or "tracks not good enough for the album". Orbital are one of the few groups that REALLY put the effort in on singles almost as if they were mini ep's, but, singles are poor value so here's a great chance to get great music at great price.
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on 24 May 2015
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on 18 November 2014
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on 5 August 2011
MMMM, they started with a bang and a crash with their first couple of albums - all new sounds and frantic rhythms, metallic industrial noises, a break from the traditional predictable chord-sequence-progression electronica to a highly melodic style. Then it all ran dry and the band has ever since been generating perfectly random sounds and strings of notes and combining them in no specific order so that now and then, purely by accident, something interesting happens, but more often its all just sounds ridiculous and cluttered. Way too much percussion and no inspired melodies. There is even a cover of the Doctor Who theme - a very literal note-for-note and sound-for-sound cover that leaves one feeling cheated. Come on guys, you'll be retiring early if you keep this up.....oh yes, I forgot, you already have!
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on 24 August 2004
Having only heard of a couple of Orbital tracks produced before this album, I can't argue with other reviwers suggesting that this album was poor- but for me, it was very good, and nothing like I have ever heard before.
I especially like Funny Break with the great vocals, and the catchy, more lively tracks of Tension and Oi!. This is rounded off with a great ending in Meltdown. I admire the more 'country-western' style tracks included, like the one featuring David Gray... but this just isn't to my taste.
If this album is not so good, as Orbtial fans from 1989 have suggested it is, then I will certianly persevere into looking for some more of their older stuff. Still recommended if you are into techno music though.
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on 10 September 2008
I must confess that this album was a huge disappointment to me when it first came out but it has since grown on me considerably. To me it will never be a match for Orbital's greatest works; The Brown Album, Snivilisation, In Insides and the Middle of No-Where, but it still contains some great tracks.

Orbital seemed to take a different approach to this album. Gone are the longer, epic tracks, that were so prevalent on their earlier works. The tracks are generally much shorter and more diverse in style. This took a lot of getting used to for me because I was used to listening to Orbital albums in their entirety with tracks blending slowly into eachother and taking the listener on a voyage. This collection is much more schizophrenic. However it can still be enjoyable.

The duo draw on Punk Rock influences for tracks 'Tootled' and opener 'Tension'. Tension is a roar, stomper of a tune in a similar style, but not as good as, Satan. This tune translated very well in the live environment when they toured this album. Tootled, on the other hand, is a bit of a disappointment. The track samples a guitar riff from Tool's 'Sober' (a track I have always loved) but fails to do it justice. At the peak of their powers, Orbital would have taken this track to new dimensions. Instead the riff dominates the track too much and what we get is a repetitive techno rock affair that doesn't go anywhere.

Tracks such as 'Oi' and 'Waving Not Drowning' showcase a more playful and lighthearted side of the band but whereas Oi samples Ian Dury to create a magnificant funky toe-tapping delight, Waving Not Drowning becomes irritating and sounds as if its almost embarassed by itself.

There are more familiar sounds here too. 'Pay Per View' is in the more downtempo, spaced out jazzy vogue of some of the tracks off Snivilisation and 'Shadows' takes returns Orbital to their slighlty unsettling and trippy dimensions. These are very good and solid songs but to me not up with the brother's very best work.

The first single, Funny Break, however is an excellent tune and amongst Orbital's very best singles with lush female vocals, and heatwarming melodies. 'Illuminate' which was the follow up single uses the voice of David Gray. The result is a and much more conventional, electro poppy song structure. Its pleasant if unspectacular.

With 'Doctor Who', the band introduce their own interpretation of the theme to the TV show to great effect but in my view the standout Tracks are 'The Last Thing' and 'Meltdown'. 'The Last Thing' is a catchy, dancy number full of sytnth stabs and a powerful and distictive base sound. 'Meltdown' is classic Orbital. By far the longest song on the album the track forms many guises on an unsettling, harsh journey that is never predictable. The track goes from ambient to rock rhythms, to drum and base rhythms and back again and is never dull. The version featured here is about 11 minutes long but even this is considerably edited down from the original full length version (which is is even better) to be found on the DVD release of the Altogher album. In fact, if you can get your hands on it I highly recommend the DVD version of the Altogether. The videos lift many of the tracks to higher levels and the sound output is in 5.1. I would certainly give it 4 stars.

This release, however, only gets 3. I feel a little harsh but I am marking Orbital against their own very high standards displayed elsewhere in their catalogue. Bizarrely this album might be of greater appeal to those unitiated with Orbital's style of music. If you want to hear experimental, quirky dance, in a more accessable song based format and don't have the attention span to listen to longer 10 minute tracks then maybe this album is for you. I know some people who love this album and I would certainly give the guys and abundance of credit for trying something new at this point in their career rather than going down tried and tested routes - too many bands are too keen to stay in their comfort zone.

If you're more serious about finding out what Orbital were really all about though, go on for one of the albums I mentioned at the beginning of the review.
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on 5 May 2001
Like many of the other reviewees here I was a little disappointed with this album after my first couple of listens. However I remember saying that of Snivilisation and that has become de rigeur falling to sleep music (God help you if you wake up again during the "Technology..." bit though!) Hopefully The Altogether will be another grower.
"In Sides" was an album that had it all, long immersive techno songs that had playability and longevity. After a long break I didn't expect much of Middle of Nowhere when I bought it but was blown away by the first track which took me straight back to the complexity of "In sides". The Altogether just doesn't seem to deliver the same kick, I mean it is more a collection of songs than an album if you catch my drift. Whereas the others seemed to fit together as cohesive units (did anyone ever really need a track list?) this one is the least "Altoghther" of the lot.
Oh and I imagine I'm going to be in the minority for this, but doesn't anyone think that the Dr ? song is a bit like The Saint i.e. a B-side at best and actually quite annoying and distracting in the middle of an album. Talking of which the remixes of Funny Break are actually worth the price of the CD-singles (as is the Beetlebum track!)
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on 3 May 2001
Yep, this is pretty cool. Orbital have spawned a rather wide variety of followers, who all admire the band for their various styles and 'BPM' fluxations. I can see where the mixed opinion has come from for this album, it's got something for everyone but it's not gonna satisfy most people fully. Whereas previous albums have usually remained with a single mood all the way through, 'The Altogether' hops all over the place with more 'sinister' tracks than usual, it even includes a vocal track with David Gray (didn't work for 808' and Berny Sumner, doesn't work here - sorry David!). Anyway this is Orbital like I remember way back with the original 'Satan' and I can't help but love it!
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