Few have reached the heights that brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll have with their project, Orbital. They’ve stayed at the top of their game longer than anyone from the post-1988 Class of Acid House, consistently delivering thoughtful, provoking music that pushes the boundaries of sounds and lyricism.
They recently released their highly anticipated 10th LP, ‘Optical Delusion’, and yet again, Orbital further cement their legacy with what is a sensational album from start to finish. Sketched out partly during lockdown but fully recorded in the uncertain After Times, the album summons up conflicting emotions and beguiling images from recent times, when the science fiction doomsdays that the Hartnoll brothers watched on TV as kids finally came true.
There are mesmeric tracks with names like “The New Abnormal“, “Moon Princess”, and “You Are The Frequency” that seem to bend the mind through hypnotic rhythms and swirling sounds. There’s also a few bangers as well, including “Are You Alive? ft. Penelope Isles” and of course, the incediary lead single, “Dirty Rat,” with Sleaford Mods.
All in all, ‘Optical Delusion‘ proves to be yet another gem in the Orbital mine, laced with important thoughts and questions for the human race to contemplate, while still providing club appeal.