Orbital – “Wonky” – [Acp]
This is Orbital’s first album since 2004’s “Blue” and also the first recording of original material since their reformation in 2008. Paul and Phil Hartnoll are back in the studio, and it’s quite a joy to hear new Orbital tracks. “Wonky” refers to the brother’s own perception that they’ve never really fit in – and certainly, this is an album unlike the Orbital I remember fondly from the 90s. There are a couple of unexpected things here – “Beelzedub” plays around with 85bpm dubbed out hip hop before doubling up the tempos and going into hard and techy drum and bass, while the title track “Wonky” features English MC Lady Leshurr and treads along acidy, big beat breaks.?? There are a few forays into ambient downtempo dub and synth pop, but there are some really choice tracks here that remind us that they’re still Orbital. “One Big Moment,” “Stringy Acid” and “Where Is It Going?” all have that the vibe of early to mid 90s Orbital that made tracks like “Belfast,” “Chime,” and Halcyon. While this may not on the whole be my favorite album of theirs, there are a few tracks here that really stand out for me, and I am extremely excited that the guys are back in the studio making tunes.