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Orbital - RA Exchange

Phil and Paul Hartnoll's story as Orbital is a quintessential tale of UK rave culture. Their musical, cultural and political backgrounds speak to the temper of the late '80s. This is a group who came from punk, electro and hip-hop, grew up in a golden era for sci-fi soundtracks, watched ecstasy change the mood during the drudgery of Thatcherism, and took part in the explosion of DIY enthusiasm around acid house.

Orbital were "shot out of a human cannon" from their first release Chime, which literally took them from washing dishes to Top Of The Tops overnight. From there they became an exemplary of rave culture translating to the mainstream, earning acceptance from massive audiences thanks to their clear and present harmonic content and stadium-sized dynamics. The Hartnoll's talked through how it all came together live with writer Matt Anniss last month as part of our 2020 conference programme.


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