Genres: Electronic & Ambient
Decades: 1990s 2000s


This UK duo did much to deliver the possibilities of improvisation to live electronic music over the course of the 90s and the early 00s. Unlike many other techno acts their stage performances did not rely on DAT or backing tapes. They also used more varied samples than is the norm, including sources as diverse as the Butthole Surfers on ‘Satan’ and Crass on ‘Choice’.

Comprising brothers Paul Hartnoll (19 May 1968, Dartford, Kent, England) and Phil Hartnoll (b. Phillip Hartnoll, 9 January 1964, Dartford, Kent, England), the Orbital name was first suggested by their friend Chris Daly of the Tufty Club. With several ‘M25’ rave parties happening so close to their homes in Dunton Green, they named themselves after the London’s ‘orbital’ motorway, which encircles the capital and became known as the ‘Magic Roundabout’ to ravers at the time. Before the band began its active life in 1987, Paul...

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