Orbital

Halcyon

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

A gorgeous title track opens the disc; one that shows up in its more definitive (and widely available) version on Orbital's second full-length album, Orbital 2 (aka The Brown Album). Brothers Phil and Paul Hartnol invert a vocal sample from the single "It's a Fine Day" by pop group Opus III with sublime shape-shifting, one that yields a memorable patch in the quilt of techno history. After the sweat dries, the rest of the EP tries to stay afloat with a comparatively tiresome piece ("The Naked and the Dead") that wears a bit thin, especially by rehashing it for 12 additional minutes through a remix ("The Naked and the Dub"). Track four, entitled "Sunday," unfolds with simple song structure and features a great sense of build, one that never loses its drive and wins a strong second place for the EP simply by varying its instrumentation. For the next several years, Orbital stayed close to the excitement they established here and showcased their ability to sustain a piece through layering more than by elaborate composition. A radio edit of "Chime" closes out the disc, a simple and precise cut of music from their debut full-length CD, simply entitled Orbital. Halcyon could be twice as satisfying with half the fat. Cut out tracks two and three and there are still over 20 minutes of clean, edgy sci-fi for the weekend from the dynamic duo of mid-'90s electronica.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
11:05
2
6:23
3
11:51
4
7:10
5
3:15
blue highlight denotes track pick