Orbital

Orbital 2

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Opening with a looped Star Trek sample, Orbital's second album progresses through eight tracks of warm, unrepetitive techno in what sounds more like a DJ mix album than an LP, with no bows to mainstream sensibilities. Here, the duo's acknowledged inspiration from Kraftwerk, present before but always in the background, came to the fore. The brilliant manner in which the Hartnolls weave several synth lines, samples, sung vocals, and percussion -- mathematically precise but still beautifully orchestrated -- updated Kraftwerk's mastery of minimalist electronic music. One of the highlights of the '90s techno movement, the "brown" album is still Orbital's most exciting work.

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