Sunday, September 20, 2009

Orbital - Live in Birmingham [1993]

Orbital - Live in Birmingham [1993]

*** Recorded just a few months before NYC rave promoters NASA launched the curious See The Light Tour stateside - featuring Orbital, Vapourspace, Aphex Twin & Moby. This is significant to the ICOOYS brothaz, since we were lucky enough to catch this weird moment in 'live Electronica enters nacent American rave consciousness via Sketchy rave promoters in the sketchiest parts of a handful of techno-aware cities - for the very first time in US history'.... I'm pretty sure we had some sort of deep brotherly bonding experience; although the 100% definite consumption of LSD blotter on everyone's part throws a wrench in any attempt at total recall w/ perfect clarity :x

I can personally vouche for being blown away on a technical level by the entire production - especially from Aphex T's super-bizarre stage presence; complete with piles of handcrafted analogue devices which he basically hid behind while his female bodybuilder (???) dancers absorbed most of the dumfounded/confused/inebriated audience's attention. The other thing I can clearly recall is the Hartknoll brothers' freaking out behind their own stacks of synths, modules and controllers with no illumination whatsoever (onstage and off) except for those ridiculous caving lamps strapped to their heads. Matching optical antennae donning the Orbital brothers = simply too f*cking weird to ignore.

My brother and I both played the living shit out of the crappy little promotional cassette tape they handed us as we stumbled out of the club at the end of the night... The tape itself was a considerably poor production; lackluster musically, poorly programmed and devoid of any sort of exclusive content one might expect in a ltd. promo recording like that... But it was nevertheless the one single artifact we had in our possession which symbolized the semi-traumatizing exposure to chemicals and rare imported analog/electronic performance from some of the most influential names in Techno. I wouldn't be surprised if Big Brotha ICOOYS still has the fucking tape in his collection somewhere... (tbc?)

1. Orbital - Planet of The Shapes [Live] (6:36)
2. Orbital - Lush 3-1 [Live] (4:53)
3. Orbital - Lush 3-2 [Live] (3:54)
4. Orbital - Lush Euro Tunnel [Live] (1:42)
5. Orbital - Imapct [Part 1] [Live] (4:55)
6. Orbital - Impact [Part 2] [Live] (5:31)
7. Orbital - Remind [Live] (6:41)
8. Orbital - Chime [Live] (7:43)
9. Orbital - Walk Now [Live] (9:30)
10. Orbital - Monday [Live] (8:07)
11. Orbital - Monday [Orchestral] [Live] (0:48)
12. Orbital - The Naked and The Dead [Live] (5:06)
13. Orbital - The Naked and The Dub [Live] (3:00)

(txt c/o The Guardian*UK)
Flashback, July 1993

Paul Hartnoll recalls how one night with Orbital in north London changed the course of dance music ...

If there is one gig that changed everything for Orbital and the culture that grew up around us, it's the first night we played Megadog at the Rocket in north London. Before then, we'd done our thing at raves and in nightclubs, but we'd never played in any kind of rock'n'roll arena. They were used to psychedelic bands like Ozric Tentacles there and that alternative, hippie kind of edge - there were lots of 'crusties', for want of a better word - suited us much more. It wasn't like at clubs like Shoom, where the bouncers would check you out to see if you were suitable - the scene there was completely unpretentious. I was just like one of the punters, dancing around and then 'Oh, we're on in 15 minutes.'

I pressed the button on the big Roland synth and it did a complete Les Dawson, playing all the wrong notes. We had to reset everything to get it right, with 1,500 people waiting, but it eventually went off like a dream and then everyone went mad. It was a kind of crossing of that indie and dance bridge. We were the first dance act the Megadog lot put on but Underworld became regulars there and we went on tour with acts like the Aphex Twin; promoters didn't think you could take electronic dance music round the UK gig circuit, but they were wrong. Within the space of 12 months of that first night, we were headlining Glastonbury.



Synthetrix said...

Check out my L.A. Rave Flyer gallery. There is one for that tour on there.

P M X said...

Will do - thx for the link!