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Optical Delusion
London Records
Catalogue Number
Release Date
February 17, 2023


The milestones keep on coming with Orbital, as one year after their 30th anniversary compilation the Hartnoll brothers present their most collaborative work yet with their tenth studio album Optical Delusion. Still riding the highs of the huge rave sounds from their last album Monsters Exist, Orbital reflect the current state of the world with their penchant for voracious dance music, bent into pop structures with the help of vocal features ranging from smooth to passionately shouted and confrontational.

Lead single ‘Dirty Rat’ has masterfully set the tone this time around with a frenzied dance punk fusion courtesy of Sleaford Mods. A menacing bassline swims beneath layers of anxious synth stabs, storming guitars, and a heavy techno beat channelling “bits of Cabaret Voltaire, even bits of The Shamen”, all underlining Jason Williamson’s upfront, political lyrics. ‘Ringa Ringa’ takes musical fusion even further, somehow flipping a nursery rhyme into a bouncing club cut with slamming hiphop beats pitted against The Mediaeval Baebes singing “the original pandemic song from the Middle Ages”.

Resonating wooden drum patterns thunk throughout ‘Are You Alive?’, with delicate vocals from Penelope Isles hiding biting lyrics, switching up halfway through with classic techno rhythms and frazzled, raving synths. After thumping trance and razorsharp breakbeats, ‘Home’ takes a pensive tone as Anna B Savage draws scathing environmental commentary and post apocalyptic scenes set to a pounding four to the floor and snapping drum shuffles. The siren sounds on ‘Requiem For The Pre Apocalypse’ with sprinting jungle breaks made of gnashing teeth and low frequency warfare, turning cathartic as hopeful synths and vocals wash in before switching gears back to the heavy sound palettes and drilling bass.

Ten albums in and Orbital are in scintillating form, presenting a variety of features on Optical Delusion.

Track List

  1. Ringa Ringa (The Old Pandemic Folk Song) (feat The Mediaeval Baebes) (4:14)
  2. Day One (feat Dina Ipavic) (5:16)
  3. Are You Alive? (feat Penelope Isles) (7:37)
  4. You Are The Frequency (feat The Little Pest) (4:37)
  5. The New Abnormal (5:02)
  6. Home (feat Anna B Savage) (5:18)
  7. Orbital & Sleaford Mods - "Dirty Rat" (5:18)
  8. Requiem For The Pre Apocalypse (5:19)
  9. What A Surprise (feat The Little Pest) (3:52)
  10. Moon Princess (feat Coppe) (4:18)


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London Records

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Electronic and Electronica

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