As I drove through the city of angels listening to one of my favorite radio stations (KCRW) I heard that one of the pioneers of dance music was making their way to the Belasco Theatre this weekend to perform their latest album, Monsters Exist. If you’re not familiar with Orbital they are better known for their 1995 hit “Halcyon” which was a featured in a movie called Hackers featuring Angelina Jolie. I was six years old when I first discovered this amazing duo, and am now 29. After following them for so many years it made my night to finally catch them live. They had a combination of synthesizers and two pioneer CDJs as their weapons of musical choice and incorporated a wide range of elements in their set. Trance vibes, break beat breakdown rhythms, and what I believe were a few unreleased songs that sounded like drum and bass. The majority of their songs were off their latest album, they played “satan”, “tiny foldable cities”, “Belfast”, and two of my personal favorites “Halcyon” and the awe inspiring “there will come a time”.
Can’t forget their latest hit “P.H.U.K” which stands for “PLEASE HELP U.K”. At the end of the show I was fortunate to meet them backstage where I was able to ask them a couple of questions. Since these guys are old school music legends I had to ask their thoughts on the “Y2K” bug. It’s rare to meet an artist that performed during that era, so I was curious to know what they thought. Their answer was quite simple, they were performing in Brisbane Australia, and as Phil (1/2 of Orbital) looked put into the crowd he thought to him self “this could very well end now.” Morbid, but true! Luckily the Y2K bug was a hoax and we are fortunate enough to hear new music come from their music legends on a somewhat regular basis. I also asked how they got involved with the movie Hackers, it was a simple opportunity through their manager but lead to a solid percentage of their fanbase being hackers themselves. I saw quite a few people wearing DEFCON badges in their crowd. If you’re not familiar with defcon it’s the worlds largest hacking convention.
Overall the album has a moody tone and soundtrack like atmospheric melodies that make you feel like you’re listening to an album that came out of a time capsule. Monsters Exists gives a glimpse into the sonic landscape that is Orbital’s mind, after nine albums and over three decades of releases, tours, a minor break in the early millennial venture it doesn’t seem like Orbital has any signs of slowing down or stopping. Their music evokes a feeling like no other, almost as if the rave scene was never commercialized. This album exudes nothing but pure energy, straight from the heart.
Click the link below to listen to “Monsters Exist” via Spotify and enlighten your ears to a world of musical wonder: