Orbital 2

Orbital 2
Orbital 2
Studio album by Orbital
Released August 3, 1993
Genre Electronica, Acid house
Length 65:44
Label FFRR
Producer Paul and Phil Hartnoll
Orbital chronology
Orbital 2
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars [1]
Entertainment Weekly (A) [2]
Select 4/5 stars [3]
Melody Maker (Very favourable) [4]

Orbital 2 (known as simply Orbital in the UK) is the second album from British electronica duo Orbital. It is also known as the Brown Album to differentiate it from Orbital's 1991 debut album, which had a green cover. It was released in May 1993 and reached the #28 on the UK album charts.


The album

On Orbital 2 the duo aimed to make more atmospheric music than the dance raves of their first album. They used more complex rhythms and denser arrangements on the appropriately monickered pieces entitled "Lush" but still proving themselves capable of making quality pop music on "Halcyon + On + On", with vocals from Kirsty Hawkshaw of Opus III.

The album begins with "Time Becomes", which features the same speech sample (by actor Michael Dorn in Star Trek: The Next Generation) which opened their first album. The piece uses the phasing technique invented by Steve Reich, in which two identical samples are repeated at slightly different speeds.

The second song, "Planet of the shapes", contains a sample from the movie Withnail & I, saying "even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day".

The brothers enjoy aural puns, and the use of the sample from Star Trek: The Next Generation (which appeared on the opening of their first album) was meant to infuriate listeners by making them believe for a few seconds that they had bought a mispressing. The muffled intro on "Planet of the Shapes" has the intentional addition of record static and crackles, followed by the sound of a needle skipping grooves then scratching across the record, also meant to infuriate fans, who bought the vinyl edition, by making them think their copy was less than mint.

This album is featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die alongside their 1994 LP 'Snivilisation'. It (along with the In Sides album) was also included in Q magazine's "90 Best albums of the 1990s".[5]

Track listing

  1. "Time Becomes" – 1:43
  2. "Planet of the Shapes" – 9:36
  3. "Lush 3-1" – 5:39
  4. "Lush 3-2" – 4:40
  5. "Impact (The Earth Is Burning)" – 10:27
  6. "Remind" – 7:57
  7. "Walk Now…" – 6:48
  8. "Monday" – 7:05
  9. "Halcyon + On + On" – 9:28
  10. "Input Out" – 2:11

On cassette, "Planet of the Shapes" was re-titled "Planet of the Tapes", but the track is identical.

Also on cassette, "Planet of the Shapes" is the first song on side 2, and is placed after "Remind" in the track listing.


  1. ^ Bush, John. "Orbital: Orbital 02" at Allmusic. Retrieved 22 May 2009.
  2. ^ Aaron, Charles (24 September 1993). "Orbital 2 (1993): Orbital". Entertainment Weekly (Time) (#189). ISSN 1049-0434. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,308078,00.html. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  3. ^ Harrison, Andrew (June 1993). "Untitled". Select (EMAP Metro). ISSN 0959-8367. http://www.songtwo.demon.co.uk/orbital/obs.html. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  4. ^ Reynolds, Simon (22 May 1993). "Untitled". Melody Maker (IPC Specialist & Professional Press). ISSN 0025-9012. http://www.songtwo.demon.co.uk/orbital/obm.html. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  5. ^ "90 Best albums of the 1990s". Q (Bauer Media). ISSN 0955-4955. http://www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/qlistspage2.html#Q%2090%20Of%20The%2090’s. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 

External links

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