The British duo Orbital were one of the most important groups of the early days of rave in the UK, and their 1989 single “Chime” was one of the anthems of its day. The group stayed busy throughout the ’90s and broke up in 2004, but they got back together in 2009 and released two more albums. But now, the brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll are once again calling it quits as Orbital. Paul, who has been composing music for movies and TV shows, is starting a solo project called 8:58, and his first track under that name, also called “8:58,” is a largely beatless piece of warm and sunny electronic music. Its new video, which has narration from the actor Cillian Murphy, is a piece of black-and-white expressionism about a couple who fantasize about leaving behind workaday drudgery and becoming, like, old-timey circus folk. Watch it below, and read some words from Paul Hartnoll.
And here’s Orbital’s statement on their breakup:
After 25 years at the forefront of electronic music — from house to rave to festival mega-techno, to international dance stardom to the 2012 London Paralympics Opening Ceremony — Orbital brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll announce that they’re hanging up their iconic torch-glasses and parting ways for the final time.
“We’ve had our ups and downs, and it’s not always been easy, but I’ve loved my time with Orbital,” says Paul Hartnoll. “It’s been brilliant that we’ve been able to take our music to so many places, from local clubs to headlining Glastonbury to playing massive events across America, Australia, Japan… It’s been fantastic.
“It was particularly nice to get such a lovely reception when we got back together a few years ago. We made the Wonky album specifically to play live and these shows over the past few years have been a real high point in many ways. The shows and the audiences have been amazing.
“But nothing lasts forever and it’s time to stop. Since finishing the soundtrack with Flood & PJ Harvey for the BBC One television show Peaky Blinders, I’ve now got my own new project, 8:58 which I’m really excited about. It’s a continuation of my work from the past 25 years but with a new vitality taking me on to something fresh, mixed with the best of what I’ve put into Orbital. Expect some live shows soon where I will be playing a mixture of my new music alongside my Orbital favorites.”
Phil Hartnoll is focusing on his DJing career, which has seen him traveling around the world. Most recently he’s played for fans in Thailand, Japan, Korea, Dublin and private parties in New York, France and London. “I am really enjoying playing a mixture of my own exclusive Orbital remixes mixed with some great new dancefloor tracks. I have also been discovering so much talent along the way and look forward to potential collaborations. Orbital has been fantastic, but like the Bond movie – ‘Never Say Never Again.'”
Having broken up in 2004, the Hartnolls reunited to play the Big Chill to celebrate 20 years of their DIY techno classic “Chime” in 2009. Massive demand from fans who’d grown up with Orbital’s groundbreaking live shows led to a triumphant, ever-extending tour, culminating in an appearance before millions at the opening of the Paralympics with Professor Stephen Hawking on vocals.
For more info on Paul’s projects, please visit: eightfiftyeight.com
For more info on Phil’s projects, please visit: facebook.com/philhartnoll
(via Orbital’s site)
8:58’s debut is out 2/16/15, via Pledge.