Photo: NASA US Gov - Public Domain

Orbital Revisit Acid House With New ‘Smiley’ Single + Anniversary Boxset: Look + Listen

As part of their ’30 Something’ boxset, Orbital have shared the original track ‘Smiley.’

Consisting of brothers Phil and Paul Hartnoll, the legendary British electronic duo recall the 1980s rave scene with the song named after the 50-year old Smiley Face logo that symbolized the Acid House music movement.

‘Smiley’ samples the ‘A Trip Round Acid House’ edition of ‘World In Action’, the ITV documentary which enlightened parents to what their kids were getting up to out clubbing at the weekend, with a 20-year-old Paul telling the tale of being beaten up by police at a house party in Sevenoaks, Kent.

About the new Orbital single, Paul stated: “We wanted to do something that represented where our heads are at now but wearing the clothes from back when we started.” “So to chronicle thirty years of Orbital you’ve got this track that chronicles the very start of dance music in Sevenoaks. It’s our origin story.”

Now 54, Paul admits the antics they got up to back then would never happen now because of social media, adding “And to make the very important point that, in civil rights terms, basically we all got beaten up by the police for having a party.” “Could never happen now, everyone would film it on their phones. Instant police brutality case.”

The song’s animated music video features “sock puppets, high-end CGI, background stock footage, specially filmed elements, stop-motion and stills photography.”

Director of the promo, Luke Losey, commented: “There was a moment in the late 1980s that bridged the gap between free festivals and big raves.” “These events had a strong DIY ethos that was a kindred spirit to punk. We would go and put great big metal sculptures in the woods or perhaps an abandoned railway station, hang a few lights and power up a sound system. That handmade DIY feel of the time was something we wanted to imbue into the film from the start, but also the sense of unity that existed amongst us despite Thatcher’s authoritarian desire to sew division, divide and conquer, with her foot soldiers in blue and her red-tops with their morally dubious claim to offer a better version of Britain than the one we could clearly see unraveling before our eyes. Hindsight has given us the opportunity to rectify past misdeeds with the happy ending we didn’t get at the time. No unicorns were hurt in the making of this film.”

Artists inspired by Orbital, including Joris Voorn, Dusky, Jon Tejada, Yotto, appear, and studio wizard David Holmes’ reworking of 90s techno classic ‘Belfast’.

The electronic duo’s three-decade anniversary collection ’30 Something’ includes “reworks, remakes, remixes and re-imaginings of landmark Orbital tracks based on the duo’s unrivalled live show” and is available now as a double CD, quadruple LP boxset and digital formats.

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: NASA US Gov – Public Domain