When monsters are loose in a darkening world, we need monsters of our own to fight back. After a barnstorming live reunion which saw them play to ecstatic audiences across Europe throughout 2017 Britain’s giants of electronic music Orbital announce they’re back for good, and will visit Sónar Reykjavík in 2019 – with new music and an upgrade of the legendary live show that transformed festivals across the world.
Reunited brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll were always a cut above the bargain basement boom-and-bosh crew, and have taken their signature sound forward into a new and fascinating phase.
Their first new album in five years - the one even fans wondered if they’d ever hear - called ‘Monsters Exist’ was released in 2018 to great acclaim, drawing inspiration from the international political landscape all the way back from Paul and Phil’s pre-rave squat-punk roots right up to the volatile tensions and erratic rhetoric of today.
This surge of creativity shows how the Hartnolls have rebuilt one of electronic music’s best-loved partnerships after Orbital’s surprisingly bitter break-up in 2012. Driven apart by music’s strange and infamous brother-vs-brother dynamic, Paul and Phil didn’t speak for five years after the ‘Wonky’ tour ended.
Now the brothers have a pact. Whatever happens, Orbital does not stop. There is more than one kind of monster and more than one kind of battle. There’s monsters of fear and tyranny, monsters of greed, and yes, the destructive monsters of sibling rivalry.
And in the other corner, fighting the good fight, are the monsters of the imagination… the monsters of rock… and the monsters of rave.