Orbital is a {{techno}} / electronica duo from England, consisting of [[BandOfRelatives brothers]] Phil and Paul Hartnoll. Within techno, their style ranged from acid to ambient to hardcore, with influences from jungle and soundtrack music.

Their first single, 1989's "Chime", became a huge rave hit. Not long afterwards, Orbital started gaining fans outside the dance scene (they were one of the first techno bands to do so) due to the strength of their live shows and their emphasis on their albums as cohesive units rather than merely collections of songs. Their output through the '90s is commonly cited as among the best of the UK's techno scene. Unfortunately, after 2000 they released two albums that were respectively divisive and [[SoOkayItsAverage just okay]]. On that disappointing note, Orbital called it quits in 2004.

However, the brothers Hartnoll did not leave music altogether. Phil teamed up with Nick Smith to make the techno band Long Range, while Paul composed music fusing electronic and orchestral styles.

Then in 2009, Orbital reunited for a string of live shows, and in 2011 they returned to the studio to work on a new album. The result, 2012's ''Wonky'', was surprisingly well-received, both by the critics and the fans. In 2014, they disbanded again, but with the promise that neither of them intended to stop making music yet. In summer 2017, they reunited again, playing more live shows and putting out a new single. Time will tell if this results in another full album.

* ''[[SelfTitledAlbum Orbital]]'' aka the ''Green Album'' (1991)
* ''[[SelfTitledAlbum Orbital 2]]'' aka the ''Brown Album'' (1992)
* ''Snivilisation'' (1994)
* ''In Sides'' (1996)
* ''Film/EventHorizon (OST)'' (1997)
* ''The Middle of Nowhere'' (1999)
* ''The Altogether'' (2001)
* ''{{Film/Octane}} (OST)'' (2003)
* ''Blue Album'' (2004)
* ''Wonky'' (2012)
* ''{{Film/Pusher}} (OST)'' (2012)

For more exhaustive information, see the discography section of [[http://www.loopz.co.uk/begin.html their website]].

[[AC:Paul Hartnoll]]
* ''The Ideal Condition'' (2007)
* ''8:58'' (2015)

[[AC:Long Range]]
* ''Madness and Me'' (2007)

Not to be confused with the ambient electronic duo Music/TheOrb.

!!Provides examples of:

* AlbumIntroTrack: "Time becomes..." on ''Orbital 2''.
* ArcSymbol:
** A sketch of electron orbitals around an atomic nucleus. It shows up on the ''Green Album'' and ''Brown Album'' covers, and the liner notes of ''Snivilisation'' and ''In Sides''. The ''Blue Album'' cover features a new version of the diagram, redrawn with vector art.
** Several covers have a circle, or some object forming a circle. These include ''The Middle of Nowhere'', ''Wonky'', and a number of singles.
* BaldOfAwesome: Phil Hartnoll.
* BandOfRelatives
* BrokenRecord:
** "Never". The voice repeats the single word over and over and over...
** [[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS2E13TimeSquared "There is the theory of the mobius... a twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop, time becomes a loop, time becomes a loop..."]]
** "Acid Pants" repeats the line "When the laugh track starts, then the fun starts!" until it sounds like a MadnessMantra.
* CrazyCatLady: The "Wonky" music video depicts a male version. The guy has cats, and photos of cats, and T-shirts of cats. And he hears them all talk to him as he goes crazy.
* CutAndPasteTranslation: The debut album was heavily changed when it got exported from the UK. The American version dropped "Steel Cube Idolatry" and "High Rise", it added "Satan", and it used different mixes of "Fahrenheit 303", "Chime", "Midnight", and "Speed Freak". "Speed Freak" particularly stands out, because the US version was a Music/{{Moby}} remix.
* EpicInstrumentalOpener: Inverted on "One Big Moment", the first track of ''Wonky''. The first 60 seconds are overlapping vocal samples that build up to a crescendo, then the rest of the song is completely instrumental.
* EpicRocking: Of course. Among the most drawn-out are "Out There Somewhere" and "Meltdown" (the DVD version), each 24 minutes long, and the 28-minute-long version of "The Box" from the American release of ''In Sides''.
* EverythingsLouderWithBagpipes (and GlamRock samples): "Bigpipe Style"
* EvolvingMusic: Happens a lot in live performance. The most spectacular example is "Halcyon"--nowadays Orbital fans know it as a hands-in-the-air anthem with a heavy use of Belinda Carlisle and Bon Jovi samples, neither of which even appear on the original studio versions.
** "Satan" started off as techno with a bit of industrial flavor. Then it got remixed (with electric guitar by Kirk Hammet) for the ''Spawn'' soundtrack. Then it got remixed as synth-heavy Big Beat and renamed "Beelzebeat". Finally, it got the dubstep treatment and was renamed "Beelzedub".
** "Remind" began life as their remix of a ''Meat Beat Manifesto'' track, "Mindstream."
** In 1992, Paul Hartnoll made a one-off single with Mike Hazell under the name Golden Girls. The single was called "Kinetic". A while later, it was reissued with an Orbital remix, which in turn was eventually reworked into Orbital's own 2002 single, "Frenetic".
* FadingIntoTheNextSong: "Lush" / "Remind" / "Impact" from ''Orbital II''. The entirety of ''Peel Sessions''. "Forever / I Wish I Had Duck Feet" on ''Snivilisation''. "Way Out" / "Spare Parts Express" / "Know Where to Run" from ''The Middle of Nowhere''. "Distractions / Stringy Acid / Beelzedub" from ''Wonky''.
* ForeignLanguageTitle: "Dŵr Budr" (Welsh), "Kein Trink Wasser" ([[GratuitousGerman German]]), "Otoño" ([[GratuitousSpanish Spanish]]), "An Fhómhair" (Irish Gaelic). As "An Fhómhair" is a remix of "Otoño" and both mean "Autumn", this may also count as BilingualBonus (and perhaps a non-personal example of ThisIsMyNameOnForeign).
* GratuitousPanning:
** "Fahrenheit 3D3" and the ''Snivilisation'' album were mixed in 3D. There was also a surround-sound mix of ''The Altogether''.
** "Time Becomes..." and "Input Out" use this for odd effect. The audio loops slightly faster in one channel than the other, so the two channels gradually fall out of sync. Both tracks end when the two channels finally re-sync.
* GreatestHitsAlbum: They have several, none of which include their actual biggest chart hit, "The Saint". The closest to definitive is ''Orbital 20'' but even that has some odd track choices.
* GreenAesop: ''In Sides''. The liner notes include an essay decrying "dirty electricity" and encouraging the use of solar power (noting that the first track was recorded entirely using solar power). "Dŵr Budr" (Welsh for "Dirty Water") references water pollution. And "P.E.T.R.O.L." was written in response to a recent oil spill.
* HeartbeatSoundtrack: "The Girl with the Sun in Her Head" opens with a heartbeat, but it's distorted into more of a low, rumbling sound.
* IconicItem: The headlights that Paul and Phil wear for live gigs.
* InTheStyleOf: "New Style", which was "Style" remixed to sound like a Music/{{Stereolab}} tune. (Orbital originally wanted Stereolab themselves to remix "Style", but couldn't contact the band in time.)
* LastChorusSlowDown: The album version of "Belfast" does this despite not really having a verse-chorus structure in the first place.
* LivingToys: In the "New France" music video, a stuffed lion doll leaves his owner (a young girl) to hang out with some bros and go clubbing.
* LuckBasedMission: When ''In Sides'' was imported to America, two different versions were made: the only difference was the song selection on the bonus disc. There's no indication of which version you were getting on the outside cover--the only way to know was by checking the disc label.
* MomentKiller: On the live compilation album ''Live at Glastonbury 1994 - 2004'', their cover version / remix of the ''Series/DoctorWho'' theme starts off with a suitably dramatic speech from The Doctor himself... then the first few synth notes come out as an awkward ''squawk''. The Hartnolls have to stop the song to reconfigure their instruments.
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: They occasionally forayed into some very odd places. "Walk Now..." has a didgeridoo for bass and a sample of an Australian pedestrian crossing. "The Box" is built around a zither sample and also features the heavily echo-treated creak of one of their studio chairs. "Bigpipes Style" features [[EverythingsLouderWithBagpipes bagpipes]]. And, while piano samples are hardly unusual in techno, "Kein Trink Wasser" uses almost nothing but piano for nearly three minutes, which ''is'' rather odd. Also, the bizarre 1:23 techno-does-thrash-metal track "Quality Seconds".
* NeverTrustATitle:
** ''The Green Album'' was nicknamed that because it had a green cover--initially. These days, the reprints look more yellowish than green, but the nickname stuck.
** "Halcyon + On + On", in spite of its name suggesting longevity, is a minute and a half ''shorter'' than the original mix of "Halcyon".
** Two of their "Style" remixes were named "Old Style" and "New Style". "Old Style" was the ''newer'' genre (hardcore techno), while "New Style" was a deliberately retro mix in the vein of Stereolab.
* NewSoundAlbum:
** ''Snivilisation'' kept the extended compositions and half-ambient-half-rave atmosphere of the early albums, but expanded Orbital's sonic palette with eclectic samples and breakbeats.
** ''The Altogether'' was a slightly darker take on Orbital's sound, and featured more rock samples than before. However, it wasn't received very well, and Orbital didn't pursue this style any further.
* NothingIsScarier: ''The Box'' EP is some of the creepiest music Orbital ever made. This adds an air of menace to the cover artwork, even though it's just a picture of a completely ordinary house.
* NoTitle: Their first two albums, commonly known as ''Orbital'' and ''Orbital II'' or ''The Green Abum'' and ''The Brown Album''.
* OminousLatinChanting: Inverted in "Belfast". It's real Latin (from a 12th century plainsong) and it's disarmingly beautiful.
* OneWomanWail / {{Scatting}}: Kirsty Hawkshaw in "Halcyon + On + On". [[Music/{{Goldfrapp}} Alison Goldfrapp]] in "Dŵr Budr", "The Box"(vocal reprise), "Out There Somewhere", and portions of "Nothing Left". Barbara Cohen in "Way Out". [[Music/DeadCanDance Lisa Gerrard]] in "One Perfect Sunrise".
* OnlyALighter: In an [[UnintentionalPeriodPiece awkwardly dated moment]] from "The Saint" music video, Paul and Phil whip out pistols as they're passing through an airport security checkpoint. The security officers pull out their own guns, and the situation looks like a MexicanStandoff--then Paul and Phil reveal that their "guns" are really just lighters. Then the security officers laugh and wave them through.
* PopStarComposer: They've done various soundtrack commissions including a full-length incidental score for ''Octane'' and remixing Michael Kamen's score for ''Film/EventHorizon''. Other soundtrack commissions include "Crash And Carry" and "Quality Seconds" for ''Shopping'', "The Saint" for ''The Saint'', a special remake of "Satan" for ''Spawn'' and "Beached" for ''The Beach''.
* PortalNetwork: In the video for "Funny Breaks (One Is Enough)", the woman is able to travel between the interiors of suitcases.
* PrecisionFStrike: "I Don't Know You People" has a sample of someone shouting "God damn you!", and "You Lot" has a rant with "Cheeky bastards..." smack in the middle. Which goes to show [[GoshDangitToHeck just how inoffensive most of their discography is]].
* RealAfterAll: In the "Wonky" music video, the protagonist thinks his cats are talking to him as he loses his mind. At the very end, he runs out of his flat and gets hit by a car... and there's a cat driving it.
* RevisitingTheRoots: ''Blue Album'' was a deliberate throwback to the acid techno sound of ''The Green Album'' and ''The Brown Album''.
* {{Sampling}}
* SongStyleShift:
** The live remix of "Halcyon". It starts off light and ethereal, a lot like the version from ''The Brown Album'', then the "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" and "[[Music/BonJovi Shot Through the Heart]]" samples [[MoodWhiplash come out of freaking nowhere]].
** "Beelzebeat" starts off heavy, but turns lighter and trance-ier for its second half. The remix "Beelzedub" starts off as dubstep, then turns into a drum-n-bass track in the second half.
* SuperTitle64Advance: The debut album was supposed to be simply titled ''LP'', ''MC'' or ''CD'' depending on the format. But nobody got the joke, so it's just known as ''Orbital'' or ''The Green Album''.
* TakeThat:
** The reason several of their radio edits were labelled "Industry Standard Edit".
** When the Criminal Justice Act--which gave British police greater legal powers to break up raves--was passed, Orbital responded by releasing the remix "Are We Here? (Criminal Justice Bill?)", consisting of four minutes of silence.
* TemptingFate: In 1993, they produced a track called "Lush (Eurotunnel Disaster '94)". Fortunately 1994 subsequently came and went without a disaster on Eurotunnel.
* UncommonTime: "Mock Tudor" is in 7/4 time.
* UnderCrank: Used for creepy effect in "The Box" music video. Tilda Swinton moved very slowly during filming; due to the undercranking, the finished film has her moving at normal speed but still looking [[UncannyValley not completely natural]], while everyone around her is a superfast blur.
* WithLyrics: The vocal mix of "The Box", from the EP. Also, "Belfast/Wasted". Both were collaborations with Grant Fulton.