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Hartnoll brothers hang up their iconic torch-glasses for the final time

Orbital, the pioneering live techno act credited for converting many to electronic music in the 1990s, have decided to hang up their iconic torch-glasses once and for all.

In a statement on their website, brothers Paul Hartnoll said: “We’ve had our ups and downs, and it’s not always been easy, but I’ve loved my time with Orbital. 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.”

Orbital did split up once before — in 2004 — after they reportedly got “sick of sitting in the same room with each other for 15 years”. However, they re-united in 2009 for a show at the Big Chill to commemorate 20 years since their rave classic ‘Chime’.

They subsequently made the ‘Wonky’ album to play at their latest round of live gigs, and ended up playing ‘Where Is It Going?’ at the Paralympics opening ceremony in London with Professor Stephen Hawking in front of millions. “These shows over the past few years have been a real high point in many ways,” says Paul. “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, meanwhile, is focusing on his DJ career, which has seen him travelling around the world. "I am really enjoying playing a mixture of my own exclusive Orbital remixes mixed with some great new dancefloor tracks,” Phil says. “I have also been discovering so much talent along the way and look forward to potential collaborations.”

Orbital were one of the ‘big four’ live UK dance acts — alongside Underworld, the Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy — who conquered the world in the 1990, laying the groundwork for much of the dance scene today. Their 1994 performance at the Glastonbury festival is credited with converting a whole swathe of indie kids to the joys of electronic music – and they’re both top blokes as well. DJ Mag wishes them all the best with their future endeavors.

For more info on Paul’s projects, go here 

For more info on Phil’s projects, go here