Legendary electronic music duo Orbital have collaborated with Sleaford Mods on their fabulous, furious joint single ‘Dirty Rat’, the first track to be lifted from Orbital’s new album ‘Optical Delusion’, set for release in early 2023.
‘Dirty Rat’ is Orbital at their most vital, remaining utterly relevant and still pushing forward over 30 years since they broke through with their landmark single ‘Chime’. What began as a remix swap (Orbital did the Sleafords’ ‘I Don’t Rate You’) has morphed into a comic, brutal, bass-driven harangue against our rulers and the voters who put them there: the people who are “blaming everyone in hospital/blaming everyone at the bottom of the English Channel/blaming everyone who doesn’t look like a fried animal.” Jason Williamson provides a typically searing vocal over Orbital and Andrew Fearn’s kinetic, driving beats.
“That track is just a capital letter, isn’t it?” explains Orbital’s Paul Hartnoll. “Big, simple, loud statement. It’s punk rock, a real wake-up kind of track.”
“I love Jason’s presence,” adds Phil Hartnoll. “He’s just brilliant and this is an old-school dance music vibe, with bits of Cabaret Voltaire and even The Shamen in it. And it’s a really simple statement; you voted for them, so take responsibility for your own actions.”
“The ongoing culture of non-thought mostly exists because of a lack of education into critical thought,” comments Jason Williamson. “How do you mobilize a people firmly imprisoned by a concrete system?”
The brilliant video for ‘Dirty Rat’ was directed by Luke Losey (Smiley) and shot in Leysdown-on-Sea on The Isle Of Sheppey.
Optical Delusion, the Hartnoll brothers 10th studio album and first since 2018’s Monster’s Exist, was recorded in Orbital’s Brighton studio and, as well as Sleaford Mods, includes contributions from Penelope Isles, Anna B Savage, The Little Pest, Dina Ipavic, Coppe, and perhaps most surprisingly, The Mediaeval Baebes.
The new album is the latest in a burst of renewed post-pandemic creativity for two brothers who’ve stayed at the top of their game longer than anyone from the post-1988 Class of Acid House. Earlier this year an Orbital thirtieth-anniversary package 30 Something, featuring reinterpretations of ‘Chime’, ‘Satan’, ‘Belfast’ and more by fans ranging from Jon Hopkins to ANNA to David Holmes, plus studio versions of Orbital live favourites, reintroduced Paul and Phil Hartnoll to a worldwide fanbase.
More news on ‘Optical Delusion’ is to be announced soon.