about progressive house don't seem to bother the Hartnoll brothers,
aka Orbital - probably because they've been progressive and house
all along. "As far as I can gather, progressive house means Guerilla
Records," says Paul as they relax in Phil's garden in Finsbury
"It's just a new name for genuine house," adds Phil. "Like, many
of the people who were making house music originally are people
who are doing that style of music now. But because there's nothing
you can really describe as house now, suddenly it's called progressive
They obviously don't lose too much sleep over it, but then why
should they? Orbital are now elder statesmen on the UK house scene,
respected enough to get mix jobs for everyone from The Shamen
to Meat Beat Manifesto, and smart enough to make 'Chime' a hit
twice (Top 20 in 1990 and again this year on the remix EP 'Mutations').
Now the release of their next single launches a new label, Internal
Records. They've christened the three-tracker the 'Radiccio' EP,
apparently to illustrate how British people live like vegetables.
'Halcyon' is the flipside of the hardcore attitude, a shimmering,
dream-like embrace that repeats a backwards-looped sample of Opus
IlI's 'It's A Fine Day' over eleven minutes of mantric Orbital
house The accompanying 'The Naked And The Dead' performs a similar
trick with Scott Walker's version of Jacques Brel 's 'Next'.
"It's nice to work with really good singers," says Phil. "I like
aggressive music but you don't have to be aggressive yourself.
I find a lot of raves very aggressive and very macho and I'm not
into that attitude."
The new Internal label is designed as an escape route from brain-dead
rave fodder, and the Hartnolls want to use it to further the cause
of proper live techno.
"What we want to get into," says Phil eagerly, "is MlDI-ing up
with everybody so you've got four electronic bands having one
big jam. So instead of mixing records you play sequences and drum
rhythms using impulsive improvisation."
Sounds very Star Wars.
"Ah, yeah! I remember this scene in Return of the Jedi," says
Paul. "There's this weird Jim Henson elephant-type thing playing
a strange circular keyboard and all this disco music's coming
out. And I remember thinking, that's a real voice, a real guitar,
a real drumkit- what's going on? He can't possibly do that!
"Then we did a gig and there we were making sounds exactly like
that. And I sat there afterwards ans thought, Fuck, I am that