― Ronan, Wednesday, 23 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
Orbital have the "we're crazy soundscaping crazymen who have stood
the test of time" thing going on.
Leftfields new album (whenever) it comes better be better than
Orbitals last album "The Altogether" which was disappointing to me.
i'd prefer leftfield v underworld FITE
― Alan Trewartha, Wednesday, 23 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
― Omar, Wednesday, 23 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
UNDERWORLD VERSUS LEFTFIELD VERSUS ORBITAL..................
Underworld is a harder group to
get a handle on. Their first and third albums are fantastic, but the
second is the textbook definition of "self-indulgent garbage". Also,
everyone goes gaga over a deeply inferior mix of "Born Slippy".
Still _Beacoup Fish_ was much better than _The Altogether_,
approaching _In Sides_ or _Snivilization_ quality (if it doesn't
reach it; I'm still torn). I have to go with Orbital because I think
the variance of the quality of their work is less, but Underworld is
definitely on the rise. (Actually, if they're officially kaput,
Underworld would be my vote for the "timely break-up" thread.)
― Dan Perry, Wednesday, 23 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
Orbital by a KO, also sending one-trick ponies U/world out the ring
faster than they stumbled into it.
(apologies for boxing metaphor - too much Tyson on TV today)
― Jeff W, Wednesday, 23 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
I can't decide either, I think perhaps I need to think further. Also
I think I have a tendency to overrate Leftfield. But I think if we
are comparing albums "Insides" is the best album any of the three
If we're comparing careers then I'm not too sure, I never listened to
Whereas Orbital are just excellent. Their first two/three albums may
sound just the tiniest bit obsolete in terms of sonics, but overall
they have the kind of elegant structure and perfect celestial grooves
that will make them listenable for years to come. Then
there's "Snivilisation," which is still so lovely to listen to,
and "In Sides," one of the best electronic albums of all time in my
humble opinion (especially when paired with the original 2nd disc,
which has the 28-minute version of "The Box") .... they've got all
that going for them, even if "The Middle of Nowhere" and "The
Altogether" were lackluster.
― Dare, Wednesday, 23 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
― jk, Wednesday, 23 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
― Vinnie, Wednesday, 23 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
― Ian, Wednesday, 23 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
― Mike Ratford, Wednesday, 23 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
Also wasn't Leftism "THE ALBUM THAT BROUGHT DANCE OUT OF THE CLUBS
AND INTO THE LIVING ROOMS"?
I was young when it was released but that smacks of bullshit to me.
Not Heard Insides. Didn't like Sniv. or the Green One.
I am alone in this of course, but I really like the Altogether. After
MOW the last thing I wanted was an album with 10 minute 'epics'
again. The shorter stuff covers a lot of ground, not all well
executed, and some badly mixed IMHO, but a good effort. The Dr. Who
theme is fantastic - (yeah, yeah I KNOW it sounded better at
Glastonbury or wherever). I'll be back on why Leftism beats all, but
it's only ten minutes until Chelsea v Spurs and I have to *get
― Dr. C, Wednesday, 23 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
SHEER INSANITY. This would be much more
In Sides > Brown = Snivilization = Beaucoup Fish >
dubnobass... > Middle Of Nowhere > Green = The Altogether > Second
Toughest > Rhythm and Stealth
This ranking should take into account
that I like every album listed up through _The Altogether_.
Way Out West seem to have quietly released two great albums and no
one's noticed. Why? (Search: The Gift, Domination, UB Devoid,
― Billy Dods, Wednesday, 23 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
― Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 23 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
― patrick, Wednesday, 23 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
If Mike Ratford is thinking of the moment I think he's talking
about, then he is *so* right (in my opinion Middle Of
Nowhere is a much better take on "return to the clubs" than <
i>The Altogether). Another point appears about two-thirds of
the way through "Nothing Left 2", with one of the most heavenly
build-ups of any I can think of.
Leftfield's first album is overrated elsewhere but underrated
here. I most like the tracks that sort of sound out of character for
them - "Inspection (Check One)", "Original", "Open Up", the
quasi-jungle track (something 3000).
Orbital's jungle track ("Are We Here?") is better than Leftfield's or
Underworld's ("Pearl's Girl") but that's because "Are We Here?"
is one of the best things ever. Ever. As a whole Snivilisation
i> is really underrated in that no-one talks about it compared to
the albums on either side. But any album that has "Forever",
"Sad But True", "Crash & Carry", "Are We Here?" and "Attached"
is a work of godlike genius in my books. Another interesting
thing about Orbital: one of the few artists whose tracks are
almost always better the longer they are.
Second Toughest... isn't as bad as Dan paints it - yeah,
it's much less interesting than the first or third albums, but the
first two tracks at least are excellent, especially the second one (I
like the way Underworld occasionally veer from motorik-as-hell
techno to an almost blueslike shuffle quite easily).
― Tim, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
― Dr. C, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
― Clarke B., Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
― chris, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
boring old farts. leftfield one half decent record with john lidon
and guiness ad tune an the rest u never listen 2. b honist. orbital
shit since insides. 40 yr old farts lisen to carington cogan on
radio 2 not in tune with anything. boring boring.
the prodigy piss all over all that lot. an basement jax piss over
prodigy unless latter get arse out of bed and record new shit.
chemical bros new record also shit. tel us somefin new.
― XStatic Peace, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
2nd toughest in the infants is an a-mazing record!
and people *do* talk about how good 'snivilisation' is.
underworld are still ace, orbital have gone MOR.
can't wait for underworld to return
with or without emmerson.
― piscesboy, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
Snivilisation: Tied in with their great 94/95 festival performances
this album confirmed that the vast majotiry involved in the exodus
were never going back to the grey land of grunge and it's ilk.
Insides: Not at the cutting edge anymore but still probably one of
the top 5 most beautiful home listening experiences of the last
decade. "Out There Somewhere" is beyond compare and the intro
to "The Girl With The Sun In Her Head" is incredibly poignant in an
Always hated Underworld's live shows - all those arms punching the
air for that was essentially turgid 4 to the floor techno. For many
they were just the token dance act. Hated the whole Loaded/Euro
96/Born Slippy allegiance. Enjoyed DubNoBass as it was a good sister
piece to the Brown album.
Leftism is very overrated. Very rockist but quite dated now.
― David Gunnip, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
― Dan Perry, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
― Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
Orbital are more fun, and more prolific, and now they're off into
film score land, maybe they'll find new sounds to play with -- i'm
glad they have the assurance and intuition to go with what they like.
i'll still follow
Leftfield. Leftism is getting a lot of bashing here. which
― Alan Trewartha, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
- "Born Slippy (original)":
Absolutely lovely. Nine minutes of breakbeats piling on top of each
other with wonderful synth arpeggios rising through each tone of a
harmonic minor scale, speeding up as they approached the high tonic,
mixed in with wonderful screamy synths and an overall adrenaline
haze.- "Born Slippy (NUXX)": Stream-of-consciousness ranting over
a fairly pedestrian beat that segues into a potentially nice trance
workout that ends before it really gets a chance to go
anywhere."Born Slippy (Telematic)" - A hybridization
of "original" and "NUXX"; a vocal-free trance workout that explores
some basic variations on a simple pattern.
I quite like both. After "Insides" I'd listen to either Leftfield
album, Beaucoup Fish or Everything Everything. I should probably buy
the other Underworld albums, I have heard them but don't own them.
― Ronan, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
I think every Underworld album is strong, though they do seem to
front-load their albums a bit, I think. The weaker stuff on
Underworld albums always seems to be near the end.
― patrick, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
― Vinnie, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link
Counterexample: "Kittens" is near the end of _Beaucoup
I have to say fuck Leftfield. They were only ever a convenient
re-working of the dance scene with more familiar elements for dinner
party and TV sports show theme consumption. They've never done
anything that wasn't utterly generic to the time it was made, and as
such never produced anything as transcendent as Orbital.
Underworld are just boring techno with ranting over the top. They're
just the follow-on iteration to Finitribe. Gold Chains are the new
― jacob, Thursday, 21 February 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
does this not sound just like early plaid?
good track, would be much improved by a booming think breaj
― the late great, Monday, 14 September 2015 23:21 (seven years ago) link
think break, not breaj
It does but in the way that a lot of c. 1992/1993 UK house did, I would have thought? I mean it's a lot like "Smokebelch II" in that regard, yeah?
― Tim F, Monday, 14 September 2015 23:28 (seven years ago) link
Half the good of 'Monday' is the rawness of the 909 being used in that 'breakier' way while slower than in most rave and techno stuff of the time.
― nashwan, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 12:08 (seven years ago) link
This isn't even a competition as far as I'm concerned: it's Orbital. Their second album alone urinates all over anything Leftfield have ever done from a huge height, and it's aged supremely well... and that's before we get to Snivilisation and In Sides.
― Turrican, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 12:17 (seven years ago) link
The one I've been playing a ton lately is Middle of Nowhere, and upon relistening to it you can really see why things went south for them after that, they threw everything they had at it. It's such a dense and intricately constructed album even if it's not as much as 'leap' as their last three. They do tons of stuff well but they really had the best hooks out of any of 'em, and when you listen to a track like "Spare Parts Express" it's almost as if they're showing off.
― frogbs, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 13:46 (seven years ago) link
I guess I'm going to have to pick up that orbital box set and educate myself
― the late great, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 22:30 (seven years ago) link
Leftism is one of the best albums ever
― Cosmic Slop, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 22:33 (seven years ago) link
The Blue Album is a nice return to form for them, and while some were not a fan of them embracing their older sound with a touch of nostalgia I loved it. Also the single "The Gun is Good" is probably one of the best things they've ever done, with the hilarious use of some Zardoz samples that makes for a perfectly oddball thing to drop in the middle of a set.
That said, In Sides and Snivilization are bonafide masterpieces. With Brown and Middle of Nowhere being really excellent bookends. Few bands of any genre can offer that, and most definitely Leftfield and Underworld can't.
― octobeard, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 23:01 (seven years ago) link
I'd put Underworld above Leftfield too!
― Turrican, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 23:11 (seven years ago) link
This is a dumb argument but I think Brown is a masterpiece or whatever, it's a perfect dance album. The next two moved further away from dance into (what became) more traditional home listening electronica. They are stupendous of course. But Brown is special for deploying their unique talents in such a straight-ahead raved-up way, rather than the cinematic approach of the next two.
― the most painstaking, humorless people in the world (lukas), Tuesday, 15 September 2015 23:11 (seven years ago) link
I understand what you mean, but I think that Orbital 2 is equally perfectly suited to "traditional home listening"
― Turrican, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 23:14 (seven years ago) link
yes of course
― the most painstaking, humorless people in the world (lukas), Tuesday, 15 September 2015 23:17 (seven years ago) link
That said, In Sides and Snivilization are bonafide masterpieces. With Brown and Middle of Nowhere being really excellent bookends. Few bands of any genre can offer that, and most definitely Leftfield and Underworld can't.
Disagree strongly on Underworld - I think every album they've done is brilliant, outside of perhaps A Hundred Days Off (and their early discs if you want to get technical). More than that they've got some of the best non-album material I've heard from any group - not just their most famous singles, but also deep gems like "Thing in a Book", "Oich Oich", "Parc", and a bunch of the Riverrun stuff. Their run from '93 to '99 is basically untouchable, IMO. I'd put Orbital over pretty much everything else, though.
― frogbs, Wednesday, 16 September 2015 01:55 (seven years ago) link
Some sort of Leftism announcement tomorrow.
― groovypanda, Sunday, 19 February 2017 20:59 (five years ago) link
https://leftfieldsplash.comLeftism remaster 2CD and tour.
― StanM, Monday, 20 February 2017 09:12 (five years ago) link
The 2 times I saw Leftfield in the space of a few months (Glasgow Barrowlands then T In The Park 96) remain the 2 best gigs I've ever been to.
― Odysseus, Monday, 20 February 2017 09:18 (five years ago) link
CD2 is just 11 "brand new" remixes which is slightly disappointing.
― groovypanda, Monday, 20 February 2017 09:31 (five years ago) link
i got a 2cd version of leftism not long after the album came out with an extra cd of remixes then.but i think they were reversions done by the band as opposed to other folks.ahh .. this :
leftfield are headlining the one festival i go to this year, and i am looking forward to it.mk1 saw them last year at boomtown, and said they were one of the highlights
― mark e, Monday, 20 February 2017 10:13 (five years ago) link
I listened to Leftism recently and it's showing its age in a way that albums like In Sides and Middle of Nowhere aren't.
― Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Monday, 20 February 2017 19:36 (five years ago) link
I listened to it recently and thought it was great! Maybe the setting helped - on the river beach in London on a summer night through crappy portable speakers with cheap lager and a small driftwood fire.
― brekekekexit collapse collapse (ledge), Monday, 20 February 2017 19:50 (five years ago) link
Ha, I feel exactly the opposite way. Could listen to Leftfield anytime - haven't felt the urge to listen to Orbital in years.
― Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Monday, 20 February 2017 20:05 (five years ago) link
Spectacular remaster! (Haven't dared listening to the remix cd though)
― StanM, Tuesday, 16 May 2017 20:23 (five years ago) link
The remixes are v disappointing.
― nashwan, Tuesday, 16 May 2017 21:21 (five years ago) link
i only liked 2 of the remixes at most
― Odysseus, Tuesday, 16 May 2017 22:30 (five years ago) link
The passage of time has been very kind to Leftism.The Zomby remix is cool.
― the article don, Thursday, 18 May 2017 01:02 (five years ago) link
What a weird thread. They're not even remotely the same thing.
― yesca, Thursday, 18 May 2017 03:55 (five years ago) link
Leftfield v Orbital v Underworld
― recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Friday, 2 July 2021 05:32 (one year ago) link
The only Leftfield thread that came up in search, really. Just thought I’d stir the pot a little bit. Underworld are probably more consistent, Orbital’s peak output reached the highest pinnacle, but Leftfield’s best stuff has aged pretty well. This is the one I called “‘ardcore” which was admittedly a bit generous but I could work in a mix. Too heavy on the drum rolls. The bassline is really havin’ it tho. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc1wxrP-85QI.C.P. - Free & Equal (Leftfield Remix)
― recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Friday, 2 July 2021 05:35 (one year ago) link
*it could work in a mix. I could not.
― recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Friday, 2 July 2021 05:36 (one year ago) link
orbital wins even against the orb!
― xzanfar, Friday, 2 July 2021 14:35 (one year ago) link
That's alright, not what I was expecting from the juggalo / dub house disco intersection.
― Noel Emits, Friday, 2 July 2021 14:45 (one year ago) link
Orb are more irreplaceable to me, they're in this weird unique space where seriousness and humor aren't different
― lukas, Friday, 2 July 2021 16:39 (one year ago) link
Orbital's best stuff is absolutely timeless but The Orb feel way more influential - so many artists I dig had a phase where they tried to imitate them - plus they've got way more music out and are cranking out quality records even today. By contrast Orbital have only done one good album in over 20 years (Wonky) and even that one leans heavily on nostalgia, whereas The Orb always push forward somehow
― frogbs, Friday, 2 July 2021 16:56 (one year ago) link
If this is a three way fight between orbital, the orb and leftfield, then, in the long run, the orb win out for me, I'm always surprised how much I enjoy 'the adventure beyond the underworld' stuff when it crops up on shuffle plays, truly timeless, a lush sample-delic palette that has some awesome grooves. Orbital and Leftfield were/are special for gigs and festival times but for pure 'home' listening fun, the orb can still conjour that a bit of that magic that isn't just nostalgia, unlike the other two
― Swanswans, Friday, 2 July 2021 18:15 (one year ago) link
Orbital almost always feel like they’ve had one idea for the track, managed it in time for lunch, and then finished up. There’s not enough depth/complexity there.
― Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Friday, 2 July 2021 23:25 (one year ago) link
that is.. just so wrongstarting with the assumption you can’t make a deep/complex track in time for lunch.
“out there somewhere” not deep/complex?
funny enough paul did say something about starting on chimes, then heading to a pub for a few, coming back and finishing the track
― scanner darkly, Saturday, 3 July 2021 01:54 (one year ago) link
maybe on the first album though. I've always thought of that as one where you could cut the length by a third without losing any of the tracks
― frogbs, Saturday, 3 July 2021 03:38 (one year ago) link
The first album is fine but they’d yet to really start going for it complexity-wise - you can hear them really stretch their wings on “Lush” on the second album and then the USA version of “Impact”, like they’re working out their defining aesthetic while you listen.
― Tim F, Saturday, 3 July 2021 04:00 (one year ago) link
there is such a level up in confidence between the green and the brown album
― scanner darkly, Saturday, 3 July 2021 04:01 (one year ago) link
yeah incredible that they were recorded a year apart. that is a hell of a leap
― frogbs, Saturday, 3 July 2021 04:05 (one year ago) link
last two posts otm
Apart from "Belfast", I don't like the first album much. Brown through Middle of Nowhere is pure brilliance
― Vinnie, Saturday, 3 July 2021 10:40 (one year ago) link
Orbital's '94 Glastonbury set is on iPlayer at the moment (along with a huge amount of other Glastonbury sets). Not much to look at but they dance goofily and cool version of 'Sad But True' with extended intro making the Selecter sample sound extra dirty, transitioning smoothly from the slowed down end of 'Forever' right into it, at the expense of '...Duck Feet', but then right into 'Impact' and 'Remind' after that. No 'Lush' though surprisingly.
― nashwan, Saturday, 3 July 2021 12:07 (one year ago) link
Leftism sounds less dated today than it did a decade ago.
― pomenitul, Saturday, 3 July 2021 13:23 (one year ago) link
they're both shite, textbook student house and techno. What you want is the real brain frying hard acid on labworks, dj.ungle fever/structure, and magnetic north, noisy and a low key criticism of the club that Orbital couldn't manage. Let the bad times roll.
The Power of love? You bet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EPkj2ROBUI
― RobbiePires, Saturday, 3 July 2021 21:58 (one year ago) link
Did you write this review on discogs too?
Dj.ungle Fever WAS Cologne. Then the the overwhelming miasma of endless pretend genres of masturbatory boredom tightly grasping the throat of the Techno community today intruded their unwanted, fake faces and never let go.
― recovering internet addict/shitposter (viborg), Sunday, 4 July 2021 01:44 (one year ago) link
nah, not me. Although I think what killed techno was endless splits, rather than detroit-inflected minimalism, which was initially refreshing amongst hardcore and acid gear, as a kind of heads down no nonsense back 2 basics jackin sound. See the Black Scorpian technotron ep and Ian Pooley Celtic Cross ep, as well as Robert Hood internal empire. All totally uncompromising.
― RobbiePires, Sunday, 4 July 2021 03:33 (one year ago) link
it was good when trance sounded like this, like a coldly cosmic take on EBM. But then Sasha Digweed and people like Leftfield, Underworld had to come in and invent prog trance which was like soppy indie goldsmiths graduates of the 90s crying on the dancefloor to Be as One. And orbital was their chillout music of choice. Yuck. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bCVLHkh5p4
― RobbiePires, Sunday, 4 July 2021 03:42 (one year ago) link
.. anyway, i need to correct myself, paul wrote chimes _before_ going to the pub.
that and other interesting bits here: https://www.soundonsound.com/people/orbital-recording-chime-london-studioand here: https://www.soundonsound.com/people/classic-tracks-orbital-chime
this particular quote is interesting in the context of green album -> brown album -> snivilisation -> insides progression, it wasn't just growth in terms of confidence level but intent also. this is after the brown album:
"We're a lot more anxious about things now," admits Phil. "We've now got the responsibility of getting a track finished 'cos it's going to be on a record. You become more analytical of your stuff." Paul: "I still have to fight with that idea — the last month has been quite bizarre, with us trying to work out what the next record should sound like. For example, I've been trying to dodge using a constant 909 bass drum 'cos a lot of our records over the last four years have got that. But then I think, 'Hey, if we were at home making music then I wouldn't hesitate to use that if I wanted to.' You know what I mean? And I'm forever trying to draw the line somewhere and work out why, if we weren't making records would we have used it? Because we just felt like it! Now we think twice about it; you start to think 'Hey wait a minute, isn't that just getting pompous?" Phil: "Consequently you're in the studio, set to do your next recording, and you end up spending three weeks just talking about it!"
leftism feels like it's trying so hard to prove something while pretending it doesn't
― scanner darkly, Sunday, 4 July 2021 20:40 (one year ago) link
― the late great, Saturday, 21 January 2023 02:06 (two weeks ago) link