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BLOC: Orbital

The 80s electronica duo return with a new album 'Wonky', set to play live at Bloc Festival this July

The iconic British electronica band, Orbital, will be returning this year at East London's Bloc 2012, with their new album 'Wonky' after eight years of silence. The new record from Paul and Phil Hartnoll provides a modern take on their signature emotive electronica with appearances from the likes of grime MC Lady Leshurr, LA-based singer Zola Jesus, and 'post-dubstep' makeovers to their sound. Ahead of the duo set to storm Bloc Festival, we have words about the long hiatus and what's changed since...

Dazed Digital: I imagine you’re back in the swing of things somewhat, following your Albert Hall gig and lots of press attention. How does it feel?
Orbital: It feels great! We've been working on the album all last year and the live set for the first three months of this year so it's brilliant to finally see the reaction to it, and that the reaction is so positive.

DD: Were you ever apprehensive about returning to the studio after such a long absence?
Orbital: No, not really, as we went at it with a clear objective - make some music that we want to play live. We had enjoyed the two years of gigs we’d done [so much] that we wanted to carry on, so we went into the studio with that in mind.

DD: Did you expect to still be the doing this decades later when you started out?
Orbital: No, I didn't expect it - I just hoped for it.

DD: What do you see as the biggest changes in music over the course of your career?
Orbital: People have stopped paying for music so much. There’s a greater diversity of free time entertainment, so what they do is just a bit more fragmented. That, and cheating with auto tune.

DD: Who/what are your favourite musicians at the moment, old or new?
Orbital: The Unthanks, Joanna Newsom, Plaid, Kate Bush, Cardiacs, The Severed Heads, Joni Mitchell , Ennio Morricone  - and I've been listening to a lot of old prog rock.

Interview by Lee Smith