Review this album
Apr 11, 20129After an all-too-long hiatus, the Hartnoll brothers are back with a vengeance. Wonky is a powerful album, perhaps more powerful than anything they've released since their heyday. The production is impeccable, and Flood's mixing skills are put to good use here, extracting every essence out of every beat and bleep, creating a tapestry of sound both immediately approachable and with a panorama of hidden depth. The songs themselves are very varied, ranging from the dance floor hits of Wonky, Beelzedub and Stringy Acid to the more ethereal and soundtrack-friendly mood pieces like Never, One Big Moment and Distractions. The arch, from the first song to the last, is very strong, with only one questionable choice thrown in the mix - namely, the Zola Jesus collaboration, New France, which is interesting but ultimately an ill fit to the flow of the album - and the momentum of emotion and energy leaps from one high to another high, with the quirky ease of an acid-tripping, Kraftwerk-loving butterfly.
This is their best album this side of the millennium, and a fantastic return to form to the original innovators of electronic home-listening music. They have produced something more than a dance album. Sure, it takes elements from current trends, like Dubstep and electro-house, but it sounds uniquely Orbital and very much like a logical progression to their work in the 1990's, in that it combines beat-oriented and dancefloor-friendly machinations with an audiophile's fascination with aural detail and a dedication to emotionally dictated musical architecture. Highly recommended.… Expand