Orbital have shared the original track ‘Smiley’ on the ’30 Something’ boxset.
The iconic English electronic duo – comprising brothers Phil and Paul Hartnoll – reminisce about the 80s rave scene with a song named after the Smiley Face logo – which turned 50 this year and symbolises Acid House –
‘Smiley’ samples the ‘A Trip Round Acid House’ edition of ‘World In Action’, the ITV documentary which enlightened parents to what their kids were getting up to out clubbing at the weekend, with a 20-year-old Paul telling the tale of being beaten up by police at a house party in Sevenoaks, Kent.
Paul said: “We wanted to do something that represented where our heads are at now but wearing the clothes from back when we started.
“So to chronicle thirty years of Orbital you’ve got this track that chronicles the very start of dance music in Sevenoaks. It’s our origin story.”
Now 54, Paul admits the antics they got up to back then would never happen now because of social media.
He added: “And to make the very important point that, in civil rights terms, basically we all got beaten up by the police for having a party.
“Could never happen now, everyone would film it on their phones. Instant police brutality case.”
The accompanying animated music video features “sock puppets, high-end CGI, background stock footage, specially filmed elements, stop-motion and stills photography.”
Director of the promo, Luke Losey, commented: “There was a moment in the late 1980s that bridged the gap between free festivals and big raves.
“These events had a strong DIY ethos that was a kindred spirit to punk. We would go and put great big metal sculptures in the woods or perhaps an abandoned railway station, hang a few lights and power up a sound system. That handmade DIY feel of the time was something we wanted to imbue into the film from the start, but also the sense of unity that existed amongst us despite Thatcher’s authoritarian desire to sew division, divide and conquer, with her foot soldiers in blue and her red-tops with their morally dubious claim to offer a better version of Britain than the one we could clearly see unraveling before our eyes. Hindsight has given us the opportunity to rectify past misdeeds with the happy ending we didn’t get at the time. No unicorns were hurt in the making of this film.”
The boxset to mark their 30th anniversary boasts “reworks, remakes, remixes and re-imaginings of landmark Orbital tracks based on the duo’s unrivalled live show.”
Artists inspired by Orbital, including Joris Voorn, Dusky, Jon Tejada, Yotto, appear, and studio wizard David Holmes’ reworking of 90s techno classic ‘Belfast’.
’30 Something’ is available now as a double CD, quadruple LP boxset and digital formats.