The Middle of Nowhere (Orbital album)

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The Middle of Nowhere
Studio album by
Released5 April 1999
GenreTechno, house, ambient techno
London/Sire Records (US)
Orbital chronology
In Sides
The Middle of Nowhere
The Altogether
Singles from The Middle of Nowhere
  1. "Style"
    Released: 8 March 1999
  2. "Nothing Left"
    Released: 5 July 1999

The Middle of Nowhere is the fifth album released by Orbital. It was released in 1999, where it peaked at #4 and spent 7 weeks in the UK albums chart.


The track "Know Where to Run" was featured in the PlayStation game Wipeout 3.

Orbital came up with the name "Style" for track 8 because of the frequent use of the Stylophone in the track.

While released on 5 April 1999, it was finished much earlier, and unspecified problems led to the record label delaying its release for nearly 6 months.[1]



Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[3]
The Guardian4/5 stars[4]
The Independent5/5 stars[5]
Melody Maker4.5/5 stars[6]
Muzik3/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[10]

John Bush of AllMusic noted that "even considering the lack of real progression in sound, Middle of Nowhere reflects the pair once again making all the right moves and not slowing down a bit," giving the album four stars out of five.[2] Mark Bautz's review for Entertainment Weekly concluded that ravers should take note, as the album, "which has the goods to become this summer's feel-good record...will soon be everywhere," giving the album the grade of B+.[3] NME gave the album the score of 8/10 and concluded that "this, if you want it, is therapy. As the boundaries of the future and the beyond are slowly mapped and planned, it's the confines of the skull the Hartnoll brothers are delicately probing here. It might take you a while, but you'll get there in the end. The middle of nowhere is always closer than you think."[8]

Rolling Stone gave the album three and a half stars out of five, saying the "songs meld into each other as they would during a DJ set, female vocalists moan in and out of the mix, and syncopated rhythms dance the funky robot. You'll do the same."[10] Almost Cool rated the album 7.5/10, telling readers that "if you've listened to much Orbital at all, the disc will probably sound familiar to you the first time you listen to it. It's not to say that it isn't innovative or interesting, but there's a quality about it like you haven't seen a good friend in awhile and they're just telling you some new stories. If there's ever an electronic music hall-of-fame, these guys had better get in there in a dang hurry,"[1] while Spin Magazine noted how "in the high-turnover world of dance culture, Orbital...[craft] tunes that sing in your heart."[11] Perhaps the most praise came from Melody Maker, who awarded the album four and a half stars, telling readers the album is "their best yet."[6]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Paul Hartnoll & Phil Hartnoll unless stated.

No.TitleWriter(s)Additional performersLength
1."Way Out →"Paul 88, Phil Hartnoll, Barbara Cohen, Paul RobbBrother Sun Sister Moon8:00
2."Spare Parts Express"  10:07
3."Know Where to Run"  9:42
4."I Don't Know You People"  7:47
5."Otoño"Hartnoll, Hartnoll, Natasha Jones, Sharon LewisPooka5:48
6."Nothing Left 1" Alison Goldfrapp7:49
7."Nothing Left 2" Alison Goldfrapp8:21
8."Style"  6:24


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b Bush, John. "The Middle of Nowhere – Orbital". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  3. ^ a b Bautz, Mark (26 July 1999). "The Middle of Nowhere". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 5 February 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  4. ^ Bennun, David (9 April 1999). "Out of this world". The Guardian.
  5. ^ Perry, Tim (10 June 1999). "Pop: Album Reviews". The Independent. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Orbital: The Middle of Nowhere". Melody Maker. 3 April 1999. p. 37.
  7. ^ Willmott, Ben (May 1999). "Orbital: The Middle of Nowhere (Internal/London)". Muzik. No. 48. p. 82.
  8. ^ a b Segal, Victoria (30 March 1999). "Orbital – The Middle Of Nowhere". NME. Archived from the original on 12 October 2000. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  9. ^ Wisdom, James P. "Orbital: The Middle of Nowhere". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 10 October 2000. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  10. ^ a b Walters, Barry (10 June 1999). "Orbital: The Middle Of Nowhere". Rolling Stone. No. 814. ISSN 0035-791X. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  11. ^ a b Reynolds, Simon (July 1999). "Orbital: The Middle of Nowhere". Spin. Vol. 15 no. 7. pp. 128–30. Retrieved 26 March 2020.

External links[edit]