The Prodigy Play “Firestarter”

Firestarter_ProdigyListen to this track by Braintree, Essex crossover hit makers and controversy-stirring dance floor urchins The Prodigy. It’s “Firestarter”, their monster dance hit that scored top ten placements on the British pop charts, and serving as the first single from the band’s 1996 record Fat Of The Land.

That album was a breakthrough into the mainstream for the burgeoning dance scene that had existed in various forms in Essex for many years. By the mid-to-late nineties, it provided something of a stylistic ballast during the height of the Brit-pop period. The Prodigy reminded music fans that there was more on offer when it came to making impactful music than guys with guitars, and that there was more to dance music than sanitized beats and thin synth riffs.

The Prodigy were dogged with controversy over many aspects of their presentation and their content. With this song, maybe controversy was stirred up because of the video, and the meaning of what a “firestarter” really is, too. Read more

Orbital Spin “Way Out →”

Orbital Middle of NowhereListen to this track by brotherly turntablists and pop culture mash-up men Phil and Paul Hartnoll, otherwise known as Orbital. It’s “Way Out →”, the epic lead track off of their 1999 album Middle of Nowhere.

Put all one-dimensional associations you may have of electronica, or worse “dance music” aside, and listen to the operatic glory of this track. Here, electronic samples and beats live quite happily along with warm, muted horns. This is music made for listeners, as well as dancers. In some ways, the Hartnolls were outside of the tecnhno scene, in that they never seemed to follow the trends. Trend-following is rife in techno. But, not so with Orbital and this track. Read more