By Paul Hartnoll
As one half of ambient techno messiahs Orbital, Paul Hartnoll can feel justifiably proud of his act's legacy since their inception as early 90's warehouse rave regulars to their swansong at Glastonbury 2004. In between the duo were feted for remixing the Dr Who theme tune, promoting a futuristic brand of headgear at their live appearances and (most importantly) writing some of the best dance music of the past decade. Three years after their disbandment, and Paul Hartnoll returns with new single release "Please".
Featuring guest vocals from The Cure's dour Gothic troubadour Robert Smith (a move that could quite easily be due to calculated publicity return rather than musical objectives) "Please" rolls along in a pleasingly amiable (but non-offensive) manner. Early signs that we could be witnessing a homage to early-90's acid-dance are unfortunately kiboshed as a series of promising electric squelches and bloops give way to a rather pedestrian verse which Smith chunters his way over. Things don't get much better in the chorus, which sounds a bit too much like Chumbawumba for comfort.
There are some glimpses of craft and vision here, but the song doesn't really deviate terribly from the standard formula of a contemporary dance song aiming to chart in the top 40. On a more positive note, the remix of the title track by current Drowned In Sound darlings Culprit 1 is stonking, and I'm sure the debut album by Paul Hartnoll will display a more creative verve that will fire the imagination.