Second place in our 12 Tunes of Christmas rundown of the most incredible intros in dance music history is a track so epic that if aliens ever decided to swing by Earth on the way to Alpha Centauri, hopefully this would be the first tune they heard. Hell, they can have my copy…
The story of Orbital’s Chime is almost as legendary as the track itself: brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll, messing around in their bedroom, record a track to tape, bring it to Jazzy M’s record shop, play it over the tannoy to a bunch of stunned punters, and release it, first on Oh’Zone records and then FFRR, earning them a spot on Top of the Pops later that year.
Incredibly, almost 30 years after it was recorded, the opening bars still have the power to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck – the repeated, heavily-reverbed piano stab (like some sort of techno alarm clock) announces the track, before bass, breakbeats and THAT breakdown take the whole experience to another level.
They don’t make em like this any more…
12 TUNES OF CHRISTMAS: The Story So Far
#12: Royal House – Can You Party
#11: LFO – Freak
#10: Maurice – This Is Acid (K & T Mix)
#9: T99 – Anasthasia
#8: Laurent Garnier – Sound of the Big Babou
#7: Aphex Twin – Come To Daddy
#6: X-101 – Sonic Destroyer
#5: The KLF – What Time is Love?
#4: Pump Panel – Confusion (Pump Panel Reconstruction)
#3: Underworld – Rez
#2: Orbital – Chime
[Kudos to Andrew West for the YouTube upload]