There are classics, and then there are absolute belters… and Cygnus X’s The Orange Theme, which was released on this day 25 years ago (7 November 1994), very much falls into the latter category.

Few producers can cite 17th century Baroque composers and filmmaker Stanley Kubrick as influences, but in releasing The Orange Theme back in November 1994, producers Matthias Hoffmann and Ralf Hildenbeutel, also known as Cygnus X, paid a fulsome homage to both.

This iconic track is derived from Wendy Carlos‘ interpretation (for the film A Clockwork Orange) of Music For The Funeral Of Queen Mary, by Henry Purcell – listen to its evolution below – and was backed by the similarly evocative Introspective, on Eye Q Records.

Following on from its release, The Orange Theme would go on to be heavily remixed – with Moonman, Solar Stone and Red Jerry contributing to remix packs in 1995 and 1999, Martin Roth and Frank Erlich giving the track the once over in 2004, and Deadmau5 releasing his own version of the track, Clockwork, in 2008.

Last.fm user TechForze has tracked each release of The Orange Theme on his blog, click here for the full rundown.

But where I (and no doubt countless others) first heard it, however, was on the first FACT mix CD from Carl Cox, released in 1995 – Cox’s mix of this track into Thomas Heckmann’s Amphetamine is pretty tasty as well. 🙂

Evolution of a classic:

Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, Henry Purcell, 1695…


A Clockwork Orange – Opening Theme, Wendy Carlos, 1971…


The Orange Theme, Cygnus X, 1994…

1 thought on “THROWBACK THURSDAY: Cygnus X – The Orange Theme [November 1994]

  1. What a track…… what a label…….

    Not sure where I first heard it but I imagine it was out in one the Raves in Dublin city centre, possibly Sides or the Waterfront as the Asylum I think was closed by then.

    I still have my original copy on Vinyl along with plenty other Eye Q tracks.

    For the best of Eye Q…..you cannot beat these mix CD’s, I have had so many hours of listening pleasure to these in the car still to this day,

    https://www.discogs.com/Various-Behind-The-Eye-Eye-Q-Compilation-Vol-1/release/53011
    https://www.discogs.com/Various-Behind-The-Eye-Vol-II/release/31969?ev=rr

    Also, one of the best Tape mixes I remember from the Asylum era was a DJ Pressure mix called Eye Q, I have that one saved on my PC,

    Pressure_Eye_Q_1.MP3 – 106mb – 00:46:25
    Pressure_Eye_Q_2.MP3 – 106mb – 00:46:24

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