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William Orbit was born William Mark Wainwright, 15 December 1956 and is an English musician, composer and record producer, perhaps best known to most for his work on Madonna's album Ray of Light.
William Orbit was born William Mark Wainwright, 15 December 1956 and is an English musician, composer and record producer, perhaps best known to most for his work on Madonna's album Ray of Light. He has also co-produced several unreleased Madonna songs originally recorded for other albums. He produced 13 by Blur and remixed some of the songs on the album.
Orbit was born in Shoreditch, London. In addition to being a producer, Orbit is also a composer and multi-instrumentalist who has specialised in keyboard electronica. Much of his work also features accomplished guitar and bass guitar playing. He has also recorded several largely instrumental solo albums on I.R.S. No Speak under the name Strange Cargo which features vocals by Beth Orton, Laurie Mayer and Joe Frank, among others. "Water from a Vine Leaf" was a popular track from the album Strange Cargo 3.
Prior to that he formed the group Torch Song with Laurie Mayer in the 1980s. At that time the band developed Guerilla Studios in an abandoned school on the Harrow Road. They shared the premises with a group of Spanish anarchists and it became known as El Centro Iberico. They were later joined by a third member, Rico Conning.
Orbit was the musical force behind Bassomatic in the early 1990s; "Fascinating Rhythm" hit in 1990.
He has also produced and remixed songs by other artists, such as French pop star Étienne Daho. With Rico Conning he produced the Pop Satori album, Scottish act One Dove and Seal. He remixed Prince's song "Batdance", from Batman in 1989. Orbit's remixes carry his signature electronic sounds and techniques, making them sought after by fans of his solo work.
Orbit produced a version of Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" (the original version of which was used as the main theme of the soundtrack to Platoon). "Adagio" was lifted from the album Pieces in a Modern Style a compilation of classical re-workings, released under the alternatively-spelled artist name William Ørbit. Orbit's version of the track was remixed in 1999 by Ferry Corsten and became a big club music hit.
He has worked with girl groups All Saints ("Pure Shores", "Black Coffee", "Dreams", "Surrender") and Sugababes ("Spiral") and Pink ("Feel Good Time" from Charlie's Angels 2). He produced "Dice" for Finley Quaye in collaboration with Beth Orton; Quaye also played guitar and sang on other Orbit tracks including the unreleased 'Arioso' featuring Madonna. He produced and played keyboards with U2 in the song "Electrical Storm" of their album The Best of 1990-2000.
He founded Guerilla Records in 1989.
Orbit has also created several radio shows. In the late 1990s, he had a series on Los Angeles KCRW called Stereo Odyssey. Orbit's song "Time To Get Wise" was used as a tag line in the 2004 film What the Bleep Do We Know!?. Orbit worked with Madonna on her 1998 album, Ray of Light.
In 2006 Orbit's album Hello Waveforms was released on the Sanctuary label. Subsequently he produced two tracks — "Louise" and "Summertime" — for Robbie Williams' 2006 album, Rudebox. He also mixed several tracks on Laurie Mayer's most recent album, Black Lining.
In autumn 2006 "Purdy", a track Orbit co-composed with Laurie Mayer and Rico Conning was used as the soundtrack in a television ad campaign for H&M which starred Madonna and was directed by her and Dan Cadan.
In 2007 Orbit composed his first orchestral suite for a full orchestra. The composition debuted on 8 July 2007 by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in the Bridgewater Hall at the Manchester International Festival.
The 4 May 2009 saw Orbit's return with a new album, My Oracle Lives Uptown.
Orbit lives in North London and Los Angeles and has his office and studio in Hoxton Square, London.
He often DJs at various locations. Additional information concerning the dates and places of his live performances appears on his webpage.
A remix of his track "Purdy" done by Chicane can be found on Ministry of Sound: Inferno (2009).
‘Odyssey’ is a compilation of 42 tracks, including some of William Orbit’s own exclusives. The album was released in January 2010 and is divided into 3 discs; Discs 1 and 2 are unmixed, with many tracks reinterpreted to a greater or lesser extent, while Disc 3 is a continuous DJ mix by William Orbit.
Orbit has recently enabled an internet radio (streamcast) which allow listeners to hear more than 10 hours of his music, completely for free. In the playlist are variations of his well-known tracks, as well as released material. In addition, and what's more appreciated by fans, unreleased and rare material can also be found in this streamcast.
He produced Katie Melua's fourth album, called The House. It was released on 24 May 2010 and had a remarkable chart performance.
He also produced a track on Nadine Coyle's debut solo album "Insatiable" released on 8 November 2010.
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