Evidently, David Gates was right when he sang the words, "Goodbye doesn't mean forever." You may have seen a flier floating around touting a show on Saturday, March 6 at the Larimer Lounge featuring cEvin key of Skinny Puppy. Towards the bottom of the handbill, you may have noticed a name we haven't seen for a while casually mentioned: Orbit Service.
Easy to overlook if you're not paying close attention. Certainly peaked our interest, though. A few years back, after releasing some exceptional recordings, Orbit Service just sort of dropped out of the scene, and we assumed that was the last we'd ever hear of the band. Not so much. As advertised, Orbit Service is indeed back with brand new music.
Creative differences, caused the initial split, recalls Randall Frazier, who remains the core of the group. And the fact that he couldn't find kindred spirits kept him dormant in the years that followed. "I was having trouble finding like-minded collaborators locally," he explained. "So i turned to working in the studio more on projects that i really love -- Bela Karoli and Tanukis, mainly. I was writing the whole time, but not rehearsing or even thinking about playing a show."
And then some rousing Internet collaborations with Kim Hansen of the Danish group Antenne breathed new life into the project. "We had a very good chemistry, so it just kept happening," Frazier recalls. "And now we almost have an entire record ready. It's been really cool to work like this. We barely talk about the music; it just happens."
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As Frazier explains it, he lays down the basic tracks, with guitar work from Audioloom Studios' Brian Gerhard and Dennis Swanson from Day Dissolved Dream - both part of the re-configured live lineup. He then uploads them for Hansen, who tweaks the tracks, adding synths, more guitars and other collaborators, such as Antenne's Anna Brønsted, who also appears on the album, and sends the files back to Frazier.
"So far, the results are brilliant as far as i am concerned," Frazier enthuses. "I think it's the best Orbit Service record I have ever made -- and most certainly, the most fluid and painless creative relationship I have ever had."
The results -- which can be heard on a new album, A Soft Note from the West, due out this fall on the Beta-Lactam Rings imprint -- inspired Frazier to start playing out again under the Orbit Service moniker. He hadn't planned on performing live just yet, but when the folks at Backwards Records reached out with the chance to open for cEvin Key, Frazier couldn't resist.
Just the same, don't count on seeing too many shows in the near future. "It's just too hard to work it out with a family and living in the mountains," he admits. "So I guess if you want to see Orbit Service, don't put it off, as it may be months before we come out of hiding again."