William Orbit is a Grammy Award-Winning producer and composer who famously worked with Madonna on her album Ray of Light and turned Barber's Adagio for Strings into the perfect sunrise accompaniment.
William Orbit has been in high demand as a producer and remixer for well over a decade, most famously working with Madonna on her 1998 album Ray Of Light, as well as U2, Blur, Britney Spears, Sugababes, Pink and scores of other artists.
Growing up in a household where there was a passion for classical music, Orbit began his musical life as a drummer before switching to guitar. "Then when I was 16, I had a go on a synth for the first time and was hooked", he recalls. A period bumming around in the late 70s, including living in Holland, left him frustrated. "I dreamed of being involved with sound but didn't know how to do it", he says.
He first started experimenting with tape recorders in a squat in an empty school building on the Harrow Road, where he first set up Guerilla Studios in 1979. Into the 80s, he formed the group Torch Song with vocalist Laurie Mayer. Torch Song were eventually signed up by IRS and the advance helped Orbit buy studio equipment. He decamped to Little Venice where he managed Guerilla Studios as a commercial concern from 1982. It became a local studio for Mute records, where Orbit initially did 12 remixes and also worked on his own material in down-time. He points out that Guerilla, now located in Hoxton Square, has been running for nearly 30 years in various locations, making it, for him, a very real place to record, but also a state of mind.
Orbit's solo style ranges from the progressive House of his early 90s group Bassomatic, to the mix of songs and exotic ambience of his Strange Cargo series of the 80s and 90s, to his electronic reworkings of classical compositions, Pieces In A Modern Style from 2000. On his latest album My Oracle Lives Uptown, Orbit revisits his signature sound; sleek, lush, but with a cool slipstream wake.