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William Orbit (born William Mark Wainwright, 15 December 1956, Shoreditchmarker, Hackneymarker) is an Englishmarker musician, composer and record producer, perhaps best known to most for his work on Madonna's album Ray of Light, which received four Grammy Awards, sold 4 million copies in the U.S.marker, and sold 20 million copies worldwide. He has also co-produced several unreleased Madonna songs originally recorded for other albums that were never used. In addition, he produced 13 by Blur, and remixed some of the songs on the album. He has three Grammy Awards.


In addition to being a producer, Orbit is also a composer and multi-instrumentalist who has specialised in keyboard electronica and 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 chart success 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 first 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. Their hit in 1990 was "Fascinating Rhythm".

He has also produced and remixed songs by numerous other artists, such as French pop star Étienne Daho. Along with producer Rico Conning they produced the Pop Satori album, Scottish act One Dove, and Seal. He also remixed Prince's #1 hit song movie tie-in, "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 also 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 successful album Pieces in a Modern Style which was a compilation of classical re-workings. Orbit's version of the track was itself remixed in 1999 by Ferry Corsten and became a big club music hit as well as reaching #4 in the UK Singles Chart.

He has worked with girl groups All Saints ("Pure Shores", "Black Coffee") 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's 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-based KCRWmarker, 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!?.

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. At this time, he also mixed several tracks on Laurie Mayer's most recent album, Black Lining.

In the fall of 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 was performed for the first time on 8 July 2007, by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in the Bridgewater Hallmarker at the Manchester International Festival.

The 4 May 2009 saw Orbit's return with a new album, My Oracle Lives Uptown.

He sometimes DJs at Circus at the Soho Revue Bar in Central London. Orbit lives in North London and Los Angelesmarker and has his office and studio in Hoxton Squaremarker, London.

"Purdy", appeared mixed by Chicane in Ministry of Sound: Inferno (2009). Orbit has enabled an internet radio (streamcast) which allow listeners to hear more than 10 hours of his music. In the playlist are variations of his well-known tracks, as well as previously released material.

According to his own comments on Twitter, he is currently working together with Katie Melua and produces her fourth Album.


More complete discographies can be found when exploring external links.

Torch Song

  • Wish Thing
  • Ecstasy
  • Exhibit A
  • Toward the Unknown Region


  • Set the Controls for the Heart of the Bass
  • Science & Melody


  • Orbit
  • Strange Cargo
  • Strange Cargo II
  • Superpinkymandy
    • Released in Japan only as a Beth Orton album, but the sound was characteristically Orbit, making this possibly his most sought after rarity.
  • Strange Cargo III
  • The Best of Strange Cargos
    • A compilation from Orbit's first three Strange Cargo albums, highlighted by two versions of "Water From A Vine Leaf", another collaboration with Beth Orton
  • Strange Cargo Hinterland
  • Pieces in a Modern Style (1995)
    • Original release by 'The Electric Chamber', withdrawn.
  • Pieces in a Modern Style (2000)
    • Altered re-release, minus uncleared tracks from first release, although with additional tracks in their place
  • Strange Cargo Vol.1-3 [Box Set]
  • William / Orbit
    • U.S. two-disc publishing CD set to support William Orbit's publishing catalogue
  • Hello Waveforms (released 20 February 2006 in UK, and 21 February in U.S.)
  • My Oracle Lives Uptown (Digital version released 4 May 2009. CD with 4 additional tracks released 8 June 2009)


  • Stereo Odyssey
    • 4-CDR set of KCRW radio show William produced circa 1996
  • Rare Orbit Vol.1
    • A 3-CDR collection of rare & unreleased material & productions. 2008, source unknown. Contained unreleased sessions with Madonna, and some new material.
  • Essential Mix
    • 2-CDR set of UK BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, 6th February 2000
  • XFM 2003
    • 30 minute CDR of UK XFM Radio 'Superchunk', a mix/mashup collection of special rare and unreleased material, 17 August 2003
  • XFM 2006
    • 30 minute CDR of UK XFM Radio 'Superchunk', another mix/mashup collection, 12th March 2006
  • World Odyssey Mix
    • 25 minute CDR of UK BBC Asia Network Radio 'Pathaans Musical Rickshaw', a diversified mix/mashup collection, 17 May 2009
  • KCRW 2009
    • 40 minute CDR of Los Angeles KCRW Radio Station show 'Morning Becomes Eclectic', a two piece live session with Laurie Mayer and interviews with Jason Bentley - 2nd July 2009


  1. William Orbit

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