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All Music Guide:
Ambient pioneer, studio master, and omnipresent dance remixer William Orbit began his musical career in the new wave band Torch Song. Even while the group recorded several albums for IRS, Orbit remained in the studio to learn the ropes and began producing and remixing for artists including Sting, Madonna, Prince, the Human League, Erasure, and Belinda Carlisle. Orbit concurrently recorded his own material, and released his first solo album, Orbit, in 1987. That same year, he inaugurated the ambient project Strange Cargo, which released follow-up albums in 1990 and 1993. Also during the late '80s, Orbit latched onto the acid house explosion in England and founded one of the scene's most notable labels, Guerilla Records. Orbit's own Bassomatic recorded for Guerilla alongside British progressive acts Spooky and React 2 Rhythm plus excellent Chicago producers Felix da Housecat and DJ Pierre. Through Virgin, Bassomatic also released an album, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Bass.
Though his release schedule slowed slightly during the '90s, William Orbit continued producing and remixing at a furious pace. He also founded a new label, N-Gram Recordings, and prepared to release the classical crossover work Pieces in a Modern Style. The album, which featured electronic interpretations of classical pieces, drew angry protests from composers Arvo Pärt and Henryk Górecki, and they helped block the album's release. In 1998, after 15 years of behind the scenes post-production, Orbit's name hit the mainstream thanks to his helming the Madonna comeback album Ray of Light (Orbit not only produced the entire LP, but co-wrote many of the tracks). The album won Grammy awards for Best Pop Album and Best Dance Recording, and its success led to a host of remixing and production work, including Blur's 1999 album, 13. In 2000, Orbit finally released Pieces in a Modern Style, and the album became an unexpected hit thanks to Ferry Corsten's trance remix of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. In 2006 he returned with Hello Waveforms on the Sanctuary label. Finley Quaye appeared on the album along with former Torch Song/Strange Cargo vocalist Laurie Mayer. My Oracle Lives Uptown followed in 2009 on the Kobalt label, and one year later he released Pieces in a Modern Style 2, another edition of classical material, including Orbit's version of "Swan Lake."
William Orbit (born William Mark Wainwright, 15 December 1956) is an English musician, composer and record producer. In the early 1980s he formed synthpop act Torch Song with Laurie Mayer and Grant Gilbert. In 1987 he released the first of his Strange Cargo album series, containing ambient music.
Towards the end of the 1990s Orbit started to work with bigger name artists, producing songs on Ray of Light and Music by Madonna, 13 and Think Tank by Blur and Saints and Sinners by All Saints. His work with Madonna led him to win three Grammys. He worked again with Madonna on her 2012 album MDNA co-producing six songs.
1956–1980: Early life & first work 
William Orbit was born William Wainwright in London's East End in 1956. His mother, of Italian and Swedish descent, and his father, from Yorkshire, were both schoolteachers.
He does not have a formal education, having left school at 15 and being entirely self-taught. Aged 16, and living in a squat in Norwich and working as a strawberry picker in the summer, he started to devote himself to guitar playing.
Living in squats around Europe and working at various jobs, hotel kitchen worker, motorbike messenger, at a ladies shoes factory, as an accounts clerk (in the days before computers), a night shift worker at the old Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam, junior draftsman at a North Sea oil rig design company (he was 'creative' with his CV') and so on.
In these early years he was creatively frustrated, with no means to bring his ideas to life. But an opportunity to work as an assistant at Basing Street Studios just off the Portobello Road in West London gave him a first glimpse into the world of recording.
Aged 23, he met Laurie Mayer who had just moved into his squat in an abandoned primary school in Paddington. This semi-derelict Victorian edifice was the perfect environment for live music to flourish, with bands such as Throbbing Gristle frequently performing there. Meyer and Orbit held mini-festivals in the deserted classrooms and workshops of the old school. The building was also home to the Spanish Anarchist collective Centro Iberico.
It was around that time, in 1980, that William was asked to model clothes for the designer Takeo Kikuchi in Tokyo and this experience opened his eyes to the world of fashion and the visual arts. On that same trip was also the young Hamish Bowles, now International Editor at Large for Vogue magazine.
1981–1993: Torch Song, production & remix work 
Mayer and Orbit formed the band Torch Song. An experiment in audio cassette soundscapes that also included the graphic designer Neville Brody. They have been close friends and creative collaborators ever since, writing the melodic top line for Madonna's track "Falling Free" from her twelfth album MDNA.
Encouraged by Meyer's creative zeal, he went on to build a commercially viable recording studio in Little Venice called Guerilla Studios (later situated in Crouch End, North London) A variety of clients booked the facility, including: The Cocteau Twins, Colour Box, Stewart Copeland, Belinda Carlisle, Etienne Daho, Howard Devoto, Erasure, The Fall, The Frank Chickens, Goldie and Metalheadz, Martin Gore, Kemistry and Storm, Laibach, Lords of the New Church, Daniel Miller , S'Express, Gary Numan, Renegade Soundwave, Les Rita Mitsouko, Sting, The Swans, 23 Skidoo, The Waterboys, Jah Wobble, World Party / Karl Wallinger
He began to create remixes for a long list of artists. At first for free, then later on, as word spread, for considerable sums. Remixed artists include: Prince, The Cure, Seal, Nitzer Ebb, Peter Gabriel, Depeche Mode, Seal & The Human League
1990–1992: Guerilla & Bassomatic 
Orbit founded Guerilla Records at the beginning of the 90s, releasing vinyl discs from artists such as Leftfield, Underworld, Felix Da Housecat and DJ Pierre in the then-new genre of 'Progressive House', and hosting illegal rave parties in disused warehouses in Central London, before forming the band Bassomatic, Fascinating Rhythm being their biggest hit.
1993 onwards: Strange Cargo III & Madonna 
Orbit then moved to California, living in the surfer haven of Hermosa Beach, and had a radio program on the Southern Californian radio station KCRW since he had always had a fascination for radio in all its forms and in this pioneering station he found a true voice.
He also began recording his album Strange Cargo III, from which the track 'Water From A Vine Leaf', written with his ex-girlfriend Beth Orton, became an underground classic.
After traveling the world, and encountering different cultures and worldviews, he met Madonna in New York in 1997 and they recorded her multi Grammy Award winning seventh album Ray of Light. The two have remained friends since, and created tracks such as "Beautiful Stranger" (1999) and other tracks for her eighth album Music (2000). In 2012 William co-wrote and co-produced six tracks for her twelfth album MDNA, including the song "Masterpiece", that won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song at the 69th Golden Globe Awards.
He has said on many occasions that he remains truly grateful to Madonna for seeing what nobody else saw at the time, and giving him a global platform for his work.
Since then he has written and recorded with a wide range of artists, from Andreas Scholl in the classical world, to Beck, Pink, The Cure, Kraftwerk (a project with Ralf Hütter), Blur (the album '13'), All Saints ('Pure Shores', 'Black Coffee', 'Dreams' and other songs), Katie Melua, Robbie Williams, Sugababes, Ricky Martin and the late Malcolm Mclaren.
He lived at the Leonard Hotel just behind Oxford Street in London for three years where he recorded most of Bono's vocals for Electrical Storm, a track that he produced and performed on for U2.
He has created a series of classical renditions 'Pieces in a Modern Style', from which came the club classic 'Adagio For Strings, Ferry Corsten mix'.
In 2007, Orbit composed an orchestral suite for full orchestra and choir, in nine movements. It debuted on 8 July 2007 with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.
DJ & Radio 
Orbit deejays occasionally, with a hardcore techno set, in various locations around the world such as Paris, Tokyo, Thailand and Novosibirsk, Siberia. He has described his mission as 'to get everyone on their feet, despite what they usually listen to'. He also conducts lectures and masterclasses and appears on BBC Radio and the BBC Worldservice discussing his work and guest editing music and arts programmes.
Recent work 
After a recent first-time trip to Hong Kong, as part of a cultural festival with his friend Sir V S Naipaul, Pharrell Williams and screenwriter Paul Shrader, he is currently in discussions about a regular club event in Hong Kong. He has recently been in the studio, writing and producing with Kid Cudi, Mika, St. Vincent, Kreayshawn, Roger Taylor from Queen & Anoushka Shankar and has recently co-written and co-produced a track with Chris Brown, 'Don't Wake Me Up', for his fifth album 'Fortune'. He has just completed the fifth album in the 'Strange Cargo' series, which is due for release later in 2012 and he is also currently half way through his first autobiographical book.
Location & Interests 
Orbit primarily records in London, Los Angeles and at The Palms Casino's in-house studio in Las Vegas. He now lives in North London and Los Angeles and has his office and studio at Hoxton Square, London. His interests in addition to composing and producing music are photography and design, cinema and the dramatic arts, collecting rare books, performance art and audio visual installations, radio controlled helicopters, unorthodox deejay events.