This sound collage was made by brothers Phil & Paul Hartnoll while messing around in their bedroom, allegedly for less than £1. They recorded it on their father's cassette deck and released the tune through Jazzy M's Oh-Zone label. It immediately sold out through word of mouth alone and the track was re-released by London Records subsidiary FFRR with whom it soon became a nationwide rave anthem.
Paul Hartnoll recalled to The Sun February 13, 2009: "It was just bedroom fun, or maybe the sitting room. Chime came about through thinking, 'hang on, there are six inputs on my four-track. Instead of recording it as a four-track, why not just use all six inputs and bypass the recording bit, go straight into my dad's tape deck? But if I do that, I can't remix it, it's a one-off recording. That's what Chime was. When you create something as a byproduct of something else, that's when the magic happens. You're doing it so unselfconsciously."
The Hartnoll brothers performed this on BBC's Top of The Pops, wearing anti Poll Tax T-shirts to demonstrate their anger about Margaret Thatcher's local government tax policies.
Orbital took its name from the rave parties that occurred in late 1980s Britain, near the M25 orbital motorway that circles London.
Paul Hartnoll recalled to Mojo magazine: "Writing 'Chime' I was just trying a way of recording where I did all live to the 4-track, without worrying about mucking about and syncing different tracks. I started about four in the afternoon, I think it was a Wednesday, a couple of hours before I went to the pub. I guess I was trying to do something a bit Detroit techno, but really, I just took some random samples from my dad's easy listening records, put in the dum dum dum do - do - dumb bass at the beginning, job done.
Right at the end I thought, what's that weird sound? And it was the descending string bit. Sounds OK, I'll put that in... And that was literally it."