Phil Hartnoll will always be known as one half of the ground-breaking and dance- music defining duo Orbital, who had world-wide success with their unique blend of electronic music from 1990 until 2004. Since the demise of Orbital, Phil has been as busy as ever with DJ'ing and producing new music. His studio has stayed ahead of the game too, helped in no small way by his love for all things Novation.
Orbital were one of the most consistent and ground-breaking bands of the last 20 years. As half of that act, Phil Hartnoll always used the latest gear for the band's cutting-edge sound. Even after the group's demise he has remained true to that belief so, for his latest music project (Long Range), he has added the new ReMOTE SL to his list of Novation gear.
"I'm working on a Long Range album project which is me, Nick Smith and Ben Burns," he says. "I've know Nick for about 10 years. He's been doing music for a long time and he's very good at sound design and has worked on films like Hannibal. Ben is a mate of his and has done loads including stuff like Caged Baby on Southern Fried records."
"We've done six tracks and have another four that are nearly ready. Dave Pemberton at Strongroom is also working on them so the album is almost finished so hopefully the whole project will be coming out in the Summer, probably June or July. It's not that dissimilar to Orbital in that there's a variety of styles and it doesn't stick to one genre, apart from the electronica thing. You can check out some stuff at MySpace under Long Range Music."
Phil's relationship with Novation goes way back to his time in Orbital. "Novation has been with me since the start. Me and Paul always had a BassStation and Supernova and used them all the time with the Orbital stuff, so I've used them extensively over the years and really love them. I still use the Supernova. It has a great bottom end and really is a good all rounder."
Phil still has the BassStation and also a DrumStation but it's the ReMOTE SL that he has been using for the Long Range project. "Yeah we've just got the ReMOTE 25SL," says Phil, "and have just got some maps for them - fantastic idea and very useful."
"We use it with Logic," adds Nick, "and we've been enjoying it with IMPOscar which is well cool. I love the feel of the keys, it's nice looking, has smooth functions, the keyboard's really nice and it's great that is uses the buss for power."
Phil is also making quite a name for himself DJ'ing, and one of the main parts of his DJ set-up is his Saffire, from Novation' sister company, Focusrite. "I'm using the Saffire with Ableton Live on a laptop. I used to go out with vinyl but now it's so much easier with MP3s. I got a track from Rennie Pilgrem the other day that he emailed over and I played it out that night. I basically use the Saffire as the breakout box using the four channels out into a traditional DJ mixer. Anything that can help rather than using the headphone socket, and Focusrite has such a good name for its D-A converters."