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PAUL HARTNOLL The Ideal Condition APC Recordings (2007)

Paul Hartnoll

One half of Orbital - one of the most influential dance acts of all time - Paul Hartnoll releases his first solo album this summer since he and his brother parted ways.

Crafted in his Brighton studio, the album is a monumental slab of filmic soundscapes, and techno. And boy, it's an extraordinary piece of work that will test the capabilities of your hi-fi sound system.

But it's not what you might expect and is different to his work with Orbital. While, of course, you get some wonderful techno, it's more akin to Tubular Bells meets Sarah Brightman, with Alan Parsons behind the desk. It's a marriage of techno and acoustic instrumentation including a full orchestra and a 32 piece choir.

Vocals are provided by The Cure's Robert Smith - on the single Please, and elsewhere includes contributions by Joseph Arthur, Lianne Hall and Akayzia Parker.

Hartnoll claims the album has a lot of film influences and if you close your eyes, your imagination immediately builds pictures of oceans, mountains and distant continents.

A stunningly beautiful piece of work and a modern 'classic' in more ways than one.


Review by Pete Whalley

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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