Insight Interview: Distant Planets

Following on from their 3-track ambient EP ‘Plans Of Our Own’, we speak with ambient producer Distant Planets

Inspired by their journey of growing independence, Distant Planets FKA Orloe, recently released their pulsating ambient EP ‘Plans Of Our Own’ on Insight Music. In this interview, we find out a little more about their creative background, studio setup and what’s next on the horizon.

Could you share with us a little about yourself, your musical interests and when you started writing music?

Hello! My name is Richard, I go by the name Distant Planets but I was formerly known as Orloe. I’m 23 and I live in a quaint little village in the north of England.

Aside from my love for music, I’m also a lover of photography and movies, particularly science fiction! I would say my musical tastes lean heavily towards the cinematic and ethereal space, emotion expressed usually through melancholic means. I find music a very important tool for me to both relax and to understand my own emotions. Putting songs on repeat and finding my own personal meaning within the music.

Some good examples of artists I love and who inspire me would be, LORN, Son Lux and Radiohead. All are very good at creating a particular emotion or feeling within me, which is something I value heavily in a piece of music. I started writing music when I was 14. At the time I had no knowledge of music theory or how to play an instrument. I was looking to broaden my horizons and learn a new skill, I tried programming, writing and lots of other things, producing music was really what stuck for me.

“I am incredibly proud of how the EP turned out, I think it’s a drastic evolution of my sound that I spent over a year creating. Specifically I wanted to focus more on layering sounds together to make a detailed and yet still expansive wall of sound, something to get lost in.”

How do you feel about the end result of ‘Plans of our Own’? Was there anything new you brought to the recording/production process? A concept or emotion you followed throughout the journey?

I am incredibly proud of how the EP turned out! I think it’s a drastic evolution of my sound that I spent over a year creating. Specifically I wanted to focus more on layering sounds together to make a detailed and yet still expansive wall of sound, something to get lost in.

“The inspiration for the EP itself follows my journey of growing my independence. Having completed my college studies, it’s now time to move onto things which grant me more freedom, such as moving out of the family home I’ve lived in all my life and becoming more of my own person. ‘Plans of Our Own’ I think reflects both the joy but also the anxiety I find within this transitional period of my life.”

‘Plans Of Our Own’ is available for streaming and download across all major digital platforms

Could we have a rundown of your current studio setup? Do you have a favorite piece of studio gear? Past or present?

Considering I started producing when I was so young before I had money to buy things of my own, I’ve always got by with quite a small amount of gear.

Currently my studio consists of my PC (Which runs FL Studio) My headphones (Beyerdynamic DT770s) and a pair of monitors (Adam A7’s) which I hook into my Focusrite 6i6. I look forward to buying more gear in the future but for now, this is all I need.

However I will take a moment just to list a few of my favorite plugins as they are more vital to my sound, I think: Other Desert Cities by Audio Damage, an excellent FX plugin, I specifically love the granular reverb All of the Valhalla Reverbs, they’re simply amazing and I don’t know where i’d be without them I also use a lot of free plugins to add to my sound.

Some notable ones being: GreaseTube by TbT, a beautifully grimy amplifier that places a sound within a virtual room and then distorts it as much as humanly possible, used this for the bass on “Maximum Potential” Bonch-Bruevich by Syntler, A wonderfully warm tube stage emulator, perfect for making things sound further away without a reverb.

As its namesake implies, there are many strange and wonderful things lurking inside the VST

What’s next for you as an artist?

My main goal is to release an album of at least seven tracks. A long form cohesive piece of work that fits together nicely as one long journey, telling one story. Other than that, I will continue to evolve my sound. It is my wish to include live instruments such as my own vocals, violins and pianos more in my work, as opposed to relying heavily on plugins.

I wish to find a good balance between somber acoustic ballads and punchy songs with grimy synth basses to make something entirely unique. I used to make a lot of lo-fi but those days are behind me and I am excited to see what is ahead!

Any advice for those looking to start producing electronic music? Is there a particular setup or process that may help others?

Pick a program and start learning. I know it may sound somewhat cliche, but the way to get better is just to do it. If the ideas don’t come, listen to your favorite music. Maybe hum a tune into your phone and dissect what makes that brilliant. I learnt more about making music from YouTube than I did from college. Never be afraid to follow your own path!

“It may be rough to start with but as you progress you will form your own habits and your own workflow of making music. Out of that methodology, you will end up with something that sounds like you, and nobody else.”

What are three singles you would recommend we definitely check out?

Immensità – Andrea Laszlo De Simone (Such beautiful use of strings and choir, this song really hits home for me)
bio – duendita (Some of the most beautiful drums I’ve ever heard, what a groove!)
tombeau – Pomme (Beautiful vocals, and plays into my love of the French language)

‘Plans Of Our Own’ Release Date and Streaming

The album released on Monday 14th November and is available to download via Bandcamp, as well as stream on Apple Music, Deezer and Spotify. You can find your preferred streaming/download platform here. Interested in discovering our artist catalogue? Head to our artist page here.

Our good friend Ian (Old Sober) wrote a fantastic review on the immersive ambient EP which you can dive into here.

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