Search Results for ‘Orgone’

Orgone – Beyond the Sun


Title: Beyond the Sun

Artist: Orgone

Label: Shanachie

Formats: CD, MP3

Release date: April 28, 2015


After flirting with Afro-funk and extensive soul songs on their 2007 album The Killion Floor, then turning more towards Afrobeat and even few disco songs, Orgone’s new release Beyond the Sun is definitely a far more eclectic album. Melodic lines meet raw funk and tight rhythms through a bunch of explosive arrangements. Beyond the Sun also marks the end of Orgone’s collaboration with Ubiquity Records and their debut on Shanachie, which brings a more modern approach to sound mixing as well as the addition of a stunning new vocalist, Adryon de León. Though the sound mixing is sometimes a bit muddy, which conceals the precision and tightness of the instrumentation, this seems to be an aesthetic position which definitely becomes apparent after listening to the overall sound throughout the album.

Orgone seems to have been strongly influenced by a wide range of funk and soul acts, and their formula is now very complex. “Meat Machine” recalls the proto-fusion between funk grooves, strong fuzzy guitars and horns riffs. The song takes you back to the days when Blaxploitation style began to exploit the power of the sound—for example, the music of Willie Hutch or Roy Ayers. Added to this is the unexpected range of vocal parts that extends from “I’m a Woman” to “Don’t Push Your Luck” (seen in the video below). The latter sounds a bit like Betty Davis’s raw funk, but de León possesses a more well-balanced voice—smoother, more powerful, and more melodic, especially when the hybrid bridge shifts towards a Parliament “Come Out of the Rain” mood. Finally, consider the intensity of the arrangements, which displace the funk to more mellow and intriguing atmospheres, while highlighting the crazy and oh-so-funky cohesion between guitar and synthesizer. Now you have a brief panorama of Orgone’s potential.

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But most surprising, there’s no need to go back 50 years to reference Orgone’s style and to express the freshness provided by their diversity. The melodic aspect of the bridges, and the elaborate and polished chord changes push them towards a very contemporary and personal style. Their music is not backward-looking, not about the history of funk, but is instead a sincere exploration of new grooves that define how the style might be revived. This push towards modern interpretations and the search for new textures is very evident in songs such as “No Pain.” According to Shanachie’s Randall Grass, since Orgone has collaborated or performed with bands like the Roots, Al Green, Gil Scott Heron, Breakestra and Monophonics, “they have grown to the point that they are poised to break out,” and I would agree. Through the diversity that infuses both the singers and the instrumentation, Beyond the Sun explores a large variety of possibilities for a re-shaping of funk for 21st century ears.

Reviewed by Guillaume Dupetit

View review August 1st, 2015

Welcome to the March 2018 issue of Black Grooves

March 2018_small
Welcome to the March 2018 issue of Black Grooves, sponsored by the Indiana University Archives of African American Music and Culture.

In honor of our upcoming program Funkology: A Conversation with Bootsy Collins and Dr. Scot Brown, we’re featuring recent funk releases pertaining to our honored guest in addition to compilations from notable legends and the latest in contemporary jazz, spoken word, rock, soul and world music.
Leading our funk selections is the latest release from Bootsy Collins himself, World Wide Funk.  Meshell Ndegeocello’s Ventriloquism pays homage to many artists, including George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, while Los Angeles-based funk group Orgōne provides covers of classic P-funk songs such as “The Breakdown” and “Cosmic Slop” on Undercover Mixtape. The three disc Life on Planet Groove Revisited is a 25th anniversary expanded reissue of Maceo Parker’s  funk classic, and the U.K.’s  affinity for funk is represented through Crowd Company’s Stone & Sky.

New compilations from iconic artists include Jimi Hendrix’s Both Sides of the Sky, the Rolling Stones’ On Air featuring early blues covers recorded by the BBC, Nina Simone’s The Colpix Singles, and the Dionne Warwick collection Odds & Ends: Scepter Records Rarities. Featured jazz group Robert Glasper Experiment gives a front row seat through their DVD Live, and Kalamazoo by Delfeayo Marsalis also showcases live performances.

Wrapping up this issue is Los Rumberos De La Bahia’s Afro-Cuban stylings on Mabagwe, the spoken word poet Jerry Quickley’s collaboration with Busdriver on (american) Fool, New Orleans’ artist Lilli Lewis’s The Henderson Sessions, a reissue of a rare soundtrack from the musical Two Sisters From Bagdad by Detroit’s LaVice & Company, and our compilation of February Releases of Note.

View review March 2nd, 2018

Orgōne – Undercover Mixtape



Title: Undercover Mixtape

Artist: Orgōne

Label: Colemine

Formats: CD, cassette, limited ed. green vinyl, digital

Release date: February 2, 2018


One of Southern California’s premiere funk and soul outfits, Orgōne has been spreading its cosmic energy throughout the universe for nearly two decades. Fronted by vocalist Adryon de León, who plugs the soul into the ensemble, Orgōne is known for its unique mélange of gritty old school ‘60s and ‘70s music infused with contemporary influences drawn from the multicultural milieu of L.A. These influences were perfectly expressed on their last album, Beyond the Sun (2015). While recording new tracks in the studio, the band hit upon the idea of producing a cover album dedicated to a few of the artists “who paved the road for us.” The result is Undercover Mixtape, offering 13 classics paying homage to artists from Stax and Motown, as well as legendary jazz, funk and rock musicians.

The album opens with an outstanding rendition of the jazz-funk instrumental “The Black Five,” originally released by Roy Ayers Ubiquity in 1974. The Orgōne crew swaps the string section and Ayers signature vibes for layered keyboards and guitar, providing an updated sound. Switching over to guitar-driven hard rock on “Cynthy-Ruth,” the band is led by Tarin Ector (The Solutionagenics), whose gritty vocals are well-suited for this track from the 1970 debut album by Detroit’s Black Merda.

Adryon de León is brave enough to tackle “Think,” Aretha Franklin’s iconic 1968 feminist anthem, and absolutely nails it with fantastic backing from the band. She also shines on several other soul-drenched tracks: Betty Wright’s “Let Me Be Your Lovemaker” which also showcases the horn section; the Gladys Knight tearjerker “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye);” and Gwen McCrae’s “All This Love That I’m Givin’.” Guest vocalist Kelly Finnigan is featured on “Nobody’s Fault but Mine,” adhering closely to the Otis Redding version of the song.

If you want funk and nothing but the funk, you won’t be disappointed with the remaining tracks on the album. The band seriously grooves on two back-to-back instrumentals, deftly channeling Booker T’s organ licks on “Melting Pot,” then getting down on an extended version of Cameo’s “It’s Serious.” The Meters, clearly one of the Orgōne’s favorite groups, are covered on “It Ain’t No Use,’ once again featuring the amazing Adryon de León, and “Looka Py Py,” on which the band navigates the complex polyrhythms and deep bass grooves with precision. Last but certainly not least, are two tracks from the funkiest funk band on the planet. Parliament’s 1971 classic, “The Breakdown,” features Mixmaster Wolf, who normally fronts the eight piece L.A. funk band Breakestra. The album closes with another P-funk classic, “Cosmic Slop,” with Tarin Ector once again taking over the helm on this haunting tale about urban poverty that still resonates today.

Undercover Mixtape offers an edifying excursion through soul and funk classics of the ‘60s and ‘70s, performed by a band steeped in the grooves and vocalists capable of covering the era’s most iconic singers. This might be Orgōne’s side project, but they deserve a victory lap for keeping the funk funky and the soul soulful in the 21st century.

Reviewed by Brenda Nelson-Strauss

View review March 2nd, 2018

Welcome to the August 2015 Issue

Welcome to the August 2015 “summer rocks” issue of Black Grooves, sponsored by the Indiana University Archives of African American Music and Culture.

As a tie-in to the annual AfroPunk Festival, we’re focusing on rock-oriented releases from bands across the continent. In the category of funk/rock bands fronted by black singers, there’s Vintage Trouble’s 1 Hopeful Road, Orgone’s Beyond the Sun, Sonny Knight and the Lakers’ Do It Live, Speedometer’s No Turning Back (ft. James Junior), Leon Bridges’ Coming Home, Saun & Starr’s Look Closer (ft. the Daptones), Black Diet’s The Good One, and SugarBad’s Up in the CloudsOther funk/blues-rock/jazz fusion releases include Otis Taylor’s Hey Joe Opus, Galactic’s Into the Deep, Bluey’s Life Between the Notes, Push Up’s The Day After, James Brandon Lewis’s Days of Freeman, Mem Nahadr’s Femme Fractale: An Opera of Reflection, and Sly and the Family Stone’s Live At the Fillmore East 1968.

From the heartland there’s Dark Black Makeup by the Missouri punk band Radkey, N.E.W. by the 1970s-era Detroit rock band Death, The Return of Glory by the Indianapolis based Christian gospel/rock group Judah Band, and Live At Never On Sunday by the Ohio Christian rock group Blessid Union of Souls.

Wrapping up this issue is Bootleg Whiskey by blues musician Grady Champion, and a summary of July 2015 releases of note.

View review August 1st, 2015

April Releases of Note

Following are additional albums released during April 2015—some will be reviewed in future issues of Black Grooves.

Blues, Folk, Country
Captain Luke & Cool John Ferguson: Live at the Hamilton (Music Maker)
Cash Box Kings: Holding Court (Blind Pig)
Chastity Brown: Long Way (Creative And Dreams Music Network)
Gaye Adegbalola & Wild Rutz: Is It Still Good To Ya? (Hot Toddy)
Guitar Slim Green: Stone Down Blues (BGP)
Hans Theessink & Terry Evans: True & Blue: (Blue Groove)
J.B. Hutto & his Hawks with Sunnyland Slim: Hawk Squat (Delmark)
J.B. Smith: No More Good Time in the World for Me (Dust to Digital)
Ms. Jody: Talkin’ Bout My Good Thang (Ecko)
Papa Charlie Jackson: Why Do You Moan When You Can Shake That Thing (JSP)
Sherwood Fleming: Blues Blues Blues (1201 Music)
Various: Beale Street Saturday Night (Omnivore)

Funk, Rock, Pop, Electronic
Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO)
Alan Hewitt & One Nation: Evolution (Red River)
ConFunkShun: More Than Love (Shanachie)
Danko Jones: Fire Music (MRI)
Death: N.E.W. (Drag City)
Doug Locke: Blue Heart EP (digital)
Kelela: Cut 4 Me (Fade to Mind)
Orgone: Beyond the Sun (Shanachie)
Precious: Wilson & Eruption: Greatest Hits (Sony Special Products)
Push Up: The Day After (Jazz Village)
Van Hunt: Fun Rises, the Fun Sets (Godless Hotspot)
Young Fathers: White Men Are Black Men Too (Big Dada)

Gospel, Gospel Rap, CCM
Casey J: The Truth (Tyscott)
Puntin: Bananas 4 (Red Dist.)
Rev. James Cleveland: Inspirational Gospel Legends, Vol. 1 (Independent Label Services)
Rev. Milton Brunson: Inspirational Gospel Legends, Vol. 2 (Independent Label Services)
The Showers Family Group: The Showers Family Group (Habakkuk Music)

Alex Puddu (ft. Joe Bataan): Soultiger (Schema)
Steve Wilson & Wilsonian’s Grain: Live In New York: The Vanguard Sessions (Random Act)
Andrew Bishop: De Profundis (Envoi)
Annabel (lee) & Richard E: By the Sea & Other Solitary Places (Ninja Tune)
Ben Williams: Coming of Age (Concord)
Big Mike: Young Man Old Soul (Black Market Blue)
Cassandra Wilson: Coming Forth By Day (Legacy)
Charles Lloyd: Wild Man Dance (Blue Note)
City Boy Allstars: Personal Things (City Boys Mike Production)
Cyrus Chestnut: A Million Colors in Your Mind (Highnote)
Dayme Arocena: Havana Cultura Sessions EP (Brownswood Recordings)
Harold Mabern: Afro Blue (Smoke Sessions)
Herbie Hancock: Omaha Civic Auditorium 17th November 1975 (Hi Hat)
Irvin Mayfield: New Orleans Jazz Playhouse (Basin Street)
Jazz in the New Harmonic: Primal Scream (Chesky)
Joyce Elaine Yuille: Welcome To My World (Schema)
Julian Vaughn: Limitless (TRIPPIN & RHYTHM)
Matthew Shipp-Mat Walerian Duo: The Uppercut: Live At Okuden (Forced Exposure)
Sax Pack: Power of 3 (Shanachie)
Sir Roland Hanna: This Must Be Love (Progressive)
Wes Montgomery & Wynton Kelly Trio: Unissued 1965 Half Note Broadcasts (Jazz on Jazz)

R&B, Soul
Adrian Younge: Something About April (Linear Labs)
Bluey: Life Between the Notes (Shanachie)
Bobbye Doll Johnson: True to You (Music Access Inc.)
Dells: The Complete Early Singles Collection (Hallmark)
Donn T: Flight of the Donn T (D Tone Victorious)
Eddie Bo: Baby I’m Wise: Complete Ric Singles 1959-62 (Ace)
Fame Gang: Grits & Gravy: Best of the Fame Gang (BGP)
Garnett Mimms: Looking for You: Complete United Artist & Veep Singles (Ace)
Jackie Wilson: NYC 1961-63 (Ace)
Jerry Lawson: Just a Mortal Man (Red Beet )
Kenny Lattimore: Anatomy of a Love Song (Sincere Soul Records/eOne Music)
Mavis Staples: Your Good Fortune EP (Anti)
Muscle Shoals Horns: Born to Get Down (Funky Town Grooves)
Muscle Shoals Horns: Doin’ It to the Bone (Funky Town Grooves)
Muscle Shoals Horns: Shine On (Funky Town Grooves)
Redland: An Enlightened Contagion (Redland Ent)
Reggie P.: Why Me? (Music Access Inc.)
Slow Knights: Living in a Dark World ( Red Dist.)
Trouble Funk: Trouble Funk Live: Ultimate Crank (TWF)
Various: The Super Rare Doo Wop Box (Rockbeat)

Rap, Hip Hop
Aceyalone: Action (Bionik Music)
Alchemist & Oh No: Welcome to Los Santos (Mass Appeal)
Alex Faith & Dre Murray: Southern Lights: Overexposed (Empire Dist.)
Black Rob: Genuine Article (Slim Style)
B-Legit: What We Been Doin (Empire Dist.)
Blueprint: King No Crown (Weightless)
Chief Keef: Feed the Streets (Black Market)
City Fidelia: A Pisces World (Nothing’s Really New)
Clear Soul Forces: Fab Five (Fat Beats)
Drake: If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (Republic)
Earl Sweatshirt: I Don’t Like Shit: I Don’t Go Outside (Columbia)
Jus: Obsession EP (Zenith Point)
KMD: Bl_ck B_st_rds: Traffic (The Orchard)
L’Orange & Jeremiah Jae: The Night Took Us In Like Family (Mello Music Group)
La Chat: Murder She Spoke II (Phixieous Ent.)
Mac Mall: Legal Business (Thizzlamic)
Project Pat: Mista Don’t Play 2: Everythangs Money (eOne)
Raekwon: Fly International Luxurious Art (Universal)
Toro Y Moi: What For? (Carpark)
Tyler the Creator: Cherry Bomb (Columbia)
Wordsmith: Apt. 507 EP (Plus 180)
Worlds Freshest & J-Stalin: The Real World Part 4 (Empire Dist).

Reggae, Dancehall, Calypso
Alborosie & King Jammy: Dub of Thrones (VP)
Bob Marley: So Much Things to Say: Interviews (Tuff Gong)
Doctor Dread: Theremin in Dub (Tafari)
Peter Tosh & Friends: An Upsetters Showcase (Cleopatra)
Sizzla: 876 (868 Music)
Taj Weekes: Love, Herb & Reggae (Jatta)

World, Latin
Amanaz: Africa (reissue) (Now Again)
Ayub Ogada, Trevor Warren  Kodhi: Trevor Warren’s Adventures With Ayub Ogada (Longtale)
Estacada: Caribbean Steelband (Air Mail Music)
Gino Sitson: VoiStrings ( Buda Musique)
Mola Sylla: Count Till Zen (Winter & Winter)
Rudy Twoleft Smith: What Pan Did For Me (Caprice)
Tal National: Zoy Zoy (Fat Cat)

Spoken Word, Comedy
Rain Pryor: Black & White (Uproar)

View review May 1st, 2015


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