Los Angeles, California Funk, Soul, Afrobeat
Orgone first appeared on Ubiquity with their cover of “Funky Nassau” (on Rewind Volume 4), which became a ubiquitous DJ fave worldwide. The Los-Angeles-based band’s reputation amongst the funk and soul fraternity is backed-up by an impressive and quickly growing resume that is expanding their reach. This includes landing a spot in an Adidas campaign, touring with major-label crew Little Brother, and going out as backing band for The Pharcyde, Bun B, Pharohe Monche, Plantlife (including a BBC performance for Jools Holland), Tone Loc, and New Orleans funk legend Eddie Bo at the Hurricane Katrina benefit. Members of Orgone also feature in the make-up of Ubiquity acts Connie Price, the lions, and Breakestra and perform regularly at the Root Down in LA.
At the core of the band is a rhythm section comprised of close friends who have played together for over 10 years. Growing artistically as a unit they function as one organic and intuitive whole and, while they enjoy the comparisons to hot acts of the moment like Amy Winehouse, or funk staples like Sharon Jones or Breakestra, they’re quick to point out that Orgone is unique, “We draw from a wider musical and production palette than a lot of the ‘60’s inspired music that’s making a resurgence,” explains band-member Sean O’Shea. “It’s not intentional; it’s simply a reflection of the music and production aesthetics that we love.” Orgone backs this up by taking the listener on a musical journey from the sound of Los Angeles to horn and percussion driven Lagos, and from a New York club to the raw sounds of New Orleans.
Lead singer Fanny Franklin joined the groups’ recordings after they saw her perform with Dakah, the 30-piece hip hop orchestra. “We felt she was the best soul singer in town,” says O’Shea. “We asked her to record “Funky Nassau” and that led to us working together regularly.” Franklin delivers monster performances that will surely put an end to her relative obscurity on tracks like the Memphis-drenched “Who Knows Who,” the laid-back and cosmic “Said and Done,” and the apocalyptic sound of “Do Your Thing.”
The title of the album The Killion Floor is derived from the Orgone apartment/studio facility where the majority of the album was recorded (it’s also where recent Plantlife material and the Lions album have been coming to fruition). While this epicenter for all things Orgone grabbed the title, recent live dates have also shaped the band and this album.
Orgone live is 110% organic heart and soul. They promise a gritty, full throttle, extremely high energy, percussion heavy, horn laden, heavy hitting, dance party. Just like the recording they bring something special to the table; a vibe, an aesthetic and an attitude born out of half a lifetime of playing together.
“Their music is terrifically unfussy, big slabs of grizzled R&B, greasy as fatback and thick as a very particular kind of smoke. At their best, they recall the majesty of Sly & the Family Stone; opening track “Who Knows Who” is all bleary horns and broken-heart vocals, “It’s What You Do” is a tight, itchy jam. There’s still a riot goin’ on, and Orgone is at the front of the crowd.”