orgone (ôr'gon) n. A universal life force, a cosmic unit of energy, the creative force in nature.
Los Angeles based band Orgone is many souls with a cosmic connection, a natural creative force and musicians who have played together for years. They are self schooled and continue to shape their musical voice as a solid unit of guys who hang, spin records and jam out their shared inspirations. With a rooted sense of funk, soul, afrobeat, deep rhythms and an intimate understanding of dj culture as well as each others' individual talents, Orgone seamlessly slides through multiple styles and dynamic performances. The group continuously injects whatever they play with a heavy brand of raw funk power.
At the core of the band is a rhythm section comprised of close friends who have played together for more than 10 years. Having grown artistically as a unit they function as one organic and intuitive whole. The orginal 5-member band started out by putting their own gritty takes on tunes by the likes of the JBs, the Meters, Booker T. and the MGs, Grant Green and Funkadelic among many others. They quickly gained underground respect and die hard fans. With their searing live sets and original instrumentals, Orgone soon released their debut self titled CD, "Orgone," in 2002. The result was a collection of all original down home, transcendental, tough and gritty funk instrumentals.
The band fast grew to include a powerful three-piece horn section and a fiery soul singer who all shared the same spirit and deep reverence for the music that inspired them. Singer, Fanny Franklin, joined the groups' recordings after they were floored seeing her perform with Dakah, the 30-piece hip hop orchestra, and asked her to record with them. Their first recording together, Orgone's cover of "Funky Nassau", became a ubiquitous DJ fave worldwide- first appearing on 7"(Nuff Rope) and then getting a 12" club re-edit by renowned dj Danny Krivit (Nuff Rope). It then appeared on Ubiquity's Rewind Volume 4 comp, which began the band's relationship with the prestigious label.
Gaining worldwide recognition for their raw studio recordings and exciting live sets led to the release of "The Killion Floor" on Ubiquity records- a full length album of hard hitting afro-soul & funk from the 9 piece band. While enjoying comparisons to classic acts like Rufus, War & Mandrill, or modern funk staples like Sharon Jones or Breakestra, they're quick to point out that Orgone is unique.
"We draw from a wide musical and production palette ... it's 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 to a New York club and to the raw sounds of New Orleans. The title of the album "The Killion Floor" is derived from the Orgone apartment/studio facility where the majority of the album was recorded. Singer Franklin delivers monster performances 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 album also features guest appearances by singer Noelle Scaggs (from the Rebirth), trumpeter/arranger Todd Simon (Dapkings, Antibalas, CPK, Breakestra), and guitarist/producer Dan Ubick (CPK/ Lions).
The band's reputation amongst the funk, soul, and hip hop fraternity is further backed-up by an impressive and ever growing resume that expands their reach. This includes a spot in an Adidas campaign, a tour with and backing band for Bun B(from UGK), Pharoahe Monch, Plantlife (including a BBC performance for Jools Holland), Little Brother, Nice and Smooth, Black Sheep and New Orleans funk legend Eddie Bo at a Hurricane Katrina benefit. Members of Orgone also have featured in the make-up of Ubiquity acts the Lions, Connie Price and the Keystones, Breakestra, and have performed with the Pharcyde, De La Soul, Too Short, Macy Gray among many others. To top it off, most of the group can be heard on recent major recordings by Alicia Keys, Estelle, Anthony Hamilton, Jennifer Hudson, Solange Knowles and many other R&B/Soul artists.
Orgone continues to tour, impressing audiences and winning new fans at festivals & clubs nationally and overseas. 2009 saw the release of their second fully independent CD "bacano", a collection of all original cold-blooded funk gems representing what's always been going down in Orgone's funky, sweaty home-grown recording spot. It's a recorded history of the band and its musical family throwing down: check the lethal neck-busting bass intro of founding member Tim Glum on "You Already Doin It", the 3-Detroit thump of bassist Dale Jennings on the deep hypnotic funk soundscape of "Vibromeyer", the dance floor soul of singer Gino Garafalo on the undeniably hip-shaking "Come Around" and the sub-atomic gut punch of Orgone bassist Ethan Phillips on the heavy psychedelic groove of "Hott Karl".
Orgone live and recorded is 100% organic heart and soul an aesthetic and an attitude born out of half a lifetime of playing together.
"..an ultra-funky intertwining of infectious grooves with melodic phrases, even when they are at their most experimental. Despite the music's complexity, it remains uncluttered and spacious...If you are into classic funk like Parliament Funkadelic, the Meters ...you should find Orgone intoxicating. In addition to the funk, R&B and jazz elements, the band exhibits an adventurous rock 'n' roll twist...This is one hell of a band."
- RELIX magazine
A monstrous debut from one of the heaviest acts we've heard in years -- LA's Orgone, easily one of the most up-and-coming funky combos around! Although Orgone share a bit with some of the leaner deep funk groups who've cropped up in the past decade or so, they've also got a sound that's a bit more advanced overall -- sort of that second-generation approach to funk that hit the scene by the mid 70s, as some of the bigger funk acts like Black Heat or War moved out of the indie scene and really started to hit a wider audience! That doesn't mean that Orgone's commercial at all -- because they've got a sound that's still as sharp-edged as any smaller group -- but with a lineup that's quite large, they're able to encompass a very wide range of soulful styles -- gritty 45 riffing, slinky Chicano-styled grooves, Afro Funk, tighter soul tracks, and lots lots more -- all carried off with perfection throughout. The album feels like some lost masterpiece on Fantasy, or possibly some overlooked early 70s major label funk set on WEA or United Artists -- and titles include "Who Knows Who", "I Get Lifted", "Funky Nassau", "Lone Ranger", "Prism Break", "Crabby Ali", "Duck & Cover", "Dialed Up", "Said & Done", "Hambone", "It's What You Do", "Do Your Thing", and "Sophisticated Honky".
- © 1996-2009, Dusty Groove America, Inc.
"L.A.'s Orgone keeps the hotness of the recent retro-soul revival coming; lead singer Fanny Franklin fits in very nicely between Sharon Jones and Amy Winehouse. As befits the band's name, Orgone's sound is quite organic, rooted in soul, funk, boogaloo, and jazz, with a classic appeal that's nevertheless contemporary...the entire album is one non-stop groove. If smooth, soulful funk with jazzy arrangements makes you sweat, you just found your new favorite band."
"By the time the listener gets to the nasty, distorted, finger-popping, ass waggling "Crabby Ali" -- where the deep brewed, second-line New Orleans old-school funk goes head to head with the gloss of L.A.'s Tower of Power styled horn charts -- it feels like the party's just getting started."
- All Music
"Orgone recalls acts like Fela Kuti, Trouble Funk, and War, but with a heavy dose of disco, as on Killion's "Dialed Up," where the deep groove and diva vocals are so authentic, they could be samples."
- The Onion / A.V. Club
"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."
"It's easy to imagine The Killion Floor both igniting mass partying and stoking libidos for more intimate gatherings."
- OC Weekly
"Orgone has provided all the elemental power to drive the funk/soul revival to new levels with The Killion Floor...Orgone will invigorate your groove spirit and get booty out of its little box and out on the dancefloor."
- KEXP, 90.3FM (SEATTLE)
Formed as a veritable reunion tour in 2009, Herman Astro is a four-piece, Milwaukee band whose recent formation has been a long time coming. After diverse musical wanderings, stepbrothers Zachary Pluer (vocals/guitar) and Cody Calderon (drums) joined childhood friend and former garage-band slasher Eric LeMieux to create the eclectic sound they'd individually been forming for years. Adding a dose of bass (Adam Dosemagen), this lively bunch hit the ground running.
Combining elements from every genre under the Kuiper Belt, Herman Astro is a welcome return to good, old-fashioned groove. Driven by soul vocals, jazzy, locked-in drums and bass, and soaring guitar work, these boys genuinely combine Radiohead with Otis, Miles with the Talking Heads, hell, your grandpa's cap with your uncle's handlebar mustache. Herman Astro's members focus on giving new life to what's been done (and should have been done), infusing the tried-and-true with their new.
Herman Astro recorded their first self-titled EP live in March 2010 at Bobby Peru Recording in South Milwaukee, WI. They view songwriting as a process that is fostered organically; taking a lick from Eric, following Zachary's hook, or locking hook-and-key into a funky drum groove. These songs come off accessible but complex,. Their live performances, according to Adam's dad are "hotter than hot, ooh, outstanding!", including improvisation into the ionized structure.
* Zachary Pluer is the nephew of Milwaukee, vocal legend, Robin Pluer, son of a classical organist, James Pluer, and distant relative of Dutch, circus-organ tycoon, Elbert Pluer. Needless to say, musicianship and eclecticism run in the family. Zachary started playing bass guitar at the age of nine (in Rambling Rose, a band with stepbrother, Cody Calderon, and guitarist, Eric LeMieux), but switched to guitar in his early teens in order to allow his voice and songwriting to fully develop. Performing solo for most of his adult life, Zachary had frequented the Milwaukee/Chicago music scene with the old soul of a traveling bluesman. Hoping to add the rhythm to his rhythm and blues, Zachary formed Herman Astro, again with stepbrother, Cody Calderon, guitarist, Eric LeMieux and bassist, Adam Dosemagen, in what was, and is, essentially a family affair.
* Cody Calderon was born tapping and was one of those kids you'd really want to tap over the head yourself for always drumming on s%@. Drawn to drums at an early age, Cody began lessons with the late Milwaukee legend, John Ruka, at the age of four. Cody's musical endeavors are too many to list, but he thumped with the old-timey Milwaukee group, The Superchiefs, Gypsy Kitchen and Micah Olsan. As a career musician for the past five years, Cody has had the opportunity to sit in on a number of recording sessions and toured the Midwest. He lived in Prague for a number of years where he sat in at a number of jazz clubs. Zachary asked him to play when they were watching their niece's violin rehearsal, who is not yet in the band due to Child Labor Laws.
* Eric LeMieux unfortunately was not born with that handle-bar mustache, but has been growing it ever since. A graduate in Sound Engineering from Madison Media Art Institute, Eric is the brains, and judging by that mustache, brawn of the group. Eric started playing guitar at the age of six, is self-taught, and isn't afraid to fill in his hand contusions with super-glue for the sake of a good show. Eric's formed band, Madison-based Polydream, won a MAMA (Madison Area Music Awards) for best new artist in 2006, and created quite a Midwestern stir until relocation drew them apart. His decision to join old pals Zachary and Cody in Herman Astro was a no-brainer and seemed to be the moment his mustache was waiting for.
* Adam Dosemagen is a bass player and anthropologist whose focus has been on the migration trends of the Eurasian population. Dose has been playing bass since he was just a little thing and has continued it up until his 6'11" manhood. Like Cody, Adam has been gigging for most of his adult life and has managed to see much of the country through his touring. He met Zachary while cooking some delicious (sic) pizza at Pizza Hut eight years ago, and wonder why in the hell it's taken this long to get this thing together. ..
High Noon Saloon
701 E. Washington Ave
Madison, WI 53703
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|