Orgone are back with “Cali Fever”, their second album for Ubiquity and a giant step from anything they have ever released in the past. This is a band in ascendancy, with more focus and purpose, and gigging like their lives depend on it. They pull on hard-nosed, stripped-down, New Orleans influences on tracks like “The Last Fool” and “Crazy Queen”. And effortlessly shift gears through more uptempo Afrobeat and Brazilian informed tracks like “Matanza” and summer anthem “It’s Time Tonight”. Unlike previous releases, “Cali Fever” features all-original compositions, and no covers. With lead singer Fanny Franklin at the helm, the band rip through soul cuts like “Give It Up” and “Overtime” with a wild West Coast flair.
“Cali Fever refers to the vibes and energy coming out of California, specifically Los Angeles,” explains the band. “Coastal environments breed a certain sound, like New Orleans, Brooklyn, the Bay Area, and Miami. Los Angeles has a sound and a feeling for all of us and that’s how we approached this record. It’s an amalgamation of the eclectic things we’ve learned & heard mostly growing up in LA. We aspire to represent where we come from.”
Emerging from an evergreen Los Angeles soulful musical family (band members have also played with Connie Price and the Keystones, Breakestra, Dakah, Rhythm Roots Allstars, The Lions, the Simple Citizens, etc) Orgone released “The Killion Floor”, their debut album on Ubiquity in 2007. Tracks like “Dialed Up” and “Funky Nassau” established the bands funk and up-tempo soul credibility worldwide, scoring them an Adidas campaign, and tour dates with Little Brother, and backing-band gigs for The Pharcyde, Plantlife (including a BBC performance for Jools Holland), Bun B, Pharoahe Monche, and New Orleans funk legend Eddie Bo.
Despite its warm reception, their debut album got off to a shaky release with management switches and half the band wrapped-up in tour commitments with other acts. Fortunately the core band members (and fans) never gave up on Orgone who spent the last couple of years re-organizing the line-up (now set at 9 pieces), and working on new material. Their gig schedule eventually picked-up steam which also helped them define their sound. With a deep-rooted appreciation of funk, soul, and Afrobeat, Orgone naturally slide through multiple styles both live and on record. And their intimate understanding and appreciation of DJ culture lends a hard, explosive edge to their music.
“While The Killion Floor was a culmination spanning 4 years of recording, and featuring past members of the band, the new record is much more dialed in and immediate,” they explain. “It is a proper representation of what Orgone has developed into, while ascribing to the same vision of honesty & grit we’ve always aimed for.”
Their dynamic live shows, and a huge will to get out and play hard to as many people as possible caught the attention of (concert promoter) Goldenvoice VP David Lefkowitz, who has since taken the band under his wing for management.
Orgone have recently played live on KCRWs Morning Becomes Eclectic, SXSW, and at the New Orleans Jazz Fest. Plus they’ve opened for the likes of Al Green, Gil Scott-Heron, and Sharon Jones, and toured with the Roots, Greyboy Allstars and Groundation. Their ability to get any crowd on its feet is testament to their eclectic outlook on funk and soul. This is not a retro funk-by-numbers band simply re-hashing the past. “Cali Fever” is the evolution of a band dedicated to bringing tight, tough and honest get-on-your-feet unpretentious funk and soul music.
Orgone is: Fanny Franklin, Dan Hastie, Sergio Rios, Stewart Killen, Ethan Phillips, Sean O’Shea, Darren Cardoza, Devin Williams, Joel Bowers. This summer they are booked to play at Bonnaroo, High Sierra and Joshua Tree music festivals, with many more in the pipeline.