Sonic Curiosity Logo

The Engaging Spaciness of Electric Orange

decorative rule

For several decades, Electric Orange has been producing music that spans several genres (spacerock to contemporary electronic to Krautrock to psychedelic jam), delighting a cadre of loyal fans.

This band is long overdue for international renown.

decorative rule

ELECTRIC ORANGE: XX (DDL on Electric Orange Music)

This release from 2014 offers 81 minutes of space jam music.

Space rock of the jam variety.

Track one commences with thumping bass supporting a chinking guitar lick while percussion rumbles out languid tempos. Liquid electronics ooze throughout the mix. As the bassline becomes more prominent, the guitar riffs churns out a droney presence. Spacey harmonics converge to achieve melodic definition, but it is tenuous, apparent only from an overview; not that the melody is weak, only stretched into supple manifestation. The drone of an organ surfaces to establish a uniform fog. Meanwhile, the guitar explores some complex chords as the other instruments slide into a jam temperament. The music reaches a state of molten trance.

The next piece explores a realm of demonstrative drums swimming in a pool of sustained keys. Outbursts of squawking guitar provide periodic depth. The rhythms persist, gaining support from the thunderous bass. Eventually, the organ offers a slippery melody whose dreamy resonance takes the audience wandering through an eerie territory punctuated by subtle effects. The sudden addition of bongos lends an interesting duality to the percussion, enhanced even further by xylophonic hints. A culminating coda of pulsing diodes guides the other instruments to a conclusion.

The third song adds a grinding edge to things. The guitar notes exhibit an alluring twang. The organ pursues a choppy fluidity. The bass establishes a seething undercurrent. The drums dole out steadfast tempos. Things flow along for some time, maintaining a satisfying tension...until the fadeout.

For the final track, the guitar is coaxed into producing saxophone sounds, lending a mournful tinge to the sluggish pace set by droney organ and languid drumbeats. Even the bass is muting its rumble. Leaving the stage open for some tortured guitar pyrotechnics...which last quite a while. Ah, but the other instruments are weary of holding back. The rhythms mount with driving force. The organ chords wobble into a fierce beast. The bass crashes through the mix. All the while, the guitar is fighting to maintain its dominance. And right before the crescendo finale, there's even some infectious cowbell.

With each song averaging 20 minutes in length, the tunes flourish with adequate lifespans to explore numerous delightful progressions.

decorative rule

ELECTRIC ORANGE: Live at Roadburn 2012 (DDL on Electric Orange Music)

This release from 2014 features 47 minutes of smoldering spacerock recorded live at the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands, on April 15, 2012.

Hypnotic tunes of a spacerock nature.

Here, the instruments merge so perfectly into a cohesive unity, it's difficult to deconstruct things (and doing so literally defuses their wizardry).

The guitar maintains a very cosmic attitude, expressing warbling chords that shimmer with lush vibrations and spiral through the mix, influencing everything they touch. Often the notes are steeped in a fuzzy mode that gives them the impression of being spiky and hostile, even though the riffs defined are usually smoldering and not overt at all.

The keyboards generate a luscious foundation of lurking tones that enhance the grittiness of the rest of the music. Their liquid presence is a delicate ambrosia.

The bass rumbles with more than a supporting role, often emerging to prominently express its thumping notes. Sometimes the instrument adopts a choppy strum that gives it a locomotive demeanor.

The percussion has a way of creeping into existence, starting out with tentative, muted tempos, and gradually mustering the puissance to thunder away in full spotlight.

These compositions are brilliant examples of modern spacerock at its finest. The melodies are furtive, consisting of grinding passages that pulsate with a cosmic grandeur. Their molten characteristics are quite attractive, offering tuneage that combines the intensity of progressive rock with the trancey temperament of space music, resulting in music of a highly entrancing nature.

decorative rule

ELECTRIC ORANGE: Volume 10 (DDL on Electric Orange Music)

This release from 2014 offers 79 minutes of entertaining space rock music.

Grinding percussives, snarling guitar and slippery keys conspire to create rock jams with a spacey edge.

The percussion shows variety in its output, from rumbling continuous beats to nimble bongo rhythms to overt tempos creeping out of tepid rolls.

The guitar often adopts a splashy sound, issuing chords that seem to expel auxiliary notes in their afterglow. There's a certain grittiness to the guitar, beyond the intensity of the notes it produces, stemming from the eerie riffs those notes end up generating.

The keyboards' contributions are balanced between droney constants and sweeping waves of dire chords. Then, on occasion, the keys issue a conventional organ growl that sustains itself through various chord changes.

The presence of bass is often hidden by the dense mix, but when the instrument's rumble shoulders its way to the forefront, its rumble can be delightfully euphoric.

Alternative instruments appear, like moaning cello, squealing violin, and Eastern strings, all injecting an ethnic strangeness to the astral demeanor of the music.

One of the shorter pieces features vocals, but not the singing type. Here, you get guttural whispers in German slipped into a realm of pounding percussion accompanied by dangerously emergent effects that almost sound as if they're reversed.

Even though these compositions tend to smoothly flow from one to another, they are generally short (from 4 to 8 minutes long), compressing each song's melody into a honed razor capable of slicing through steel. Meanwhile, there are a few tracks of substantial duration (14, 20 and 15) which encourage the melodies to explore sneaky variations of dazzling proportion. Key among all these pieces is the tendency to generate cosmic mesmerization through the application of harsh sonic elements, often indulging in monstrous surges of thunderous intensity.

The album concludes with a long piece that explores the controlled application of chaos, molding static into pulsating waves and unleashing cascades of growling tones, all peppered with normal instruments striving to control the morass and failing, leaving the unbridled intensity free run of things...until a wind-down lorded over by droney organ.

decorative rule
Entire page © 2015 Matt Howarth.
All rights reserved.
Webpage design by Stasy