The Orchid Days
Mello Music Group
Hip-hop producer L’Orange returns with The Orchid Days, another easy-to-like collage of dusty old jazz and soul vocals chopped up and spliced in with clipped hip-hop beats. If that sounds like a simple (classic) formula – well it is. But it’s in the way he does it, not so much making a future-jazz, nor a retro-feeling version of hip-hop or acid-jazz but somehow swaying – lurching, lolling – between those two sets of ideas. Vintage vibe, new soul sound. I was won over with 2011’s Old Soul (which is a free download – so click on that link and check it out if you haven’t already, it’s his Billie Holiday tribute, but it’s the announcement of his aesthetic, little has changed, feel-wise, since that album).
There’s no reason for it to change either, as he twists new meaning out of old song snippets, adding in retro radio sound-bites and calling cards.
The Orchid Days has such an impeccable flow to it that the 19 cuts steam by inside 45 minutes and it’s logical – every time – to hit repeat, to get sucked back into this world, one foot in the past, one storming somewhere ahead.
It’s a candlelit version of funky soul and jazz – hip-hop for dining, even.
Turn your lounge into the hippest juke joint in town with this album.
As with DJ Shadow, DJ DSL, and only a few others, L’Orange isn’t just a beatmaker – here he’s a storyteller, shaping new yarns with a loving nod to nostalgia.