The Roots of Orchis: post-rock, downtempo, and a bit of turntablism
December 27, 2013 2:33 PM   Subscribe

The Roots of Orchis (Facebook page) don't seem to be active much these days, but sometimes it's nice to look back. Their peak was probably their 2002 album, Some Things Plural (Bandcamp), which blends the mellow post-rock styles of Tortoise with the downtempo, instrumental hip-hop grooves of early era DJ Shadow. For example, the first track "develops into a smooth post-rocking instrumental with a dusty groove that never imagines itself any more pimped out than it is." For another fantastic blend of relaxed instruments and subtle turntablism, check out their take on Björk's Possibly Maybe, from the Read: Interpreting Björk compilation.

The band formed in 1997, and since then have released five full-length albums and an EP, all of which they've put on Bandcamp, along with a few live recordings and individual tracks from various compilations.

Members of The Roots of Orchis have also been (or still are) part of the following bands: Eyes (Bandcamp), Corsic (Bandcamp), Planes of Satori (Facebook; two demos on Soundcloud), and the raucous Golden Void (signed to Thrill Jockey; Facebook).
posted by filthy light thief (5 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I miss Pop Bjork...
posted by Artw at 2:38 PM on December 27, 2013

Awesome post. I was friends with one of the guys in this band. Glad to see them still getting some recognition.
posted by deadbilly at 3:44 PM on December 27, 2013

Thanks, I'm enjoying this music. Reminds me a little of the stuff Danger Mouse did when he was still in school under the name Pelican City.
posted by evilDoug at 7:36 PM on December 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

deadbilly, I've seen them a few times, and I loved their sound. I stopped following them, but their name comes to mind every so often, especially their cover of Bjork. I'm sad they're not together, but I'm happy they're still making music.

evilDoug, good call on Pelican City. Another band whose name I've forgotten for a while.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:05 PM on December 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

At first, I didn't really find anything that really turned struck a chord. I went through and skimmed most of the releases. For the most part, it's fine and well done for what it is. Initially they seemed to be a jazzy post-rock band and then fell really hard for trip-hop. The problem with trip-hop, for me, is most of an artist's back catalog usually sounds very circa of whenever it was recorded. Often, there is a fad in production values and most trip-hop acts seem to follow them. It's kind of what I noticed here. The "empty lands ahead and behind" was not so mired in that, but it's still there.

Then I came to the single release "untitled number four". With its mostly organic sounding production and selection of more eclectic instruments, it has a more timeless sound. I think the recording to dual four-tracks cassettes made a difference as well. For me that's not only their catalog's outstanding track, but an absolutely outstanding track in general.

Music is an incredibly subjective medium. While it's nice to find that "killer" album with perfect collection of tracks front-to-back, it can be equally worthwhile to sift through a catalog to find a perfect track. Thanks for turning me on to this one.
posted by bionic.junkie at 9:02 PM on December 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

« Older This is Harry.   |   Knitting Peace on Earth; Good Wool Towards Men Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments