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The Killion Floor

Orgone

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Album Review

After the redo of "Funky Nassau" went global with DJs, and scorching a bit in an Adidas commercial, Orgone could have gone the route of successive 12"s, remixes, and compilation cuts, but they take the plunge on this full-length. With 17 tracks totaling over 76 minutes, The Killion Floor is literally packed. Upon initial listening, the various mannerisms Orgone employ on the Memphis soul and grimy Southern funk cuts might seem a tad too reverent; repeated listening will allow the many subtleties to shine through, offering a new hearing of roots material as it swaggers via the grooves here into the 21st century. There also elements of Afro-beat, stretched out Lagos funk, blues, and insane takes on New Orleans second line that would make the Meters proud. Fanny Franklin, who knocked everyone out with her performance on the group's read of "Funky Nassau" (yes, it's included on the album) appears on five cuts here including that one. Her reading of the Casey and Finch soul funk banger "I Get Lifted" is as tough and deep as George McCrae's from 1974. The spacy psychedelic disco-phonic soul the nonet plays behind her is one of its best performances on the set. Another is the way they back her on Isaac Hayes' "Do Your Thing," where the grit of the guitars and low dropline bass pushes that riff into the floor and she just goes down there to get it. The nasty Rhodes piano and the driving hand percussion and drum kit work that power. Orgone's own "A Wot" is taken from its lean and mean intro into something else altogether. It's somewhere in the steamy crossroads where Fela meets Mandrill! The dubby New Orleans funk on "Hambone" pushes the music in both directions while slipping into some Afro-Cuban grooves along the way. "Dialed Up," featuring Noelle Scaggs on vocals, wears its pump-up-the-disco pedigree loud and proud. The guitar work by Sergio Rios is snaky; the hand drums by Stewart Killen and the rubbery, in-the-pocket bassline by Dale Jennings are irresistible — especially when woven through the expanded horn section's chart and Dan Hastie's harpsichord-like keyboard work. These elements take the cut over the top and out of the kitschy nostalgia, moving this stepper into the future world of danceland. The Lagos-styled funk of "The Justice League" pits Orgone against C.P.K. and features Todd M. Simon's loping solo on flugelhorn. The bottom line is that there are so many fine cuts here that despite the length of this platter, it goes by too quickly. 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. This is an auspicious debut. There's plenty of room for remixology by DJs who understand the various threads this music has woven together and created something of their own with. This is not pastiche, not some cut-and-paste appropriation playground. These cats are composers, arrangers, and mighty players in their own right; when assembled together as a unit, Orgone may be unbeatable and the evidence is right on The Killion Floor.

Biography

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s, '10s

With a lively, evocative set of covers and original material, Los Angeles-based ensemble Orgone brought new attention to the funk revivalist and jam band circuits when they launched their recording career with Ubiquity Records in the mid- to late 2000s. Orgone's sound hosts a myriad of groove-oriented styles, including but not limited to deep funk, '60s Memphis soul/blues, Fela-inspired Afro-beat, hip-hop, Latin jazz, and electronic dance and house. Many of the band's musicians started playing together...
Full bio
The Killion Floor, Orgone
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