Back in the ’30s, German scientist Wilhelm Reich proposed the existence of orgone, a biophysical life force that he postulated was at the root of sexual energy and later conceived as a subliminal living essence connecting everything in the universe.
That explanation makes a perfect case for a quintet of talented Los Angeles musicians to have christened their highly charged and deeply grooved Funk outfit after Wilhelm’s fringe theory. Orgone sprang up over a decade ago around the concept of respecting the Funk traditions of Booker T. & the MGs, Funkadelic, The Meters, Mandrill and other genre giants while simultaneously updating their sounds with a contemporary edge.
Over the course of the past 10 years and four albums — the latest being 2010’s Cali Fever — Orgone has expanded on the sonic nexus of L.A. cool, New Orleans fuel, Afrobeat school and Funk rule to create a musical hybrid that tributes Funk’s illustrious history while shoving it headlong into the 21st century with a gloriously infectious energy.
Along their wildly diverse timeline, Orgone has opened for the likes of Snoop Dogg, Ozomatli, The Roots, Galactic, Al Green and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, toured with Booker T. Jones, The Pharcyde, Macy Gray and Too Short, sessioned with Cee Lo Green, Alicia Keys and Anthony Hamilton, and been festival billed at Bonnaroo, SXSW, moedown, Mountain Jam and the New Orleans JazzFest, among many others.
As we learned from James Blood Ulmer, Jazz is the teacher, Funk is the preacher. Everybody say amen for Orgone.
ORGONE performs Friday, July 27 at Fountain Square's MidPoint Indie Summer Series with The Cliftones and Eclipse. Check out performance times and get venue details here.