Orions Belte is one of those bands that never perfectly fit inside any genre box. Instead, they straddle the lines of blues, Krautrock, and lo-fi psychedelic music. A couple of years back, I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with them about their debut record Mint for a radio session. Now, they’re back with a new record, Villa Amorini, out today via Jansen Records. I asked the band to dig through their favorite instrumental tracks for this Light-in-the-Attic-style weekend playlist. Check it out.
—Keenan Kush, Talkhouse Director of Operations
Dorothy Ashby — “Life Has Its Trails”
This tune from the album Afro-Harping has it all. Ashby is an amazing jazz harpist who made a lot of great records, with the ones from Cadet Records with Richard Evans as arranger and conductor of the orchestra.
Alice Coltrane — “Galaxy In Turiya”
World Galaxy from 1971 is a fantastic album by Alice Coltrane. She’s playing several instruments and the band is fantastic with Ben Riley and Reggie Workman on drums and double bass. The song has a floating vibe to it, with the band playing quite freely. But then the whole orchestra kicks in with these amazing unison lines which shows Coltrane’s strengths as a composer.
Alessandro Alessandroni — “Love on the Sand”
Might be our favorite instrumental. The king of soundtracks and library music, a crucial instrumentalist on many of Morricone’s soundtracks playing the twang guitars and whistling those evergreen lines in many of the legendary westerns. A Trip Around the World from 1973 is a masterpiece, written and arranged by Alessandroni.
Electric Eye — “Rock på Norska”
Great, monumental instrumental from Norwegian psych rockers Electric Eye. This band has been around for some years and keeps on getting better and better. On this track you’ll get beautiful dual guitars, fuzzy bass tones, and lots of swirling organs.
The Electric Prunes — “General Confessional”
Although labeled as an Electric Prunes album, it is basically a David Axelrod album where he composed and arranged most of the music. As on many other albums by bands and artists in the late ’60s, The Wrecking Crew of LA was used as a band. On this track, we can hear the stellar drumming of the man that invented rock, Earl Palmer.
Mary Halvorson & John Dieterich — “Vega’s Array”
Halvorson is a really exciting guitar player which breaks down all boundaries of regular genres and what people might think of as jazz. Although she has done a lot of noisy stuff, this duo album with Dieterich from Deerhoof is really nice with a conversational quality between them. Highly recommended.
Real Ones — “Speiderkniven”
One of the realest bands from Bergen, our place of birth. It seems like Real Ones has always been here, with their own vibe (and lots of it). They are super-inspiring in the way that they always thrive to do different projects and working with lots of different people. This song is from the beautiful album Ekko (instrumental opus 1).
Sir Victor Uwaifo — “Talking Instruments – Ekassa 8”
The guitar legend and scholar Uwaifo has to be on this list. The creator of different sounds like the Akwete, Shadow, and Ekassa continues to be a huge inspiration and has all the coolest sounds and beats.
Ryuichi Sakamoto — “Riot in Lagos”
Ryuichi Nakamoto from Yellow Magic Orchestra recorded this song in the early ’80s. Early dance music inspired by afro grooves. This song has some of the best sounds there is. Minimalist and synthetic.
Lloyd Green — “Green Velvet”
One of the greatest to ever play the pedal steel guitar. Lloyd Green has played on too many records to mention and has recently gone through major heart surgery. We thought it would be nice to give him a nod with this ballad showcasing his amazing tone and feel. A lot of the Nashville sidemen have recorded tons of solo albums through the years, but a lot of the deep cuts from the ’60s aren’t available on the streaming services except on a few compilations here and there. This is a great example of Green’s impeccable style and feel.
(Photo Credit: Nikolai Grasaasen)