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Orgöne - Chimera (3Palm)

5 February 2024

One of this country’s most under-appreciated strains of underground music takes the psychedelic soul of the early seventies, the Afrobeat of the seventies and eighties, and the dancefloor funk of, well, any decade, and strains it into a hard-grooving, hook-bearing river of booty-shaking, soul-soothing magnificence. Hailing from Los Angeles, Orgöne do it as well as anyone. On their latest album Chimera, guitarist Sergio Rios, keyboardist Dan Hastie, bassist Dale Jennings, and drummer Sam Halterman lay it down with the assurance of musicians for whom this music is a part of their very bones. That allows them to set up perfectly acid-tapped, funky backdrops for a trio of guest vocalists. Jamie Allensworth blasts tough defiance on the War-like “Running Low,” while Terin Ector slays Southern soul for the blunt “Lies and Games.” Congolese singer/songwriter Mermans “Mofaya” Mosengo adds pleas for peace and unity in the Lingua language for two overtly African-influenced numbers, the jaunty “Zum Zum” and the relentless “Tula Muisi (Dance Like Them).” Those pieces alone make Chimera worth hearing, but let’s not forget the band’s own instrumental gems, from the guttural funk of “The Husk” to the shimmering psych of “Hallowed Dreams” and the New Orleans bounce of “Parasols.” Clever, imaginative, and just plain fun, Chimera gets the feet moving and the synapses firing at the same time.

You can also hear Orgöne as the live backing band for neo-disco sensations Say She She.