Melbourne artist Orches has pretty much came out of nowhere and onto out radar this year with his track Denial. The track which boasts smooth indietronic sounds of a pissed off youth exposed to the world for the first time is fast becoming one of my most played songs of 2015. Ahead of his debut headliner show on the 21st November at Revolver in Melbourne, the busy local producer gave us a little time to have a little Q&A about influences, ideologies and when he’ll ‘know that he’s made the big time’.
It’s like Orchestra minus the ‘tra‘. There is no elaborate story behind the name, I came up with it whilst I was making tracks on an ironing board (as a desk) back in 2008. Everyone has their own interpretations though, Denial has had some love from the French lately (via Soundcloud), I think they are pronouncing my name as Orché. I’m not fussed, I get a laugh out of it and everything sounds better with a french accent 😉
What makes up your past musical experiences?
I studied piano at University, that’s where I got heavy into production. I moved to London for a brief stint where I played a lot of guitar and then finally moved to Melbourne, where I’ve been working really hard on my sound ever since. I have played keys for a bunch of band’s, but nothing ever stuck, resulting in the old cliche: ‘if you want something done, do it yourself’.
You’re trained as a jazz pianist, how did you make the leap from jazz piano to politically charged electronica?
Jazz is a pretty broad term. I was (and still am) heavily into a lot of the Chic Corea, Herbie Hancock and 1970’s groove stuff, where it was all very synth based. You hear those classic synth sounds everywhere; in current RnB, dance and rock music. Whilst overseas, I saw Dimlite play with Hudson Mohawk and it seriously changed the game for me. Onstage, Dimlite improvises with a computer and a keyboard. His sound blew me away. The gig gave me the drive to combine my influences and focus my writing into making electronic music.
Denial is a track filled with heavy-handed political commentary. Talk us through the message and ideologies that you wanted to express with the track?
The politics thing was pretty much aimed at our past leader… what’s his name again? On a serious note, I have found that I have personally turned my back on some issues that have developed over the past few years. Denial is about personal ignorance, waking up and finding the importance in current issues affecting everyone, and then realising the irony in our leaders turning their back on the very same issues as well. Interesting times we live in…
When you’re working on a track how does the process go about? Does it start with a beat and lyrical idea and then progress from there?
There is never one method, I’ve found lately that melodies come first. With Denial, I found the bass sound and immediately came up with the vocal melody. I beatboxed the drum part into Ableton and matched the parts up with drum samples; something I do all the time now. The demo on my phone sounds very similar to the finished track.
How would you describe the tone of your EP?
A lot more rock driven than previous released tracks.
When you were deciding what to include on the EP, were you looking for a certain sound or theme to the tracks you’ve included?
I went with my gut instinct, there is no particular theme or narrative to the EP, although I wanted my sound to be bigger or phatter, that was the brief I gave myself.
Nic Lam (DX Heavan) and Fraser Montgomery @ The Aviary helped me get these tunes to that level in the final stages. Their ears and out board gear were the icing on the cake for this EP. A big thumbs up to those guys!
You’ll be playing at Revolver for an EP launch party, are you ready for it? Any nerves about it?
Ready? Yes. Nervous? Yes – nerves are good. There are some great bands on the line up, a ‘party’ is a very accurate description for what will happen on the 21st!
What can we expect from an Orches live show?
I’ll be bringing my A GAME, that’s for sure. Expect some jams, some new tunes and possibly a cover. It’ll be myself on vocals with some synths thrown in.
I’ve seen on Facebook that you’ve got a launchpad as part of your live set up. I love me a launchpad. What else makes up your live set up?
The MicroKorg is a mini monster! He gets a good work out, as will Ableton Live, some vocal effects and a Nord synth will be thrown into the mix as well.
Do you have any plans on shows outside Melbourne in the not so distant future?
I am super keen to get out and play these tunes more. Once Santa Claus pisses off I’ll be heading interstate. Watch this space…
What’s you’re earliest musical memory?
Elvis Presley. John Farnham’s ‘Take The Pressure Down’. Dad teaching me the blues on the piano.
The sound of your youth is…?
SoundGarden and Herbie Hancock. Weird…
How will you know when you’ve made the big time?
When I do a support gig for Herbie Hancock and SoundGarden – pppfffttt!