L'Orange pour moi a quelque chose de spécial que j’affectionne énormément. Bon il faut avouer qu'il réalise exactement ce que j'aime, il dresse un univers de Jazz noir empli de vieux extrais de cinéma et c'est très maîtrisé. Vous allez me dire que je ne suis là que pour en dire du bien, et c'est pas faux ... L'album est très linéaire, raconte une histoire et on sent que L'Orange est quelqu'un qui sait faire plaisir aux oreilles.
“All art is magic,” Raymond Chandler once wrote. But not all magic is art. Sometimes, it’s a matter of trite card tricks, petty illusions, and fast twitch graft. But when the legerdemain of the unreal combines with the tangible and heartfelt, it can lift a veil that allows you to see the esoteric beauty and profound mystery of life.
This amalgam of art and magic looms at the spiritual core of L’Orange’s The Ordinary Man—a record vaguely reminiscent of RJD2’s Deadringer if it actually contained the power to reanimate the dead. It asserts L’Orange in a league with instrumental hip-hop legends like the aforementioned Ohio great, DJ Shadow, Wax Tailor, Blockhead, and the Avalanches. Yet it’s a singularly necromantic work that could only come from the Nashville-by-way-of-North Carolina producer.
On his third album, L’Orange builds upon his previous catalogue’s cinematic film noir and cabaret jazz fixations, but adds a thematic focus, whimsy, and feverish urgency. It arrives after a tumultuous two-year saga in which a series of tumors grew in L’Orange’s right ear, which eventually led to almost total deafness on that side. Surgeries left him off-balance and dizzy. A natural fear gripped him, causing self-doubt about whether he’d regain the totality of his gift. But as it does quite often, turmoil spurred the producer to create his most poignant body of work.
Released on Mello Music Group, The Ordinary Man chronicles the narrative of a magician who discovered late in life that his peers weren’t actually pulling rabbits from hats. Crestfallen and disillusioned, he digs deeper to push his own show into uncharted territory, demonstrating ostensibly impossible feats for crowds too terrified to ask for the reveal.
As the audience gradually realizes that his practice of the dark arts isn’t fraudulent, people from all around the world flock to him. Unfortunately, this loyalty to what he was rather than what he did becomes patronizing and dull—engendering a bitterness and disenchantment that leads him to finally disappear in front of millions of stunned onlookers.
Following L’Orange’s previous full-length opuses with Kool Keith, Mr. Lif and Jeremiah Jae, this show finds a cast of guest stars that includes Del the Funkee Homosapien, Blu, Elzhi, The Koreatown Oddity, and Chuwee. The solo sorcery amounts to a work of orphic shadowy power. Interstitial clips describe the magician’s large bulging eyes, high domed forehead and thin slit of a mouth; houses that have seen too many strange happenings, messages trickling through from other dimensions, grotesque monsters with five legs and six years. Samples are chopped like friendly spirits, blending and elegantly haunting the guest rappers.
Behind the boards, L’Orange shows a master’s precision, playing with pace and tempo, telling a fully- fleshed out narrative with few words. This is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice but far more soulful. If Harry Houdini was a hip-hop head this is what he’d bump. It’s mournful blues with pianos that sparkle like a Tiffany Lamp—smooth as a pickpocket stealing a wallet.
Tune in for archaic old-time glamour interspersed with insight into the timeless oracular mystery at the center of our existence. You spy bizarre astrological charts and hear acts of levitation. This is the Aleister Crowley material: stuff that defies explanation, what Ripley went looking for. Harry Potter meeting the hellhound on your trail. Nothing ordinary about it.
released October 27, 2017
All Songs Produced by L’Orange
Mixed by Seiji Inouye
Mastered by Joe Hutchinson
Additional Instrumentation & Upright Bass by Paul Defiglia
Scratches by DJ Noumenon
Art by Jonathan Guggenheim
Graphic Design by Austin Hart
Additional Art by Drew Tetz
Executive Produced by Michael Tolle
Special Thanks to Leah Lawson, John Moore, Jeremy Scott, Chris Atkinson, Barrett Share, Domino, Michael Tolle, Karin Cox, Rachel Cox, Keith Cox, Bob Hartsook, Mark Cox, Zach Kashkett, Alex Thompson, Jason DeMarco, Jonathan Guggenheim, Drew Tetz, Seiji Inouye, Joe Hutchinson, Jansen Gibson, Mic Fox & Paul Defiglia
supported by 108 fans who also own “The Ordinary Man”
Mike Eagle is by far one of the most creative hip hop artists working today in terms of his rapping style, poetry, and instrumental backing. He's not only one of the best doing it, but with Brick Body Kids Still Daydream, he feels necessary. steverie
supported by 92 fans who also own “The Ordinary Man”
Production, Lyrics, just quality music. The whole album is fire, hard to just try and choose one track. Can't thank Oddisee and the Good Company band enough, seen them live in Germany and DC, even better live. The Good Company band alone puts on a show. rfloresnet