Gregg Kowalsky - L'Orange, L'Orange LP
Label: Mexican Summer
What does the sun sound like? L'Orange, L'Orange, Gregg Kowalsky's first solo album in eight years, might have the answer. Its vivid music—sourced from analog synths and mixed on a laptop—arrives in rays of sound that shine skyward. There are many moods in each track, but the overarching aura is one of brightness and optimism. Hence the album title, which nods toward the radiant hue of our life-sustaining star.
"That's the color I started to hear when I mixed these tracks," Kowalsky says. "Mixing when it's sunny out every day affects you." Raised in Miami, Kowalsky now lives in Los Angeles and the luminous ambience of L'Orange, L'Orange reflects the warmth of those coastal cities. Blue skies, sun-baked shores and drifting tides echo throughout the album, from the sparkling ripples of "Tuned to Monochrome," to the rising rhythm of "Pattern Haze," to the sandy layers of "Ritual Del Croix." It's a return to basics for Kowalsky after years spent on complex sound installations. The result is a work whose optimism and brightness actually surprised Kowalsky. "I made a blissful record and that's not usually what I do," he admits. "Just making it was meditative." Listening is a meditative experience too, but the sunshine of L'Orange, L'Orange also demands attention, filled with moments that surprise, confound and provoke. For Gregg Kowalsky, music can be as powerful as the sun and the shiny atmospheres he has created on his new album will both warm your mood and enlighten your brain.