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The Roots of Orchis



San Diego's Roots of Orchis create a gentle, cool wash of instrumental sound by borrowing scraps from rock, jazz, dub, and even classical. It all seems a bit odd out of context, and the group makes the music odder still by employing multiple bass players and percussionists on a few tracks. Keyboards, guitar, and percussion all vie for primacy while the deep warm bass anchors the mix and burbling electronics dress the whole thing up to create a beautiful, complex body of sound. The group makes non-threatening, non-aggressive music that pulls you in slowly and makes you want to stay until the final note.

The Roots of Orchis released a pair of LPs on Slowdance Records. Their first, When the Mosquito Stung the Crocodile ("Contorted Face of Mercury," "Earheart's Atlantic"), was a very bass-heavy affair, seeing the group employ as many as three bassists at a time. Their follow-up, The Red House in Winter ("Harbor"), saw them widen their instrumental breadth and occasionally experiment with heavier electronics and Brazilian rhythms.

The Roots of Orchis then issued a four-song self-titled EP ("Fat, Fluffy, and Furious") in early 2001, on which they displayed a new confidence in their spare, yet very sophisticated instrumental post-rock compositions. They're one of the more interesting and prettier-sounding bands in the genre.

In February 2002 The Roots of Orchis released their most compelling album to date, Some Things Plural. Thanks to the addition of new elements like turntables and IDM-influenced drum programming, not to mention more intricate production, the new album offers more nicely flowing layers while simply grooving more.