The Beatles and Elvis Presley used to battle it out for singles’ charts supremecy. The Rockers and the Mods rivalries were sometimes bloody. Disco once even brutalized everyone with an ornamental wrecking ball and an incessant beat. The latest clash, Orgone vs. Monphonics, takes place in the Crystal Bay Casino, where the respective bands are featured in what is promoters call a “heavyweight co-bill.”
The show could last four hours, including a 30-minute battle royal with both bands onstage.
The Friday, May 2 Crown Room show starts at 9 p.m. Each band shares a penchant for funky grooves and danceable jams.
Here’s a look at them:
It started with a boardwalk, a bar, and two kids united by a passion for raw soul recordings.
For over a decade, Orgone has been steaming up stages all over the country and drenching the biggest music festivals in sweat. Now, the band is back in its home-grown studio KillionSound crafting and recording its seventh full-length album featuring their new powerhouse singer Adryon de León. Orgone’s sound is a cold-blooded blend of deep soul, rare funk, and afro-disco with a raw rock star edge that is uniquely LA. Shifting effortlessly from slyly slinky to seismically cinematic, the music remains tough and uncluttered. For their heart-pounding live performances and classic, gritty recordings, Orgone has been called by Dusty Groove America, “One of the heaviest acts we’ve heard in years.”
Orgone is a synergy of eight musicians, at the core of which are keyboardist Dan Hastie and guitarist Sergio Rios who have been chiseling their distinctively timeless sound since their teens. “The present state of this band reflects the honesty and authenticity that we’ve always strived for in our music,” says Rios, “We’ve really hit a sweet spot in our dynamic.” Each band member shines in his own right, but together their chemistry results in a sweeping sound more tenacious than the sum of its considerable parts. Members of Orgone have collaborated/ performed with the Roots, Al Green, Gil Scott-Heron, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Breakestra, Thievery Corporation, and the Monophonics. Known for being air-tight in the studio, Orgone has been the backing band on numerous major label releases, most notably, Alicia Keys’ “As I Am” album and Cee Lo Green’s multiple Grammy Award-winning track “Fool for You.”
Bringing fresh blood to the band is Adryon de León, a lightning rod whose bold, graceful vocals elevate the music to intoxicating new levels. This joining of forces was at once kismet and inevitable, according to de León: “Professionally, musically, spiritually, all paths led me to Orgone.” In 2014, Orgone continues to be a strong touring presence while tantalizing crowds with tastes of new material from their upcoming album, slated for release in the Fall of this year. Now and always, Orgone delivers dirty, organic soul with heart; music that grabs you by the collar, pulls you to your feet, and shoves you onto the dance floor.
As a mainstay of Bay Area venues such as The Independent, Great American Music Hall & Sweetwater Music Hall, Monophonics have created a national buzz and fervent worldwide following. The last two years Monophonics has played over 250 shows in eight different countries, sharing the stages with music legends like Al Green, Quincy Jones, Rodriguez, Dennis Coffee, and Crosby Stills & Nash. The band has also played some incredible shows with top funk and soul acts like Galactic, Syl Johnson, Dumpstaphunk, the New Mastersounds and Soulive. Their touring schedule has brought their rowdy, hard-hitting, energetic live set to over 40 States from Hawaii to Motown, Brooklyn and down to NOLA and gained them a reputation as one of the best new live touring acts. In the past couple years the band has also performed at some of the major music festivals around the world including Wakarusa Music Fest, Wannee Music Fest, Portland Waterfront Blues Fest, Rochester Jazz Fest, Telluride Blues and Brews, Bospop Festival, Rockwave Festival, The legendary Montreux Jazz Fest and both International Jazz Fests in Victoria and Vancouver.
Besides given major kudos for their live energy and stage show the sound of their new record has gotten them a lot of attention. Produced and recorded by Finnigan & McDonald and recorded on an old Tascam eight-track 1/4”tape machine at The Soul Barracks in San Francisco. The LP drips with warm tones, a gritty rawness in performance and spontaneous songwriting rarely found since the golden days of FAME and Stax Records. The vibe, production and overall tone of the record has gotten compared to the best products by Daptone Studios in NY and Killion Sound in LA. This is the Monophonics sound and it is a welcomed by soul, funk and lo-fi heads worldwide.
In 2012 Monophonics followed up their highly regarded 45/single “Like Yesterday” off Colemine Records with their third and best record to date entitled “In Your Brain” off the well known rare groove imprint Ubiquity Records. The critically acclaimed record is considered one of the best soul and funk releases of 2012 even gaining them a radio hit in Greece with their cover of Sonny Bono’s “Bang Bang”. The full length has the vibe and the sound of the late 60’s/early 70’s. The sound of Dark psych soul, heavy funk,top-notch songwriting, analog tones and renowned production is a sonic testimony to the evolution of this six-piece unit.
Looking ahead at the future, the band is planning to release a string of singles throughout 2014 which will lead up to another full length LP.
Orgone vs. Monophonics
When: 9 p.m. Friday, May 2; doors open at 8
Where: Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room
Tickets: $20 in advance or $23 on the day of the show
Purchase: www.crystalbaycasino.com, 775-833-6333 or at the cashier cage