The origins of ORKA date back more than a decade, when the band began crafting their own handmade instruments out of agricultural tools on a small farm in the Faroe Islands. But make no mistake, this is not rural music as you might imagine it.
From those humble beginnings, ORKA have created a bold and daring electronic sound that has earned them fans around the world. Following on from 2014’s Leipzig album, which took their sound more downbeat, new LP Vað – out on June 10th – ups the pace again.
Written in London and New York by project mainstay Jens L. Thomsen and former Dälek member Oktopus, two tracks so far released from the new record – Dimmalætting and Grind – see the ORKA sound twisted into hardened, cathartic techno.
Still based on those homemade instruments, the sounds are largely broken up into samples. The music remains distinctively ORKA, while ushering in an exciting new twist in their sound. “I think that after several albums and tours I felt the need to make a record which had fewer elements which I could focus on and explore,” says Thomsen. “On Grind all sounds are either found sounds or samples from instruments I built myself.
Other tracks like Dimmalætting have synthesisers, but we have used them sparingly on the album.” “Vað has been all about getting to the core of an idea or tune and stripping it down to its essentials,” he continues. “A few tracks on this album are made up from three parts only. Also only five people have worked on the material, compared to the seemingly endless credits list on ORKA’s last album Leipzig.”
“We wanted to avoid overproducing and rather stay true to the roughness and immediacy of the core ideas. This approach has given it an almost neanderthal sense of texture and pace.” As well as Thomsen and Oktopus, additional production work was provided by UK bass duo LV and the album was mastered by Matt Colton.
ORKA is a Faroese act based in London. When ORKA started they began with building their own instruments out of agricultural tools on a small farm on the Faroe Islands.
ORKA has since then played venues and festivals all over the world and done collaborations with a number of prominent acts including LV (Hyperdub, Keysound), Yann Tiersen, and Ólafur Björn Ólafsson (Sigur Rós). Now ORKA is ready with their 4th full-length album LEIPZIG.
The bulk of the album was recorded at UT Connewitz; a spectacular and worn down pre-war cinema in the heart of Leipzig, Germany, together with Oktopus (Dälek), Ólavur Jákupsson, and HOGNI.
Other recordings were done on tour in Paris, New York, a small church in Sibrandahûs, Netherlands, a boat in Hong Kong and a train terminal in Bombay. The album was then finalised and patched together in ORKA's and co-producers LV's London studios, and it features vocals by Greta Svabo Bech (Deadmau5) and Teitur among others.
On LEIPZIG ORKA's trademark custom instruments and dark sound are fused with sedated resounds from UK Bass and LA Beat topped with icy North Atlantic vocals. ORKA call it Club Gaze.
If compared to other artists, you could say that the album sounds like J Dilla's Donuts if it was produced by Burial, with the Nordic melodic sensibility of Sigur Rós, and performed by Faust."
Tracklisting: 1. Olav 2. Leipzig XVIII - Tower Of London 3. Leipzig I A - Open Skylines 4. Leipzig I B - Without 5. Leipzig II - Blow 6. Paris I - Silence 7. Leipzig III - We Have Fallen Into Each Other 8. The End 9. Black Ice Age 10. Leipzig XIX - Slider 11. Leipzig XV - Strandadreingir 12. Leipzig IX - Grand Prix 13. Leipzig VII - Sing 14. Sibrandahûs VIII 15. Sibrandahûs I - My People Is Kept In A Zoo 16. Leipzig VI A - Glass 17. Leipzig VI B - Grain Of Sand