Release Date 04/09/2021
(Jansen Records) NACC
Do you remember the time the doorman ran after some drunken kids around the lake outside the club? As he dives into the lake, he scrapes his stomach on a sharp object in the water, but catches up and returns with one youth under each arm. At the same time the singer from the band playing inside, jumps from the loft hoping that the chandelier he grabs will hold him. It doesn’t. Endless afterparties and constantly trying to avoid visits from the police or the liquor control. Still nothing?
This was the 90’s club scene in Bergen, and Villa Amorini was the place where everything happened. Starting as an 80’s fine dining spot, it evolved into an extravagant club with tons of artists and DJ’s in screaming shirts and oversized sunglasses.
This sets the scene for Orions Belte’s second album, Villa Amorini, out April 9th via Jansen Records. Still a mix of all the sounds they like -- their blend of underground pop, psych, and world music is a mysterious mix. While reminiscing eras they haven’t experienced, and trying to navigate in their own musical atmosphere, their music remains chaotic and calm at the same time. The trio is back with a new album that explores new creative and aural depths, boasting the energy of a busy downtown sidewalk, with instruments intricately layered to draw you in and leave you wondering where it will lead. They calls it "a homage to an era of loud music, club nights, ugly shirts and long afterparties."
Check out the bouncy new cut "Lotus", a bouncy instrumental cut that can pull in listeners of anything from !!! to Mark Barrott, or ESG to darker corners of the Light In the Attic or Stones Throw catalogs. Check it out on YouTube, and pre-order the album here.
"It is certainly a bit darker and has a different vibe than Mint," Blomstrøm says. "Where the first album sounded like a breezy vacation at a lush resort with palm trees all around, this album might sound more like big city night life and chaotic afterparties."
Villa Amorini is recorded at Norsk Riksstudio by engineer Njål Paulsberg, making sure the sounds were on point while leaving the band alone to play together for hours upon hours, chiseling out the base for the album. The record brings listeners into sonic environments shaped and molded by each member's meshed unique talents.
"We feel like we have a really strong connection between us," Blomstrøm says. "That's why we can write stuff on the fly and record whole songs in one take and use all the parts from all three of us."
The dreamy pedal steel and gliding electric guitar of "Dearest" evoke the feeling of longing that comes when separated from loved ones back home. "Conversations" elevates the melodic accompaniment of breakthrough Norwegian talent Shikoswe, who provides an unforgettable guest appearance.
Through each track of Villa Amorini, Orions Belte create soundscapes that pull you in and draw out emotions in ways that only they know how.
More info on Orions Belte:
There are some places and moments that tie people together forever, whether it be a place, a song or something you can't quite define through words. The origins of Orions Belte stemmed from one of those mystical moments in time, which spawned a lasting creative connection. Øyvind Blomstrøm (guitar) and Chris Holm (bass) first met while playing in a touring band for another Norwegian artist. During that time, they bonded over their love for instrumental music and began talking about trying their hand at it themselves. After their work as touring band ended, they recruited drummer Kim Åge Furuhaug, one of Holm's longtime friend and collaborators, to join their new project.
The three met in Bergen, located along the west coast of Norway, to start working on ideas and demos. Instead, within just a few days, they ended up recording their entire first album, Mint. From there, the universe propelled them forward, resulting in a record deal, their live debut as a band at Norway's biggest pop festival Øyafestivalen and the release of their debut record all happening within the following year. Mint drew international interest and praise from outlets including Atwood Magazine, who called the record "an eclectic fusion of disparate styles and exciting sounds that says what it wants to say through memorable melodies, ambient drones, and a stockpile of wicked guitar riffs."
They quickly followed up Mint with their funk-infused 2019 EP Slim, which features reimagined versions of Ghostface Killah's “Cherchez La Ghost,” Milton Nascimento's "Tudo O Que Você Podia Ser" and an original cut that pays homage to Norwegian beat group The Pussycats and the late Mac Miller.
Amidst the unexpected chaos of 2020, Orions Belte kept the music flowing. They released another EP of inspired and experimental music, once again pushing the boundaries of what "instrumental music" can be. 600m per minute takes its name from an elevator in Tokyo, Japan that can transport 40 people at time at a maximum speed of 600 meters per minute. The supercharged, slightly nervous energy that the invention often evokes is mirrored in the EP's rocking title track, while "Orbit" brings a funky, worldly feel with a rhythm that urges you to move.