Gregg Kowalsky has shared a second track from his glistening new record, ‘L’Orange, L’Orange’, which is due for release on November 10th via Mexican Summer
Since moving to LA three years ago, Gregg Kowalsky has been mixing and editing analog synth sounds to create this evocative new album. It wasn’t always easy: the unfamiliarity of a new city, plus the fact that Kowalsky hadn’t made a solo album since 2009’s ‘Tape Chants’ (Kranky Records), made it tough to get back into a groove. So he spent some time at a friend’s house in the beachside city of Malibu.
As he sculpted tracks there, one emerged that captured the experience of his visit;
“Maliblue Dream Sequence.”
“It’s probably the most important track on the record for me,” says Kowalsky. “It emotionally sums up my headspace for that entire three-year period. Things were difficult and that time was dark, so that's what I needed. Just making it was meditative.”
Listening to “Maliblue Dream Sequence” is meditative, too - it’s calm, devout aura feels like a kind of sonic therapy; there’s a sense that the right sounds can lift dark clouds and let the sun shine through.
What does the sun sound like? ‘L’Orange, L’Orange’ 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.”
“I didn't want to just make an ambient record where every song fades in and out,” explains Kowalsky. “This song opens with pure bliss, and you're in it, and time goes away. You’re wondering, ‘Am I thirty seconds in or 10 minutes in?’ Then it just cuts out. That edit is me saying, ‘Hi, I'm here again. Remember?’”
It’s a fascinating way to jolt listeners out of comfort zones, but there’s more to the track than the sudden reminder of its creator’s hand. Kowalsky’s ending encourages you to play the song over and over, to revisit the intoxicating atmosphere that’s still ringing in your head after silence steals the scene. Repeat listens reveal new layers in “L'Ambience, L'Orange”, an homage to the life-sustaining sun that packs a universe of sound into just a few minutes.
Kowalsky knows sunny days. He was raised in Miami, and has lived in Los Angeles for the past three years. The warm atmospheres of those shining coastal cities infuse the luminous ambience of ‘L’Orange, L’Orange’.
“After I had worked on this album for a while, I realized the music sounds like those places to me,” Kowalsky explains. “This record is basically about my connection to Florida and California – even the song titles reflect that.”
Don’t mistake the warmth for being placid, though. Kowalsky has no interest in creating background music, and there are moments throughout ‘L’Orange, L’Orange’ that surprise, confound, and provoke. The sunshine of ‘L’Orange, L’Orange’ isn’t just about brightness and bliss. It’s also about engrossing your mind – creating an omnipresence not unlike that shiny orange orb whose ubiquity defines our days and whose absence fills our nights. For Gregg Kowalsky, music can have that same kind of overpowering effect. The sounds of ‘L’Orange, L’Orange’ can calm your nerves, warm your mood, and maybe even enlighten your mind.
B I Z Z A R R E
Gregg Kowalsky - Maliblue Dream Sequence
01. L’Ambience, L’Orange
02. Maliblue Dream Sequence
03. Tuned to Monochrome
04. Tonal Bath for Bubbles
05. Pattern Haze
06. Ritual Del Croix
07. Blind Contour Drawing for Piano