Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Goodbye Orange Sunshine, Hello Santa Cruz

Orange Sunshine is the most famous Fuzz band from The Hague, Holland. This trio has performed their last show at the Gods Of Groove fest last saturday. Yeah, that's right, Orange Sunshine will stop existing. But don't be sad. Some members will continue in the new band Santa Cruz. Check out their MySpace page and listen to their tunes and order their one track album.
Now back to Orange Sunshine. This band made four full-lenght albums and they're all awesome. This is their second album called Love=Acid Space=Hell and it is full of great Fuzz/60's/70's/Garage/Hard Rock songs. The major influence of Orange Sunshine is Blue Cheer. Orange Sunshine is absolutely blessed with the best guitar player of the The Hague agglomeration. Their shows where always great and loud! Enjoy!

Orange Sunshine: catching the very soul of the motor-blues garage-punk and acid proto-hardrock era of the late '60's and the early 70's? With band members derived from several Dutch '80's and '90's hardcore, garage-, doom-, acid-, surf-, noise-, punk- and hard-rock bands (such as Top
Gear, Panty Boy, Twin Earth, the White Trash Minstrels and Sunwheel from the metro area
of The Hague/Den Haag and Cromlech from Arnhem, check out www.motorwolf.nl for more information), Orange Sunshine started in a squat in The Hague early 1999 as a traditional 3-piece power blues band playing a mix of blues covers and originals in a very explosive way, in the very same intense way and with the very same raw sound and the very same high volume as the much inspiring power blues bands BLUE CHEER, MC5 and STACKWADDY once did in the late '60's, rendering, or should we say screaming out, the same pain, the same drugs (LSD, amphetamines, opiates), the same tension and the same soul.

Many shows followed, in many squats and bars, parties and youth centres, regular venues and main concert halls, in the Netherlands and abroad, a first record was expected and so we plunged into our own analogue recording studio in the squat where we also lived and rehearsed.

We always worshipped the music and the sound of BLUE CHEER's first 2 albums and to make sure we got as close as possible to their organic energy and exhilarating dynamics, we decided to do the recording ourselves, using authentic valve amplifiers and cabinets (Fender bassman, ampeg SVT), drums (Rogers), effects (a.o. spring reverb, tape echo, Electric Mistress flanger, Big Muff and Avora fuzz), an old 1" tape recorder and an old mixing console, and authentic recording techniques i.e. recording the space around us, instead of the modern-day close-micing with tons of compressors, gates and digital multi-effects. When the volume is so up, that the air turns into french cheese, you better register that french cheese instead of all the separate instruments that are used. The source has to be pure, but it's the flow that one records! Thus 'Homo Erectus' was produced and released on our own record label Motorwolf records by the end of the year 2001.
A sincere tribute to the sheer ritual drug that is the early music of BLUE CHEER and with the self-made 3D sleeve (a photograph of a gospel preaching freak messiah and his guitar God apostles on a German second-world-war tank) and the enclosed self-made Gibson- flying-V-shaped 3D glasses the record (limited to 500 vinyl copies) was sold out in half a year, you bet how eagerly all these record collectioneurs wanted to buy our bullshit story of the excavated acetate from an obscure '60's group. 2002 saw new opportunities for the band with a new bass player (Mischa Poppe) and a first small eastcoast/mid-west US tour. Very soon our sound and music began to evolve with the new band member and our new SUNN amplification (the ultimate howlin' and growlin' tube machines!), developing more into the black roots of rock'n'roll and rhythm'n'blues of CHUCK BERRY, BO DIDLEY and HENDRIX (the music we listened to as kids), while at the same time growing more into the CREAM-like pop song structures of the psychedelic '60's, but without losing the heavy rock aggression and wildness of our original set-up. Therefore we wanted another recording style for our second album release 'Love = Acid, Space = Hell' (recorded in our Motorwolf studio and released on Motorwolf records in 2003), more sort of like a 'professional' studio recording from around 1970 (perhaps even just as the old ROLLING STONES sounded on their records at the time), with all the limitations of that era (no computers, only an 8-track tape recorder, old-school condenser microphones, no digital mastering), resulting in a very warm sound, yet with a much more 'produced' production than 'Homo Erectus'. The hilarious 8-minutes drum solo (probably the first on a record in more than 25 years) and the over-the-top space-echo-laden and reverse-tape-recorded guitars and drums in our version of BO DIDLEY's 'hey mama, keep your big mouth shut' certainly add to the distinct and long gone psych/progrock feel of the record. A second small eastcoast US tour was done in december 2003 and very soon our fresh release, which had far better distribution now, was well received throughout the world. And while we are currently working on a lot of completely new material, a small German tour has been done around christmas 2004, a 7" is released on Germany's Swamp Room records at the same time (feat. a re-interpretation of the FUZZTONES' song 'Black-out') and our debut album 'Homo Erectus' is rereleased (with 2 previously unreleased bonus tracks) on cd by Holland's Clear Spot/Headspin records and on vinyl and cd by Japan's Leaf Hound records in the beginning of 2005. 2005 started great with holland's prominent 'roadburn' festival, but just before the 'stoned for the underground' festival in erfurt, germany, our bass player Mischa had to quit the band due to serious ear damage! Our friend Antal Buisman from the Zippies helped us out on bass for a few shows in the summer and autumn of 2005, but we're finally back with a new bassplayer: Mehdi Rouchiche, former guitar player of The Hague's old-school HC sensation Shorttime and graphic designer of Godspill, and we're closer to the old BLUE CHEER sound than ever before! However, we will still record an new album with Mischa Poppe and perform his last Orange Sunshine shows in Japan in 2006. Further plans for 2006 are a french/italian/swiss/german tour, 'Black-out' on the coming 'The Hague Motor Rock Vol.2' compilation by Motorwolf and the final release of the never released album 'Ruler of the Universe' (on vinyl by Motorwolf and on cd by Leaf Hound records), named after the 15-minutes long epic space psych track from Terry Brooke's Strange that we cover on the A-side (including sitar, tablas, crazy sectarian-cult-choir-like vocals and lots of endless manic soloing with a self-oscillating echo device). This album was produced while we recorded for the 'Homo Erectus' LP (with our former bass player Thomas van Slooten, who is now taking care of all the coming album artwork), during our 'psychedelic freak-out' sessions. And excessive heavy acid fuzz madness it is! Definitely the wildest, craziest and most extreme stuff we have ever done, of which one track ('Balls knocking') was previously released in early 2002 on the first volume of Motorwolf's 'The Hague Motor Rock', a compilation of 25 heavy garage-/surf-/punk-/ acid-/doom-/hard-rock bands from our metro area.
A fourth LP (as said before with Mischa Poppe) is also planned with a further development of our music, expanding into the styles of the early '70's, with subtle elements of black soul, gospel and funk (FUNKADELIC, SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE, CURTIS KNIGHT, GRAND FUNK), jazz (i.e. boogie, GEORGE BRIGMAN's style of melodic soloing), proto-doom hardrock (RANDY HOLDEN's POPULATION II) and even some techniques from Latin-American progrock groups (LOS DUG-DUG'S from Mexico, PAPPO'S BLUES from Argentina). Will we stick to our original principles or will we fall into the same trap as lots of heavy bands did during those dreadful 1970's?
The irony of this all is that we actually hate cliche blues rock, hippy space rock and other lame cannabis-influenced 'psychedelia', and all these terribly pretentious and technical progressive/kraut rock bands from the '70's (flutes!), you can imagine lots of people had a bloody good reason to ignite the punk virus! Thank the lord for the bad-acid-trip drug rock magnet that inflamed many a good band, 'damn you hippies, we still got our music!

(Their bio)

Orange Sunshine - Love=Acid Space=Hell (1971/2003)

Santa Cruz MySpace


Ron said...


dan said...

I'm convinced, sounds sweet to me, many thanks.