Orchid-Star
Psychedelic World Fusion & Tribal Funk

About

Orchid-Star


"Orchid-Star, helmed by the enigmatic Pete Ardron, create a unique experience through their world trance electronica fusion of influences.Combined with Pete's perfectionist production criteria it is a sound to behold, fearless in its vision and sublime epic ambition yet fragile and very delicate in the details. Behold! and give thanks such rare flowers such as these still exist in these difficult times."
Youth

Orchid-Star was formed in 2005 by Pete Ardron initially as a live set-up to perform music he'd written for chill-out DJ sets. Their sound comprises a colourful and innovative tapestry of influences including electronica, world music, psychedelia, 20th century classical music woven into fluid dance and downtempo grooves.

Orchid-Star at Whirl-Y-Fayre 2018

The core 3-piece line-up of Pete (keyboards) along with Myo (vocals) and Pierre Luigi (guitar, bass, jaw harp), from Pete's previous bands Glow and Vers La Flamme respectively, have been there throughout, gigging on their own or with up to 7 other (regular) members on stage. They have been by additional guests both onstage and on recordings.

Probably most at home on the festival circuit Orchid-Star started by headlining the largest of Glastonbury Festival's fringe stages, Croissant Neuf and have since graced stages at Wychwood, Sunrise Celebration, Kingston Green Fair, Waveform (all 6 years), Glade, Big Green Gathering, Whirl-Y-Fayre, Alchemy, Boom (Portugal), Hadra (France), Art-Dance (Vladivostok, Russia) and Vibe (Czech Republic) amongst others, as well as numerous gigs on the London underground dance scene at events like Planet Angel, Synergy Project and Acid Monkey.

Pete Ardron - Keyboards and other stuff
Myo - vocals
Pierre Luigi - guitar, bass guitar
Samanta Ray - vocals
Sandra Eveno - dancer (and studio vocals)
Sean Spindrift - percussion
Karl Walinets - trombone, sax, bass guitar, mandolin
more info


After self-releasing their debut album 'Birth' in 2006 they were approached by Liquid Sound, who re-released it in 2008 as 'Birth//reBirth" - the original plus remixes of each track by remixes by Youth, Tripswitch, Kuba, Subsonar and Pete - regarded by many as a psychedelic chill classic - a beautiful, visually atmospheric and emotional journey, with moments ranging from utter calm to epic grandeur.
The line-up includes Samanta (later Samantha) Ray - who shares the vocal credits on all 3 albums, always regarded as part of the band even though living in Australia has prevented her from performing with the band since 2012, plus Jon Bongly - percussion, Kate Farbon - violin, and Becky Dell - marimba, percussion and vocals, all of whom were also part of Faster, and 2 other old members of Glow, Bagz - electronic percussion and Diane Everitt - dancer (yes, including on the recordings!)

The same year they also released a 7-mix single of Passion (from Birth) on Archangel^ Records, which included, on the main mix, rapper Rogue, Pierre's daughter.

Its 2011 follow-up Faster is what it says on the box. Many of the trademarks of the first but other than the occasional number this is an uptempo affair - a joyful and passionate celebration of life and spirit. The world music influences have expanded to include Indian, Irish, African, Latin, Middle Eastern, Balkan Gypsy driven by a mix of DnB, trance, funk, dub, ska and more, wrapped in a rich and vibrant orchestral-like production
Whereas Birth was written before the band was put together this was written for and with the existing full 9-piece line-up and the live element is a lot more prominent. By this time the line-up included percussionist Sean Spindrift and dancer SandRa (who also sings on one track each here and on Merge). There are also guest appearances from Nalini, who co-wrote Surya with them, on vocals, and Sarah Edwards on trumpet

their first album Birth - enough to both surprise and satisfy exisiting Orchid-Star fans and draw in some new ones.

"I find the music of Pete Ardron, particularly his Orchid-Star project, really hits the spot for me - it's a beautifully attractive blend of delightfully trippy electronic grooviness, crafted with loads of sure-footed musicality - harmonically stunning. Highly recommended."
Martin Russell (Afro Celt Sound System)

When Orchid-Star started on their third album, Merge, they made one plan - that there would be no plan - it would be what it would be - chilled or dancy, worldy, psychedelic or other, and the result is a mix of all manner of things, including, most importantly, the influences and personalities of a group of musicians by now very familiar with each other.
A significant addition to the line-up by this time was Karl Walinets (another old cohort of Pete's from Glow) on trombone, sax, bass and mandolin. Half the tracks also include Damien Thill - percussion, who replaced Sean for a year or 2. Margie Newens, yet another old Glow member, and Harmony Yemanya shared guest fiddle duties along with Margie's son Sandro Papava on trumpet.
It's 'officially' a collection of psychedelic world fusion and tribal funk (unless you have a better description!) It's more rocky, definitely more funky, but at times still sublimely chilled. The lush, colourful, electronic side to the production is still there but it's a lot more guitar driven and with some great live brass - enough to both surprise and satisfy exisiting Orchid-Star fans and draw in some new ones.

After a 4 year break Orchid-star marked the release of Merge by returning to the stage, performing, at least for the time being with just the core 3-piece

"I have the pleasure of seeing many, many bands live over the years all over the globe, but there really is no other live band like Orchid-Star. They are simply exquisite with the perfect blend of electronic and world music with simply stunning vocals. No matter how many times I see them perform it still makes the hair on my neck rise!!!!"
Bruce Elliott-Smith (Archangel^/Waveform Festival/Interdimensional Recordings)