This year’s Faroese nominee has changed the perception of music in the Faroe Islands markedly.
As early as 2005, ORKA showed that they had the will, courage, and ability to create a completely new and completely different music concept from scratch. This first project was composed for and played using newly designed instruments made from anything from light fittings and fence posts to satellite dishes and air compressors.
Since then ORKA have taken this ingenuity much further, and into numerous projects featuring various guest artists at home and abroad. Thanks to innovations in both style and sound, ORKA have stood the test of time.
ORKA now tour much of the globe and their set now includes an electronic expression as well as innovative sound installations and instruments built in distant parts of the world. The Faroe Islands have made a natural and important contribution to the global music scene thanks to the original and well-played music of ORKA.
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.
The bulk of the album "Leipzig" was recorded at UT Connewitz; a spectacular and worn down pre-war cinema in the heart of Leipzig, Germany. Other recordings were done on tour in Paris, New York, a small church in Sibrandahûs, Netherlands, a boat in Hong Kong and at the CST train station in Bombay. The album was then finalized and patched together in ORKA's London studio.
On "Leipzig," ORKA's trademark custom instruments and dark sound are fused with resounds from ambient bass topped with icy North Atlantic vocals.
Check out the making of the screen printed covers below, which there are still a few copies left.
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.
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, the tracks from the new record - listen to ORKA's Soundcloud profile here - see the ORKA sound twisted into hardened, cathartic techno.
“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.