Ambient composer Gregg Kowalsky goes all Hollywood on us with L’Orange, L’Orange, his first new solo album in eight years

Ambient composer Gregg Kowalsky goes all Hollywood on us with L'Orange, L'Orange, his first new solo album in eight years
Photo: Randy H. Yau

While it’s still probably a safe bet to say it won’t be getting into any pop chart wars with the Red Hot Chili Peppers or anything, electroacoustic composer Gregg Kowalsky’s just-announced new album, L’Orange, L’Orange, sure sounds pretty “L.A.”

The Miami-born Kowalsky moved to the City of Angels after years spent in cold, dark, distant Oakland — and evidently, his new home’s weather soaked into his creative process (and even into the album’s sun-soaked title). “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.” His approach on the album (his first solo record in eight years) differs from the complex, often installation-based composition of much of his previous work, including his Tape Chants series, the first recorded version of which were released in 2009. The “chants” were an exploration of individual performance spaces that involved setting up cassette players loaded with sine wave tape loops throughout specific locations (for example, a WWII military bunker) and recording the playback for a sonic document.

L’Orange, L’Orange, by contrast, seems to be a slightly warmer and more lighthearted affair. For instance, it includes tracks with names like “Maliblue Dream Sequence” and “Tonal Bath for Bubbles,” and it was composed on using analog synthesizers and mixed on a laptop. “I just wanted to make music to make music, and not think as much about concepts and making the process part of the composition,” he says. “I wanted it to feel like a human made it.”

L’Orange, L’Orange is out November 10 on Mexican Summer — which has played host to “very-very L.A.” artists like Ariel Pink and Best Coast…coincidence??? (Yup, probably; since Kowalsky’s duo Date Palms was also on the label.) Either way, you can bite into L’Orange, L’Orange’s L’almost-title track, “L’Ambience, L’Orange,” right down below right now, and you can pre-order the album by the bushel-full on any ol’ sunny format you like from Mexican Summer right over here.

L’Orange, L’Orange tracklisting:

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

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