Producer L’Orange Discusses his and emcee Solemn Brigham’s Excellent New “Marlowe 2”

Posted by Billyjam, August 14, 2020 11:59pm | Post a Comment
Marlowe Marlowe 2 (Mellow Music Group)

Two years ago when producer  L’Orange and emcee Solemn Brigham collaborated on the Marlowe album released via Mello Music it was one of those projects made purely for fun and out of a shared love of hip-hop. The two old school pals from North Carolina were just happy to have reconnectedand to be working together especially since L’Orange had moved all the way across the country to resettle in Seattle. They figured it was a one-off collaboration. They never imagined that there would be a follow up Marlowe 2 that was among the new arrivals at Amoeba today. Besides the hard-working producer, when not busy making his own solo albums, has a track record of collaborating with a variety of different emcees and usually only on one project. The microphone fiends L’Orange has joined 
forces with over his prolific decade long career have included Mr Lif, Kool KeithJeremiah Jae and Stik Figga on album projects and such others as Del The Funky HomosapienBlu, Elzhi and  Chuuwee on 
song collaborations. In fact it was on the track “Plastic Fame” off L’Orange’s predominantly instrumental 2017 solo album The Ordinary Man, that featured both Sacramento rapper Chuuwee and Solemn Brigham, that inspired the two to discuss maybe making a full album together. This they did and a year later released the presumed one-off album Marlowe.
“We never expected Marlowe 1 to be successful. We just made it because we were friends and loved working together. When it came out and it resonated with people, that was a bonus,” recalled L’Orange in an interview with the Amoeblog earlier today. That first Marlowe album was so good that this Amoeblogger picked it as the #1 hip-hop album of 2018. At the time I wrote how L’Orange created an intricate and vivid, atypical found sound, cinematic soundscape with tempo shifting beats that acted as the ideal backdrop for Solemn Brigham’s unique flow. Their combined sound I wrote was simultaneously familiar sounding (in an early 90's golden era tradition) but also distinctively modern and quite unlike anything else ever heard in hip-hop. And guess what? Marlowe 2 is an even better album with the two artists outdoing themselves by crafting a flawless cohesive 18 track, 46 minute album that captures that distinctive Marlowe sound first  introduced two years ago.  

Perfectly complimenting Solemn Brigham’s distinctive flow, L’Orange lays down layers of engaging sounds that make Marlowe 2 like the aural equivalent of a book you can’t put down. Intact are the producer’strademark old timey radio detective dramas as favored found sound source plus a myriad of unique instrumental sources, including old school Bollywood sounding parts and soaring guitars and string instruments. This all acts as the perfect backdrop for Solemn Brigham to let loose on while flexing his instantly recognizable rapid fire flow that’s further accentuated with the emcee occasionally breaking into his unique sing-songey rhyme style. On paper all of these disparate sounds seem like they should not work together. But they do by effortlessly all melding together into a beautiful collage of interwoven sounds.

Today when I connected with L’Orange I asked him about the comparisons of making this album versus the first one? “Marlowe 2 was a much more refined process, knowing what we had done and where we wanted to improve. We fought like brothers and ended up collaborating in the truest sense,” he said. And what about the process of recording Marlowe 2; if they recorded their parts separately and if the L’Orange production was done first or together?  “Solemn comes to Seattle to record with myself and Sendai Mike. We usually write separately though,” replied L’Orange.

 And what about origins of all those unique old-school world music samples and other engaging musical sounds heard on the new album? “One thing that defines Marlowe production to me is the combination of psychedelic rock and international influences. There’s lots of 60’s Asian and African influences on both records.”

Finally I asked L’Orange if there will there will be a Marlowe 3? “I absolutely hope so. I love working with Solemn and I think we still have a lot of room left to grow and come together as artists,” he replied noting that, “If we ever do Marlowe 3, I want to try to get together more for the writing because we’re not afraid to give each other our opinions.”  Order the new Marlowe 2 CD here. The LP version should arrive in the upcoming near future. EDIT: click here to purchase the Marlowe 2 LP vinyl version. Below is the music video for the new album track "Future Power Sources"

Marlowe (L'Orange & Solemn Brigham) “Future Power Sources” from  Marlowe 2

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Marlowe 2 (2), Marlowe (2), Mello Music Group (5), L'orange (9), Solemn Brigham (1)