There are some places and moments that tie people together forever, whether it be a place, a song or something you can’t quite define through words. The origins of Orions Belte stemmed from one of those mystical moments in time, which spawned a lasting creative connection. Øyvind Blomstrøm (guitar) and Chris Holm (bass) first met while playing in a touring band for another Norwegian artist. During that time, they bonded over their love for instrumental music and began talking about trying their hand at it themselves. After their work as touring band ended, they recruited drummer Kim Åge Furuhaug, one of Holm’s longtime friend and collaborators, to join their new project.
The three met in Bergen, located along the west coast of Norway, to start working on ideas and demos. Instead, within just a few days, they ended up recording their entire first album, Mint. From there, the universe propelled them forward, resulting in a record deal, their live debut as a band at Norway’s biggest pop festival Øyafestivalen and the release of their debut record all happening within the following year. Mint drew international interest and praise from outlets including Atwood Magazine, who called the record “an eclectic fusion of disparate styles and exciting sounds that says what it wants to say through memorable melodies, ambient drones, and a stockpile of wicked guitar riffs.”
They quickly followed up Mint with their funk-infused 2019 EP Slim, which features reimagined versions of Ghostface Killah’s “Cherchez La Ghost,” Milton Nascimento’s “Tudo O Que Você Podia Ser” and an original cut that pays homage to Norwegian beat group The Pussycats and the late Mac Miller.
Amidst the unexpected chaos of 2020, Orions Belte kept the music flowing. They released another EP of inspired and experimental music, once again pushing the boundaries of what “instrumental music” can be. 600m per minute takes its name from an elevator in Tokyo, Japan that can transport 40 people at time at a maximum speed of 600 meters per minute. The supercharged, slightly nervous energy that the invention often evokes is mirrored in the EP’s rocking title track, while “Orbit” brings a funky, worldly feel with a rhythm that urges you to move.
Now, the trio is back with a new album that explores new creative and aural depths. Villa Amorini – due out April 9th via Jansen Records boasts the energy of a busy downtown sidewalk, with instruments intricately layered to draw you in and leave you wondering where it will lead.
Named after a Bergen restaurant owned by Holm’s family, which also became a hotspot in the 90s for live music and long nights, Villa Amorini is what the band calls “a homage to an era of loud music, club nights, ugly shirts and long afterparties.”
Recorded at Norsk Riksstudio by engineer Njål Paulsberg, the record brings listeners into sonic environments shaped and molded by each member’s meshed unique talents.
Through each track of Villa Amorini, Orions Belte create soundscapes that pull you in and draw out emotions in ways that only they know how.
Today Glide is excited to premiere “Mouth,” one of the undeniably coolest tracks on the new album. With a slinky, laid back groove that feels rooted in hip-hop, soul, funk and world music, it’s easy to hear the band incorporating elements of chillwave while also drawing comparisons to eclectic, instrumentally-oriented bands like Khruangbin. What makes music especially cool is that the trio plays it all, dropping into the kind of flow that makes for the perfect relaxation soundtrack. It is also hard to classify in the best kind of way; at one point you might be hearing a dreamy synth pop sound only to have the group switch things up on a dime and drop into a stone cold soul jam. Whether you’re soaking this music up through headphones or hearing it pump out of the speakers at a darkened bar, “Mouth” is an absolute stunner of a track.
The trio offers up their own interpretation of the track:
“If you make a mental image of Cappadonna from Wu-Tang Clan and April March watching the cult movie The Goonies, “Mouth” is the soundtrack for that exact moment”.
Villa Amorini will be released on April 9, 2021 via Jansen Records