An instrumental of pure invention and relentless groove, “Orchids” is an unusually cogent example of 21st-century song-as-assemblage. Monster Rally master mind Ted Fleighan mines sounds from old records, re-imagining them into sonic environments with their own logic, momentum, and—this is the strange part—organic vitality.
Listen here to the two main interacting motifs—a jazz-guitar-y lead riff, with its syncopated flair (heard first at 0:31 and repeated throughout), answered by a downward melody (0:34 et al.) described by the jittery strumming of some exotic stringed instrument or another (I’m afraid I’m not entirely schooled in exotic stringed instruments). Theirs is a simple but intriguing conversation, accompanied by the easygoing percussive sounds of a tropical lounge combo; add the recurring “conclusion” of sorts (0:47 et al.) from the jazz guitar, subtly undergirded by strings, and this is our whole song. A fan neither of mash-ups nor claustrophobic laptop rock, I find myself unaccountably charmed by the alternative acoustic reality created by Feighan’s unfathomable fabrications. Unlike almost any other electronic creation I have heard to date, “Orchids” sounds like something that might have been conceived in three dimensions and played in real time and real space, and while some might consider it a failure of imagination on my part to admire this condition, I consider it a failure of humanity to overlook it. We remain flesh and blood, despite the wires and wavelengths that connect us.
Feighan is from Ohio but is now based in Los Angeles. “Orchids” is the first available track from Return to Paradise, the third Monster Rally full-length release, due at the end of October on Gold Robot Records. You can download via the link above, as usual, or via SoundCloud.