SummaryIn the aftermath of Extra Width's success, Jon Spencer's Blues Explosion were drawing large crowds virtually everywhere they played. It both gratified them and made them suspicious -- so they hasd to up the ante. The track "Afro" on their previous album provided a clue as to the forthcoming no man's land JBSE would raucously explore. Orange is an almost entirely new sonic terrain--but keeps the trio's trademark: sweaty, musical terrorism and hedonistic rage up front. "Bellbottoms" kicks it off with a distorted two-chord guitar vamp juxtaposed against strings worthy of the Love Unlimited Orchestra in full dramatic swell. Drummer Russell Simmins meets Spencer's and Judah Bauer's guitars with cracking snares and breaking beats, rolling them out like staccato machine gun fire yet perfectly on the one. The sound feels like electricity actively coursing through the spine. Funk, hypnotic thrashing, white boy blues, and punk fist fight one another for dominance in a careening, frenetic dance number that shakes the very foundations of rock & roll while defining its spirit. This is the lift-off point, with the bravado of James Brown, the self-destructive, gospelized, pill-fueled, hellish visions of Jerry Lee Lewis, the sheerexaggeratedd funk of blaxploitation soundtracks and Saturday night knife fight, juke joint blues. "Ditch" melds the burn-it-down boogie of R.L. Burnside, the sloppy vibe of Exile era-Rolling Stones, the swagger of the Cramps, the rhythmic attack of the Meters, and the overdriven volume of the Stooges playing live. "Blues X Man" marries 12-bar back country roadhouse blues, and back alley backseat eros, to Lower East Side boasting about Blues Explosion's musical virility. It begins sparse and skeletal before adding a female backing chorus and DJ turntablist; turningtraditionalismm upside down, scraping country and city down to their nubs in order to makes everything bleed. "Greyhound," the set's final track, rocks hip-hop drums, '70s rock guitars on stun that riff hypnotically and knottily; two-note vamps substitute for solos before the entire thing morphs into pure breakbeatcacophonyy and smears turntable scratches across the mix as it crashes out the door. Orange is the most commercially successful set JBSE ever turned in, though that's beside the point. In the 21st century, it sounds every bit as messed up, necessary, and frenzied, as it did in 1993.
In 2010 MajorDomoShout Factory remastered and re-released the album and included the previously European-only Experimental Remixes EP as a bonus disc in a deluxe package with stellar notes, discographical details, and photos. Orange include seven bonus cuts featuring alternate and studio outtakes as well as rare radio performances. The latter disc's ten tracks have been augmented by four rarities including the infamous "Attack-Detroit."