Orquesta del Desierto to Release Remixed/Remastered LPs in June

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 18th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

There’s a lot of information here, but if you’re not already familiar with Orquesta del Desierto‘s two albums, 2002’s self-titled and 2003’s Dos, the relatively short-lived project with the duo of Dandy Brown (also Hermano, The Fizz Fuzz, solo work) and Pete Stahl (Goatsnake, earthlings?, Wool, Scream) at its core might indeed require a bit of context. Intentionally fluid in their lineup with a stylistic openness that speaks to the heart of desert-weird like Master of Reality at their most oddball or the earliest pair of Man’s Ruin-issued Desert Sessions LPs, Orquesta del Desierto pushed further into quirk and became very much the manifestation of their own niche, while incorporating personalities like Mario Lalli (Fatso Jetson, Yawning Man, etc.) and Alfredo Hernandez (Kyuss, Ché, Avon, etc.) and growing willfully more open in songwriting between the first and second albums.

Adventurous as they were, both Orquesta del Desierto and Dos were rife with genre transgressions, and perhaps that’s part of what’s kept them as something of a secret for the last 20-plus years, but what ‘heavy’ and what ‘desert’ mean and include has ballooned in that same span of time, so I’ll be curious to see how both LPs are received when Heavy Psych Sounds issues newly-remixed/remastered versions in June. So far as I know they’ve both been out of print for some time — though I did find a 2023 digipak edition of Dos on the Alone Records Bandcamp page, so not by any means completely lost to the ether — and like a lot of what’s being revisited from the turn-of-the-century heavy rock movement, they’re well worth exploring again for heads old and new to their work.

The more open your mind can be in the approach, the better off you’ll be. From the PR wire:

orquesta del desierto

Cult desert rock project ORQUESTA DEL DESIERTO (w/ members of QOTSA, Kyuss, Hermano) to reissue full discography on Heavy Psych Sounds; preorders available!

European label Heavy Psych Sounds Records welcomes legendary desert rock collective Orquesta del Desierto — the Palm Desert project founded by Dandy Brown and featuring former members of Kyuss, Yawning Man, Queens of the Stone Age, Goatsnake and more — for the reissue of their “Orquesta del Desierto” and “Dos” albums in a brand new remixed/remastered version this June.

Orquesta del Desierto stands alone among the many unique bands to come out of the Mojave Desert over the last thirty years. While the desert is often associated with purveyors of down-tuned, maximum decibel rock, shortly after the new millennium began a fresh sound associated with the southern California desert was ushered in.

For fans of the band, the story of how Orquesta del Desierto came into existence has circulated through desert rock circles for decades. It is a story that actually began thousands of miles away from southern California and has its roots in a recording session that took place in the America’s Midwest. Shortly after completing the recording of Hermano’s Only a Suggestion, producer Dandy Brown accepted the invitation of legendary singer John Garcia to leave the bitter winters of northern Kentucky and to continue their collaborations in the warmer climate of the Coachella Valley.

Dandy Brown recently turned the collections over to renowned engineers Harper Hug (John Garcia, Vista Chino, Brant Bjork) and Jason Groves (Supafuzz, Asylum on the Hill, Floraburn) for complete remixes and remasters of the Orquesta del Desierto catalog for a spring reissue on HPS Records. After an extensive search to find the best home for the albums, Orquesta del Desierto is proud to have Heavy Psych Sounds Records reissue both remixed and remastered “Orquesta del Desierto” and “Dos” collections available on vinyl this June, with preorders available now at www.heavypsychsounds.com.

orquesta del desierto orquesta del desierto

“Orquesta del Desierto” reissue (remixed & remastered)
Available June 7th on Heavy Psych Sounds – PREORDER: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS308

About the album

Recorded at the Green Room Studio in Palm Springs in 2001 and released on the seminal desert rock label Meteorcity Records in 2002, the band’s debut album immediately gathered critical acclaim for its ability to forge a new dynamic in a genre that was rapidly filling with groups cloning the heavier sounds of Kyuss.

Produced by Dandy Brown. Recorded at the Green Room, Palm Springs, California. Engineered by Mike Riley. Remix and Remaster by Jason Groves at Sneak Attack Studios, Lexington, Kentucky. Design and Photography by Dawn Brown.

orquesta del desierto dos

“Dos” album reissue (remixed & remastered)
Available June 14th on Heavy Psych Sounds – PREORDER: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS309

About the album

Unable to tour as a group due to commitments to other projects but fueled by the success of the debut release, Brown immediately turned to booking another recording session for the band. Hoping to further expand the group’s dynamic sound, Brown and Stahl solicited song contributions from Mike Riley and Country Mark Engel for the second album. While the core of Brown, Stahl, Riley, Engel and Lalli remained intact for the second session, the group’s diverse approach benefitted from the addition of drummer Adam Maples (earthlings?) and percussionist/drummer Pete Davidson. Additionally, the group was joined at famed Joshua Tree studio Rancho de la Luna by pianist Tim Jones and Bill Barrett on trumpet.

Released in 2003, Dos was immediately embraced as a “… compelling fusion of Latin stylings and psychedelic-tinged blues that is a real alternative these days” (cosmiclava.com). Bolstered by similar acknowledgements and reviews of their second album, Orquesta del Desierto committed to a series of performances throughout southern California and a European tour in 2004. Joined by drummer Bryan Brown, these shows have become legendary among the fans who were able to attend the band’s only active period of live performances.

Produced by Dandy Brown. Recorded at Rancho de la Luna, Joshua Tree, California. Additional Recording at the Green Room, Palm Springs, California. Engineered by Mike Riley. Remix and Remaster by Harper Hug at Thunder Underground, Palm Springs, California. Design and Photography by Dawn Brown.

By the end of 2004, with their two releases achieving overwhelming critical success but realizing that the members of the group were spread too thin with obligations to other projects, Brown decided to disband Orquesta del Desierto. Returning to their catalog years later, though, and considering the limitations of the technology used to capture the band’s two albums, Brown turned the collections over to renowned engineers Harper Hug (John Garcia/Vista Chino/ Brant Bjork) and Jason Groves (Supafuzz/Asylum on the Hill/Floraburn) for complete remixes and remasters of the Orquesta del Desierto catalog.

Orquesta del Desierto is
Pete Stahl
Dandy Brown
Mario Lalli
Country Mark Engel
Mike Riley
Pete Davidson
Adam Maples
Alfredo Hernandez
Sean Landetta Carrillo
Bryan Brown
Tim Jones
Bill Barrett
Jackie Watson
Emiliano Hernandez


Orquesta del Desierto, Orquesta del Desierto (2002/2024)

Orquesta del Desierto, Dos (2003/2024)

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Pinto Graham Premiere “Further” from Dos EP out July 12

Posted in audiObelisk on June 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

pinto graham

Connecticut power trio Pinto Graham release their Dos EP on July 12. Formed in 2016 in New Haven, the three-piece issued their first full-length, Uno, the next year, and the six tracks/24 minutes of the follow-up feel more like half an album than an EP for the flow they conjure and the obvious care put into their arrangements of and within the material itself, blending Southern heavy rock, bluesy vibes and a touch of the ethereal around largely straightforward songwriting in order to create a sound that’s at once familiar and still malleable enough for them to toy with pace and the balance of their influences. A bit of this, a bit of that, in other words, but it suits them as guitarist/vocalist Andre Roman, bassist/vocalist Ant Reckart and drummer Brian Harris roll through the changes in tempo of “Dreamcatcher,” Roman and Reckart and guest singer Kelly L’Heureux — who would seem as well to appear on the prior “Southern Superstitions” — in a blend of forward lines and far-off-mic backing voices almost in harmony. It’s semi-traditionalist heavy rock that benefits from the diversity of experience from its creators, but perhaps most of all so in being clear-headed in its intent and knowing what it wants to do in terms of sound and how.

Dudes wastes no time getting down in the opening track “Further,” and that sets the course with about four and a half winding minutes of go-go-go thrust that manages not to sacrifice melodyPinto Graham Dos even in its crunchiest pivots. The guitar solo hints at some of the more Southern vibing that will make itself known after the crashing roller “Sleeping Giant” when “Southern Superstitions” takes hold, the flow of the EP seeming to take it from more uptempo movements to slower ones, but even when the harmonica hits in “Southern Superstitions,” it does so over a riff that’s as much Seattle grunge as Texas ramble. “Further,” though, is clearly tasked with providing the momentum for the rest of what follows — another reason I’d consider Dos a short album rather than an EP; the way the songs interact with each other — and it succeeds in that and then some, having an effect even as the mid-tempo hook of “Southern Superstitions” feeds, vocals only, into the noisy beginning of “Dreamcatcher,” Echoes give the vocals a howling feel that suits the piece, but it’s clearly meant to be a standout and it is, letting “Old Man of the Mountain” straighten out and fly right with some classic-feeling boogie that’s still well in context for what surrounds.

That leaves only “The Weight” to close out, and it does so with, yes, a slower tempo, and the immediate roll of a southbound highway (and no, I don’t mean I-95 at the intersection with I-91 where all the food trucks are), melded with a bluesy solo and some righteously dirty bass beneath. The track runs 4:51, the solo comes in at about 2:42, and I’d be content if Pinto Graham wanted to just ride out that jam for the next three minutes or so — by then, there’s nothing reasonably asked of Dos that’s not been delivered, and as far as I’m concerned, they’ve demonstrated both progress since Uno and their songwriting acumen more generally — but they do turn back to the chorus to finish out, holding to the idea of structure that is an underpinning for the EP as a whole. It’s a clean break and a fitting end for the short set done up in a style that would seem poised to grab the ears and eyes of Ripple Music, fitting in along the likes of Wo FatFoghoundFreedom Hawk, etc., as well perhaps as Valley of the Sun and some other modern practitioners of noteworthy craft. For those seeking a bottom line, it’s that’s Pinto Graham are more than a clever name, and for anyone who perhaps missed the first album, Dos offers a brief opportunity to get caught up before they pass by on the way to the next one. I’d advise taking advantage.

Dig into the premiere of “Further” below, followed by more info from the PR wire.


Hailing from New Haven, Connecticut, southern rock trio Pinto Graham serves up psychedelic riffage that pulls audiences to their feet. The diverse musical experiences of bassist/vocalist Ant Reckart, guitarist/vocalist Andre Roman, and drummer Brian Harris make for a perfect meeting of groove, grit, and melody. With influences ranging from Lynyrd Skynrd to Pentagram — both of whom they pay homage to with their band name — Pinto Graham will shake, rattle, and roll any stage they set foot on.

Formed in 2013 by Reckart and Harris, the band kicked into high gear with the addition of Roman in 2016. The three creative spirits came together from different paths, with Florida transplant Reckart drumming for industrial shock rockers Genitorturers for many years, Roman touring across the country on bass with punk outfit Murdervan, and Harris playing with Araca París and S26 in his native Argentina.

But this unusual combination of history and influences has become something greater than the sum of its parts. Pinto’s 2017 debut album Uno solidified their place in the underground music scene, with songs featured on many podcasts, blogs, and compilations including Alternative Control’s Volume Doom. The band has played live all over New England, and was especially proud to perform at a Florida benefit for St. Michael’s Soldiers alongside southern rock giants Molly Hatchet and Johnnie and Donnie Van Zant.

2019 promises to bring these “High Flyers” to new heights with the release of their second album, Dos. Recorded at Studio Wormwood in rural Connecticut with engineer Dave Kaminsky, Dos will be released on July 12, 2019 in CD and digital formats. Pinto will also return to Florida to perform at St. Michael’s Soldiers’ third annual benefit later this year, set to share the stage with .38 Special.

Photo by Rick Casados Photo.

Brian Harris – drums
Andre Roman – guitar and vocals
Ant Reckart – bass and vocals

Pinto Graham on Thee Facebooks

Pinto Graham on Bandcamp

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