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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