L'Orange is a North Carolina-born beatmaker with a penchant for sampling early jazz records and vintage radio broadcasts, lending a nostalgic, time-worn quality to his music. After starting his career with a few primarily instrumental solo releases such as 2012's The Mad Writer, his first full-length rap collaboration was 2013's The City Under the City, with Stick Figa. Since then, he's released masterful efforts with Kool Keith (Time? Astonishing!, 2015), Mr. Lif (The Life & Death of Scenery, 2016), and others, as well as solo ventures like 2017's The Ordinary Man.
The anonymous producer started making music during the mid-2000s; after a stint as a recording engineer, he began releasing his own recordings in early 2011, starting with The Manipulation EP. Later in the year, he released Old Soul, an album that heavily sampled the music of Billie Holiday, whom L'Orange describes as his muse. The Still Spinning EP and the full-length The Mad Writer followed in 2012. In 2013, L'Orange began a long, fruitful partnership with the Mello Music Group label, beginning with The City Under the City. A collaboration with Stick Figa, it also included appearances from Open Mike Eagle and yU. L'Orange's next full-length, The Orchid Days, arrived in 2014. The album featured guest vocalists including Homeboy Sandman, Blu, and Jeremiah Jae. During the year, the producer also released singles featuring Mr. Lif, John Robinson, and Boog Brown. He then collaborated with Jae on a full-length, The Night Took Us in Like Family, which was released by Mello Music Group in April of 2015. A few months later, the label issued Time? Astonishing!, L'Orange's collaboration with legendary hip-hop eccentric Kool Keith.
In 2016, L'Orange and Mr. Lif collaborated on a full-length titled The Life & Death of Scenery, which was released in October. A year later, L'Orange released The Ordinary Man, a solo album that featured guest appearances from Del the Funky Homosapien, Oddisee, Blu, and others. He then formed the duo Marlowe with rapper Solemn Brigham, who was also featured on The Ordinary Man. Self-titled debut Marlowe was issued by MMG in 2018. L'Orange reunited with Jae for 2019's Complicate Your Life with Violence; guests included Billy Woods and Chester Watson. ~ Paul Simpson