Orchid-Star was formed in 2005 by Pete Ardron initially as a live set up to perform music he'd written for chill-out DJ sets. Their glorious sound comprises a colourful and innovative tapestry of influences including electronica, world music, psychedelia, 20th century classical music, (think Scriabin, Steve Reich, Messiaen, Holst, Debussy) woven into fluid dance and downtempo grooves.
Their debut, “Birth”, released on Liquid Sound in 2008 along with “reBirth” - remixes by Youth, Tripswitch, Kuba, Subsonar and band leader Pete Ardron is regarded by many as a psychedelic chill classic. Its follow-up “Faster” retains all the trademarks of the first but is a significant progression. It still takes the listener to exotic, mysterious places but this time the live element, both instrumentally and vocally, and the personalities of those involved, are altogether more obvious. Living up to its name it is as much a treat to dance to as to listen - a joyful and passionate celebration of life and spirit. Psychedelic world-fusion - Indian, Irish, African, Latin, Middle Eastern, Balkan Gypsy – driven by a mix of DnB, trance, progressive, funk, dub, ska with just the occasional downtempo groove, wrapped in a rich and vibrant orchestral-like production. Atmospheric and visually charged throughout, it's a seductive piece of work, which grows on you with each listen.
The band in its full incarnation features vocalists Myo and Samanta Ray, Pierre Luigi (guitar and bass), Kait Farbon (violin), Becky Dell (marimba, djembe, glockenspiel, vocals and percussion), Sean Spindrift and Jon Bongly (darboukas, djembes, bongos and congas), dancer SandRa and Pete on keyboards and sound-mixing, plus occasional guests allowing for anything from 3-10 people on stage. The members' diverse musical background embellishes the live sets as well as broadening the personality of the music.
A fantastic festival act, Orchid-Star kicked off by headlining the largest of Glastonbury Festival's fringe stages, Croissant Neuf and have since graced stages at Wychwood, Sunrise, Kingston Green Fair, Waveform, Glade, Big Green Gathering, Boom (Portugal), Hadra (France) and Art-Dance (Vladivostok, Russia) amongst others. On the club circuit, they have performed regularly at events like The Synergy Project, Planet Angel, Acid Monkey and Alpha Omega.
Radio play for Orchid-Star includes numerous plays on Radio Avalon and several on Pathaan's Musical Rickshaw (BBC Asian Network).
Pete's last major project before Orchid-Star was Glow, well established on the global-dance/world-music scene in the late 90s and with many supporters including the late Charlie Gillet, who gave them heaps of support on GLR. WOMAD broke their own rules to invite Glow to play 2 years in a row after their set in the small Whirl-Y-Gig tent in 1998 became the talk of the festival.
Prior to Glow he had conducted at the Royal Albert Hall in collaboration with Algerian Singer 'Houria Niati', received an Hon PhD for his first album from the UK School of Esoteric Crystal Sciences(!), played frequently at Whirl-Y-Gig and his soundscape for Maurice Agis's Colourspace art installation was listed in the NME along with acts like The Orb, as one of '12 albums to start your ambient collection with'.Two of his solo albums, “Aria” and “Inside The Voice Inside” include tracks heard in early Orchid-Star sets and feature Samanta Ray and Myo
Following remixes for Dorothee Munyaneza (Hotel Rwanda) and Afro Celt Sound Sound System, Pete has been invited to collaborate further with Afro Celt in 2011.
"Orchid-Star, helmed by the enigmatic Pete Ardron, create a unique experience through their world trance electronica fusion of influences.Combined with Pete's perfectionist production criteria it is a sound to behold, fearless in its vision and sublime epic ambition yet fragile and very delicate in the details. Behold! and give thanks such rare flowers such as these still exist in these difficult times.” Youth
“I have the pleasure of seeing many, many bands live over the years all over the globe, but there really is no other live band like Orchid-Star. They are simply exquisite with the perfect blend of electronic and world music with simply stunning vocals. No matter how many times I see them perform it still makes the hair on my neck rise!!!!”Bruce Elliott-Smith (Archangel^/Waveform/RudeAid)
“I find the music of Pete Ardron, particularly his Orchid-Star project, really hits the spot for me - it's a beautifully attractive blend of delightfully trippy electronic grooviness, crafted with loads of sure-footed musicality - harmonically stunning. Highly recommended.” Martin Russell (Afro Celt Sound System)