About Rancho Electro
Rancho Electro is a new music video series spearheaded by electronic musician, keyboardist and producer Mikael Jorgensen (Wilco, Quindar). For each edition of Rancho Electro, an artist writes and arranges a new song with Jorgensen at his studio in Ojai California, and then they record and film the song live in a “wild” location nearby.
Building on Jorgensen’s conviction that “electronic music can be considered a type of folk music,” his battery-operated synths, sequencers, and drum machines offer up a platform for portable, spontaneous, and inclusive music making. In the absence of both elaborate analog synth rigs and the ubiquitous “performance laptop,” Rancho Electro sessions feel as organic as a campfire jam while still delivering Jorgensen’s well-honed, song-supporting electronics.
For the first Rancho Electro edition, Jorgensen teamed up with label-mates Graph Rabbit (Austin Donohue, Shy Kedmi) on the West Coast leg of their recent US tour. On the all original song “Salt Fires,” Donohue’s delicate falsetto and fingerpicked guitar are intricately woven together with Kedmi’s circular metallophone patterns (think Steven Reich) and Jorgensen’s signature synth arpeggios and leathery textures.
Filmed in the mountains above Ojai, California, the setting is majestic and surreal. From the opening shot sequence and natural soundscape that precede the song’s start, it is evident that the environment is a major character in this video. The compactness and portability of this musical trio set into the vastness of the setting presents a visual meditation on the human-to-nature ratio, while the song’s impressionistic lyrics piece together a darker picture of our relationship to our environment – images like “black slate” “salt fires” “red hands” and “deep cuts in the riverbed,” put this video’s rare natural beauty into stark relief.
Looking ahead, Jorgensen has already produced additional editions of Rancho Electro, and more collaborators are on deck for the future. Butterscotch Records will be releasing the Rancho Electro singles alongside the videos, and as a catalog of singles accumulates, plans are in place to create limited edition Rancho Electro LP-length volumes in the label’s typical audiophile-grade vinyl and hi-res digital formats. Jorgensen will also deliver a TEDx-Talk on May 21st in which he discusses his ideas behind Rancho Electro.