Lord Raja PARA

[Ghostly International; 2016]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: beats, sci-fi, adult swim
Others: FlyLo, Shigeto, Teebs, Samiyam

A little Cosmogramma on this, jazzy with the intergalactic vibes. Wobbly a bit too, absolutely, and a little fuzzy, with warmth, with that vinyl-crackle heat coupled with a spaceship coldness. Yeah, it’s bathed in the glow of the beautiful sublime, even if the sublime must die, and does die, and with it all the most gorgeously constructed beats, full of harps, smiles, naked bodies, and fair-trade coffee. Let it burn quick, let it die easy. Let it stumble into an assembly of a personality that you can be happy about, as if the movies of Wes Anderson were actually your whole entire reality, your whole entire way you think of yourself, at least on these streets. Because PARA goes in with a futuristic tone from the start with “Stars,” the intro. (I only write that adjective “futuristic,” because I think it’s a term most music writers use to describe the sound of a song with fast and complicated drum sounds, despite the fact that programming drums today isn’t that hard to do, and mimicking the [simulation of dancing in the] club isn’t either.)

PARA. Suave, sexy, beats: tunes good for a nightclub/tea session. Raja’s got that sixth sense, the one wherein he can make music for a show and a bedroom at the same time. You get a 2-in-1 deal from him. Go out, dance to this. Stay in, get high to this. If you can, do both at the same time.

There are sounds, but are they melodies? Yes and no. We hear these sounds and get awed by how Lord Raja manages to suspend the belief that they, the sounds, are somehow working to form a whole. Snares and pads and synths. The same formula, a slightly different approach. Like on the gondola smoking a joint thinking about how, no matter what you do, when you play SkiFree, you will get eaten by the abominable snowman. But sometimes you might manage to avoid him. You change the flow up. You switch it up. Like Raja will do a track without drums and then the next one’s got all these snares and even some dude singing in a breathy manner. Definitely not vaporwave, but almost. PARA’s maybe 8% percent vaporwave, a marvelous percentage, methinks. All switch-ups, all experiments. The Ghostly crew burns incense heavily into the deep night.

It ain’t lo-fi tho. Definitely hi-fi, produced maybe on a top-notch computer or in a club or in a studio and mixed somewhere good, somewhere with an audio technician smiling at how the sounds came out, thick and wholesome. Yeah, like a croissant out of the oven. Call these musical sadhanas, fresh air during a yoga sesh, all of the signifiers lined up, political, cultural, environmental, social — all of it embodying, embodying, embodying.

Links: Lord Raja - Ghostly International

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