Kangding Ray unveils new label ara with Predawn Qualia EP, premieres new track “Trade On Azul”

Kangding Ray unveils new label ara with Predawn Qualia EP, premieres new track "Trade On Azul"
Photo: Marie Staggat

As the old saying goes: every artist needs a home. And when you’re an artist with the tireless work ethic, vision, and conviction of, say, a veteran artisan carpenter (for example); it can often be more beneficial to build your own home than to rent out someone else’s. I’m sure this is the exact metaphor that producer Kangding Ray had in mind when he decided to launch his brand new label, ara.

So, keeping with this figurative train of thought, let’s talk foundations: “ara is a platform for recording artists with unique sonic identities that seeks to induce deep emotion through sound; focusing on singular artistic endeavours, created with patience and dedication.” In practical terms, the label will focus on “parallel series of curated releases,” each concentrated around a particular musical or conceptual approach. If that doesn’t get your blood pumping like you’re hooked up to some kind of blood pump, try this block of text on for size:

Each record will be irrationally produced as an hand-made work of art, involving procedures and techniques such as manually-applied ink, brushed acrylic paint or tape. Each edition will be individually numbered, recognisable as a part of a whole, while being slightly different by nature.

Okay, now let’s talk furniture (the logical next step after foundation building): a new EP by Kangding Ray called Predawn Qualia will be the label’s first release. The four-track project will be available on 12-inch vinyl and digital formats on May 17. You can listen below to the EP’s closing track (premiering here today!), check out the full tracklisting below, and pre-order the EP here.

No, that isn’t the extent of ara’s interior decoration; you can also look forward to future ara releases by Adiel, Hydrangea, Refracted, and Voiski later this year. But until then, it’s just Kangding Ray’s pull-out loveseat (which is honestly another pretty good name for his label). In any case, here’s to a interesting future for ara, and to all the other artists out there: happy house hunting!


Predawn Qualia EP tracklisting:

01. Predawn Qualia
02. Stone Sober Brushstrokes
03. Orcan Tears
04. Trade On Azul

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