Chester Raj Anand, a.k.a Lord Raja hits us up with his debut long player ‘A Constant Moth’ on Ghostly International. Having dipped in and out of this labels output, I’m guessing this will be off kilter and damn it – I’m right, though no prizes for intuition really. New York native Lord Raja has conjured up an amalgamation of styles that takes in abstract hip hop, footwork styles and ambient sound design to create a fairly cosmic, and pretty catchy set.
Standout track ‘Throw Them Out (System)’ is a real belter, sub-90’s rave break beats skitter along at 100mph whilst synths add emotion and warmth to a track that is probably too propulsive to actually dance to, but really gets the pulse racing. If you have been enjoying Lone particularly his Crystal Caverns track, you’ll love this. However there is much more than rave re-boots. ‘Van Go’ features Jeremiah Jae on vocals, bringing a nasal, Q-Tip type flow to the track. His vocals are slightly low in the mix, with a thumping beat drifting in and out of the track that completely drops out for a time midway through suddenly snapping your focus back to Jae. It’s a neat trick, aligned with the off kilter sound patterns running through the track it lends the whole thing quite a woozy, disoriented feel.
Elsewhere you get the beatless ‘Gottfried Semper’ just to show Raja has a few other styles up his sleeve, whilst ‘Darwin’ demonstrates his production chops with its glitchy, stop start take on a track that seems to be attempting to demonstrate a form of sonic evolution over its two odd minute span. All in all, this album is a very good take on a sound that many a producer has attempted, but few have made genuinely enjoyable. Often this abstract hip hop/electronica thing lets either boring noodling or unrestrained experimentalism get in the way of making something you actually want to listen to. Lord Raja hasn’t made that mistake and as such could find a home alongside the likes of Flying Lotus if he maintains this quality of output. Meanwhile I’m off to stick ‘Throw Them Out’ on again.
Lord RAJA – Throw Them Out (System): http://youtu.be/5A4uzs4_tZs