Last year, James Ferraro made it very clear he wasn’t feeling NYC, releasing the bleakness of NYC, Hell 3:00 AM just in time for the cruel winter of ’13/’14. Since then, he’s shared a steady stream of grimy R&B-noir joints billed as excerpts from the forthcoming BODYGUARD project. Then he put out the ostensible “beat tape”, SUKI GIRLZ. With no warning, he just dropped something on SoundCloud that indicates a move west—the 18-minute sound experiment, “LAPD – (Extended Motifs)”.
It could be the heavier use of more fully-formed R&B/hip hop samples (Lil B, Doughboy, Ice Cube, among them) than we’ve seen from him before, or maybe his synths are just a little bit brighter; whatever it is, his sound is markedly cheered-up. For a moment towards the end, Ferraro sculpts a cinematic moment, layering a grisly audio news report over sweeping romantic strings. This wouldn’t be the first time he’s tried to force-feed us irony, or make a comment on law enforcement, but at least he’s doing it in the sunshine.