Week in Pop: Brodie Bones, Monsterlips, .paperman, Sky Chefs

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The latest from the legendry Lord RAJA; photographed by Daniel Stenzel.
The latest from the legendry Lord RAJA; photographed by Daniel Stenzel.

SUNY Purchase legend by way of prolific Brooklyn lore stands the one & only groove meister Chester Raj Anand, who you know already as Lord RAJA has made the headline rounds this week across all of your favorite magazines & journals announcing the forthcoming Amadeus EP from Ghostly. From jet-setting around the world with labelmates Heathered Pearls & Shigeto, the Lord has deepened his affinity for what depths & dimensions of virtuosity that can take place from concentrated creations of fully immersive sound-scapes & arranged audio structures.
Featuring a listen to the single “Streets of Rage” featuring Acemo; Lord RAJA re-soundtracks the classic Sega beat-em-up masterpiece of the same name with a modern affinity for vintage fashions. The track brings all that super serious synth action with video game vocal cut edits that compliments all the various percussive particulars that bubble, kick & punch like cartoon-ish sprites displayed on a CRT-screen in an arcade cabinet. From here the Amadeus EP proves to provide electronic compositions & symphonies for the post-post-digital age where scraps of modernism are rearranged in a new blend built on new brighter & more beautiful platforms. Join us after the jump for an exclusive discussion with none other than our hero Lord RAJA.

Tell us about how your past European tour with Shigeto and Heathered Pearls tour opened up your eyes, ears & minds to creative possibilities.
Yeah I was happy to support & it was just the best experience ever. One of the first nights we did this amazing warehouse party in Venice during carnival and I was on for like 4 hours. I think then I realized that my discography at the moment wasn’t really reflecting the kind of sound I wanted to throw out there. I wasn’t so drawn to the contemporary techno I’d hear out from other DJs either really, I was gravitating towards darker attitudes I think. A lot was happening in the U.S at that time also, and I was experiencing some prejudices myself. As soon as I stepped out of the hotel in Switzerland a car with sirens pulled up to me and two officers started interrogating me on the street. It was really aggressive. There were plenty of moments like that & I could just breeze over it but it all adds up and stays with you, you know? Anyways An idea for a new project began incubating, designed for playing out… something a bit more rough around the edges that says “this is who I am”. I think I started to plot it all out there in Europe. I feel like I had a revelation in each city we visited. We were staying in this tall castle in Warsaw for a while and I remember just watching Herzog’s Nosferatu a bunch. It really struck me that I should put in a deep effort to make something almost as great. I was making a lot of music on the plane and in the hotel. like nonstop really. I knew I had to come home and hone it all in. I came home with a distinct feeling like “wow, I’m so inspired I can make 12 albums”. The whole thing really matured my perspective. In a way I realized that evolving kind of demands reflection. Not doing too much.
How much did “Streets of Rage”, the classic Sega inform the new single? Tell us about making this futuristic street cruiser.
It informed everything, I’d say. It’s the greatest game ever and it’s the perfect way to kick off the project. The Sega Genesis was very exciting, almost as exciting for me as this project. That’s why I thought we should print it to cassette, because it reminds me of a cartridge. My brother and I would play SOR all the time when we were little, & then we’d experiment with electronic music. The songs we made sounded very similar to what I made with Ace. The process was similar. I still have all of my songs since the age of six on an ancient custom computer back upstate in our basement. I call it the motherboard. After we printed “Streets of Rage” I was like this reminds me of my brother. Maybe it’s a feeling of preservation.
From childhood fruity loops beats, hip hop productions to your new EP—describe your own personal evolution as an artist.
I think my evolution sonically has a lot to do with forgetting & what I’m into at the moment. For a second I lost the feeling of effortlessness, which I find to be very important and part of every artist’s core identity. A lot of jaded artists seem to imply that inspiration dwindles overtime but I’ve never felt more imaginative. This project is my most inventive one yet, because I’m returning to my childlike self. Unlike my past projects on Ghostly, this is the only one that aside from hardware was 100% made on FL studio & in a basement, which is important to me. I’ve upgraded in equipment, but I’ve made a point to sort of forget the rules. A lot of the work that went into this was more in reduction or with certain nuances that perhaps only I would notice. The songs themselves were made very quickly, very late at night, & each in one sitting. There was a lot forethought and afterthought I’d say. Ideas marinating and electrocuting me. I think when you have direction and know yourself well enough you can make an authentic statement which shows improvement & effortlessness simultaneously.
Best things about Brooklyn right now?
Tortilleria Mexicana los Hermanos.
Best things you have heard lately?
Mostly stuff my friends send me. AceMo has a crazy project “Black Populous”. My friend Annika Zee has been making some crazy stuff kind of reminds me of Vangelis. My friend Zsela is amazing. I really like that new one by Frank Ocean “Chanel”. I love Ian Isiah. “Milan” by Chino Amobi is sick.
Mantras, meditations, prayers & hymns for 2017 survival and beyond?
Consumerism is okay. Watch a lot of movies. Don’t associate with authority or advice from others.