Influences and Interpretations of hip-hop and other genres, into a unique flow, blessed by Ghostly’s Lord Raja

With music out on Adult Swim and Ghostly International, crafty and beat-deity Lord Raja blesses with sound-waves coming from East Atlanta Village and New York. From the places and labels’ base where resides artists such as Shigeto, Deku, Tycho, Fort Romeau and extensively more; Lord Raja proposes a perspective in music of his very own, catching hearts and psyche through uncommon electronic compositions.

Creating spicy loops since childhood; beat-making was a process for Chester Raj Anand, a.k.a Lord Raja, carried out as an instrumental structure design for his elder brother to rap over. Using softwares such as ACID and Fruity Loops, Anand was already at electronic-music-production since the age of six. 

As one of the latest releases in the artist’s repertoire, 2017 came with two of his new projects of which are both the crafty ‘Amadeus’ EP released in May and deep-resounding two-tracked gem ‘Zoro’ out in the following September. 

First released as an Adult Swim single, the A-Side of the latest EP is Zoro’s title track featured as a fresh-sounding approach to the genre it was dwelling into, which could be sounding along the lines of Trap music, yet much slower and laidback. The track starts off with momentary beat-effects, which are all synonym to a lush incoming drop, which eventually leads to a lot of bass but also and especially featuring a dazed down-pitched vocal. The voiced came from an old recording found by Anand of his old friend rapping, then contextualising the uncovered piece of recording into the beat-structure, godlike as it would be deemed. In the artist’s own words, he mentioned to have been listening to grime and wanted to approach the style in his own way.
Second track on the B-Side is ‘Night’, evoking a lot of smoothness through its arrangement, with vocals chopped and looped along with soothing elements. The track meant a more natural connection to the artist and an expression that the latter felt as true and authentic, through simple frequent gazes out of his apartment window onto the world.

Rewinding, Lord Raja’s first notable releases came with the ‘Rubies EP’ and 2014’s full-length ‘A Constant Moth’ featuring the thump track ‘Van Go’ with Jeremiah Jae on the vocals. Lord Raja’s deep experimental works were yet to come and such a point was boldly made on 206’s ‘Para’. Featuring a sheep on the album artwork, the basis for the album came not from a mountainy region and picturing life as a shepherd; but from a synth store where Anand was sifting through the different equipment, plugging and recording all of them using his RME Babyface.

For his second full length album, Raja described such as his most adventurous and experimental project till now; each track has had the colour and usage of his Lexicon PCM 90 and an Eventide H3000, of which were tinkered to reach desired sounds. Nevertheless, even with the factor of experimentation, the album is aurally accessible to the masses with the techno texture, and the artist made such a point so as to not alienate listeners to his music. For instance, ‘Sheep’ starts off directly with all the beats on, providing a typical beat structure through the bass and snares, and yet is coloured with an experimental background rhythm through the synth and everything else. ‘Zerulean’ really points out a hip-hop influence with the present drum work, and where it’s all wrapped up in heavy synths giving out an air of heightened intensity.

After ‘Para’, Anand set himself off to movement again and ventured to Brooklyn. This led him to team up with fellow Ghostly colleagues Shigeto and Heathered Pearls on a wide-ranging European tour. As such inspired Anand on the regions’s take on techno, on how the wide-sounding music was not actually reaching him and confused on what the dedicated techno-listeners were actually devoted about. A set of thoughts which led to the artist’s next project.

Described as ‘Making shit I would want to hear’,  Amadeus EP features tracks that seemingly sways from his hip-hop texture and beats, now diving more into the experimental bath with a one-take approach on productions of the tracks. The EP is launched with ‘Streets of Rage’, a heavyweight collaboration with New-York based producer AceMo, with synths directing the clash of drum work present. Anand describes that the music he makes is intended to sound like visuals, and Amadeus EP gives the picture of a rocky sci-fi spatial travel upon the following course of the EP. It’s not Lord Raja’s typical, but it’s worth the watch.

Now taking a hard turn on the rewind, it has been described that Anand has been an artist that started producing since the early age of 6 and it made sense that before Ghostly International, there should have been some early works, and indeed! Before Lord Raja, Anand had adopted the monicker of InfinitiRock and made some pretty neat and dusty pieces around that time. We’re talking about 1992, and about the 40-tracked album titled ‘17Years’. This likely showcases a great deal of early works from Anand and damn its good from head to toe; plus its a free download!


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