RAJA – Red/Witch/Color (ASTR008)


 

 

 

Red

Red is Part I of The October Series, a trilogy of themed mixtapes from prolific 19-year-old New York producer RAJA (formerly known as InfinitiRock) to be released here over the next 48 hours.

Red is roots music: a classic hip-hop beat tape overflowing with jazz and soul samples and, as such, a deeply respectful nod to the origins of contemporary beat music in Madlib and Dilla. Featuring guest appearances from Brainfeeder’s Jeremiah Jae and Starchild of RAJA’s Guns of Kingston (GOK) collective, this tape bespeaks RAJA’s natural ability to bring creative individuals together in the pursuit of musical greatness.

After dropping breakout 40-track beat tape 17Years as a high school student under his ‘InfinitiRock’ alias, RAJA (real name Chester Anand) released Music for Primordial Recollection LP earlier this year on Sufjan Steven’s label Asthmatic Kitty. Anand is currently working on an EP with vocalist/multi-instrumentalist and fellow GOK member Bean under the moniker Slowlight. Download their first single, ‘Copper Mirrors,’ via our friends at Yours Truly.

 

Witch

Witch is Part II of The October Series, a trilogy of themed mixtapes from prolific 19-year-old New York producer RAJA (formerly known as InfinitiRock).

Billed as a collection of trap beats, Witch is driven by a series of preposterously epic slow bangers like ‘Blank CD,’ ‘Vapor Trails,’ ‘Rituals,’ ‘Make Me’ and ‘Go Back to Sleep.’ But thunderous noddable crunk is not the sole objective of this tape as tracks like ‘Punk (Buster)’ and ‘Ghost Child’ blossom into double time shuffles, expanding the mix.

Sonically, Witch departs from the sampled acoustic instrumentation of Red, opting instead for heavy duty electronics. Distorted sub kicks and churning drum machines, swooning bass synths and processed female vocal exhortations are all juxtaposed with the characteristic fuzz, hiss and crackle of a beatmaker with a penchant for sounding tactility. 30 tracks in total.

 

Color

Color is Part III of The October Series, a trilogy of themed mixtapes from prolific 19-year-old New York producer RAJA (formerly known as InfinitiRock).

‘Color,’ more of an LP than a mixtape, is the most personal music yet released by RAJA. It is dedicated to RAJA’s recently deceased grandmother.

The piano acts as a thread through this album, centrally amidst in the emotional electronics of ‘To Be Alone,’ ‘Diamond Life’ and ‘Sara.’ Mouth clops and drumstick clicks are percussion on ‘The Storm,’ while low end sub dives sink into the listener’s skin like something uncanny. There’s also the upbeat teenage ‘Moon Rising’ and Shirley Abicair (via The Beatles) cover ‘That Girl,’ widening the scope of the release.

RAJA’s voice appears in ‘Color’ for seemingly the first time in his already expansive catalog, and to great effect (c.f. the autotuned mantra of ‘Luv (Someone Else)’ and gated yearning of ‘You’).

Ultimately, ‘Color’ aptly marks the culmination of The October Series, displaying Chester Anand the true artist, always behind and yet exceeding the sum of his tracks.

 

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