Welcome to the world of Lord RAJA, a strange, sometimes perilous alternate dimension withbeauty and decay in equal measure. It's a world built on the beat-centric music which flows through New York native Chester Raj Anand's stream of consciousness; here, halfremembered hip-hop classics are spliced into '90s IDM, ambient, footwork, and experimental sound design. Our latest dispatch from Lord RAJA's uncanny realm is the impulsive and unpredictable A Constant Moth LP, 12 hyper-detailed scenes ripped from the surreal mayhem at play in the mind of this talented young producer.
After releasing his lush Rubies EP with Ghostly in the spring of 2013, Lord RAJA has travelled further down the wormhole opened by J Dilla, Dabrye, and Aphex Twin, seeking a place to call his own. His debut album, A Constant Moth, is that cosmic destination, and has been carved out and personalized with a strong sense of texture, rhythm, and spaciousness. Productions like "Skyre" and "Pistol Refix" put forth heavily smashing beats as the foundation of Lord RAJA's palace, while opulent dancefloor heaters "Throw Them Out (System)" and "De Lia Lu Lu" build glittering pillars from juke experiments and low-res electroisms, respectively. Warp affiliate Jeremiah Jae graces the atonal thump of "Van Go" like a knight paying his respects in RAJA's court, and beatless synth composition "Gottfried Semper" billows in the astral landscape's warm breeze. As far as we can discern, A Constant Moth is the most eclectic and fully realized depiction of Lord RAJA's far-o! galaxy to date.
But these 12 tracks are indeed just a glimpse into the sheer scope of the East Coast artist's musical vision, as A Constant Moth boasts a brisk 35-minute runtime that'll leave you itching to jump into its dizzying barrage again. From the opening moments of "Yelleo E"— with its jittery rhythmic workout and whirlpool atmospheres—to the warbling radio transmissions which close out "Golden Gravity Birds", Lord RAJA's debut LP delivers an intricate portrait of a burgeoning new producer. A Constant Moth is one of those rare records that sounds precociously self-assured while also hinting at a vast sonic universe that he's only begun to explore.