Lord RAJA: Amadeus EP

If you're going to so publicly announce that your music is a reaction to something, that music should stand on its own as such a reaction.


Amadeus EP

Label: Ghostly International
US Release Date: 2017-05-19
UK Release Date: 2017-05-19

Here's a quote that's likely to come back and haunt Lord RAJA: "People are so fucking precious about techno, or dance music, or club music... It’s unnecessarily pristine. So I wanted to make the shit I would want to hear.” The Brooklyn producer was speaking, here, of the club scene he witnessed over the course of his European tour, so in a sense, his Amadeus EP is a reaction to that. In a sense, he succeeds; while you hear the ghosts of club-ready dance music in the four-on-the-floor beats and slowly phasing looped synth work, most of Amadeus EP is clearly meant for headphones. On the other hand, if you're going to so publicly announce that your music is a reaction to something, that music should stand on its own as such a reaction.

What we have instead is a collection of quickly hashed-out thoughts -- intentionally so, mind you, as spontaneity was another of RAJA's goals -- that largely float by without leaving much of an impression one way or another. Stray profanity simply isn't enough to liven up half formed ideas like "Barrell" and "O.K.", and despite some largely creepy synth work floating around in the background, "Colors" sounds as though it would likely fit in quite well with the antiseptic side of the Euro scene that RAJA is railing against. Some of RAJA's ideas work, like the fascinating, skittery "Mantra", which may actually contain a sample from the Sega Genesis Streets of Rage video game despite "Streets of Rage" being the title of another song on the EP. For its part, "Streets of Rage" is a fine track as well, a too-short collaboration with Acemo with a pleasantly retro feel, and well-programmed minor-key synthwork. At 32 minutes, Amadeus EP is a little long to be an actual EP and a little short to be an album; either way, it's well-done enough to not repulse, yet not nearly memorable enough to warrant deep or repeated listening.


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