According to the label, the release sees the producer return with "cunning, childlike purity not felt since he started tinkering with Fruity Loops aged six." Utilizing "an arsenal of drum machines" along with synthesizers and an Allen & Heath analog mixer for production, RAJA describes a deliberate return to youthful experimentation and immediacy, clearing the way for a “vista to his childhood.”
The story behind the release is as following: having produced 2015’s PARA full-length in the confines of his parents’ home in upstate New York, he moved to Brooklyn after its release and found himself in a basement studio. Soon after, he joined Ghostly labelmates Shigeto and Heathered Pearls for an extensive European tour, finding inspiration in the continent’s techno culture—albeit in an unexpected way. “When I would go out, I would see techno DJs, but it didn’t really speak to me,” he says. “It was unnecessarily pristine. So I wanted to make the shit I would want to hear.”
Returning to the basement, RAJA then composed a flurry of one-take productions, often making tracks over the course of an evening and road testing them with walks to the waterfront when the rest of Brooklyn had gone to sleep. Imbued in them all is what he describes as “micro-choices”—the practice of very simple effects and subtle sonic decisions—in a nod to longtime influence from the nuance and subconscious innovation of Stanley Kubrick’s filmmaking.
Fans of the producer may be accustomed to productions more directly aligned with hip-hop and leftfield beats, but "his swagger hasn’t gone anywhere despite the decidedly dancier change of form," adds the label.
The release is bookended by a collaborative piece with AceMo—a fellow New Yorker whom RAJA describes as his favorite producer—and bonus track “Fox Den,” an eight-minute cosmic meander released as part of the Adult Swim singles series last year.
01. Streets of Rage (feat. Acemo)
05. Black Coffee
08. Fox Den
Amadeus EP is scheduled for May 18 release, with "Streets of Rage" (Featuring Acemo) streamable in full below.