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onra - Chinoiseries
Back in stock. Brilliantly odd instrumental hip hop album here from Onra, compiled and constructed around vintage Vietnamese pop records picked up in flea markets on a trip to the far east. 32 short tracks make up "Chinoiseries", each of them clocking in at the 1 or 2 minute mark and delivering a tight selection of beats that somehow bring to mind J Dilla, Rza, Madlib, Moondog, MF Doom and the Sublime Frequencies label rolled into one beautifully incoherent package. Having a ravenous appetite for the "Radio Transmission" style beloved of the aforementioned Sublime Frequencies crew, we might be perfectly primed for this sort of thing, but while the dusty exotica, folk and plastic pop of the source material here could so easily have ended up sounding like the sterile plunderphonic coffee table beats that typified so much instrumental hip hop in the late 90's, Onra manages to harness the mystifying magic of the original material and juxtapose it with a production style that's still adequately rough around the edges. And the source material itself is still bathed in the sublime hiss and crackle of hoary vinyl, retaining the unknown wonders of each of the nameless gems that play a central part through each and every track on this excellent album. Like small, perfectly flawed vignettes, each of the tracks here offers a quirky and mesmerising window into the far east of another era, taking us from the bittersweet far-flung serenading of "Last Tango In Saigon" to the stripped percussive echo of "Clap Clap" and the immense exotic funk edits of "Raw". One of the most enjoyable records we've heard in a while, and a real treat for crate diggers and found sound hounds out there, wherever you may be. ESSENTIAL PURCHASE.