Boomkat Product Review:
Parisian label boss Florent Hadjinazarian aka Hajj updates ‘90s illbient with contemporary instrumental rap, vaporwave and pop influences in a richly pungent and queasy debut album for YOUTH - tipped if yr into DJ Lostboi, Pan Daijing, Croww, Burial.
Bringing on the cold rush, seven tracks, all 3:33 long, Hajj’s sound is among the most distinctive in his field on ‘No Soul, No God, No Devil, No Existence’. Influenced by Marian Dora's 2009 film 'The Angels' Melancholia', the album is perhaps best defined by the stark negative ecstasy of its highlight ‘Drag Me Into the Void’, presenting Hajj as a master of collage-like structure, in possession of a compelling grasp of atmosphere. It stands out from much of the contemporary french music we’re aware of for its oblique rejection of club muscularity in favour of more unusual, weightless pressure and suggestively gestural arrangements. That’s not to say it’s not ripe for certain moments in the club, it just doesn’t give them readily.
Beginning like Biosphere doing dankest road rap with DJ Lostboi (anyone checked that Nedarb cut lurking on Æ’s Bandcamp purchase list yet?) in ‘Our Lady of Darkness’, he holds an immaculately dark-but-lush appeal from the K-hole nightmare of ‘Loosing U 4 Ever’ to the cosmic plangency of ‘Vox Tenebrae’, meting out discomfiting intro rap like a fantasy Croww x Ronce in ‘Heaven’s Calamity’, and like Spectre x Pan Daijing in ‘Do U Remember Bein Born’, while his ear for saliva-inducing textures comes to fruition on the voyeuristic vortex of ‘Burning Illusions’, perfectly distilling the cold rush on an original mix of the glorious ‘Drag Me Into the Void’.
Sickest thing for a while on YOUTH for our $$.