Boomkat Product Review:
Lovely ambient piano and electronic meanderings from NYC’s Chester Raj Anand aka Lord Raja, neatly befitting of Quiet Time Tapes’ snoozy contemporary a e s t h e t i c.
Muting the beats and vibing out in late night loner style is a strong look for Anand, with echoes of James Ferraro’s early vaporwave in ‘Shibuya 5AM’, or the whiskey-sozzled synth meditation ‘$alaryman’ and ‘Voices’, while the shimmering guitars of ‘Blue Memory’ and ‘Hyatt’ wordlessly evoke the balcony gaze mode of a solo traveller soaking up Tokyo, Japan, where the album was written and recorded.
“A collection of minimalist compositions, Chester uses synths, a tape machine, and field recordings to craft an album that’s deeply emotive and contemplative through its simplicity. While these are wordless compositions, many of the tracks carry the weight and melancholy of a love song, revealing his innate songwriting ability.
Strawberry was created while on a solo trip to Tokyo. As Chester traveled the city he'd pull field recordings from the street and Japanese television, recording secret synth sessions at local synth shops. Back at his temporary stay, drifting in and out of sleep, he’d edit the recordings deep into the night. While exploring Tokyo, Chester also captured observational footage on his camera phone; street scenes, bizarre moments from television and an overnight stay at a manga cafe; footage he then compiled and edited into an accompanying video for the album.
Strawberries became a vivid motif during his visit as they were in season at the time and popped up frequently in one way or another. He’d see fresh strawberries being sold every day on his walk to the train. They were a suitable metaphor for his brief experience in Tokyo.
The music conveys the feeling of being a lone observer, looking from the outside into a hyperconnected chaotic world filled with white noise and stimulation. All experienced in and out of a dream state. Something about this experience, and the way it was captured in music and on video, resonate more effectively in these times in which traveling, or being in a crowded urban space, feel like a distant memory.”