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- Indra by Pyramid Vritra
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The press release of Pyramid Vritra's 'The Story Of Marsha Lotus' three years ago describes it as his debut LP, so it's a surprise to me to see the press release for 'Indra' describing this as his debut LP as well. Presumably that last one was in fact just an EP, no wonder our Dave thought it was a bit short. This is real good shit from the LA youngster though, a woozy trip full of FlyLo-esque neon streaks and chilled out, conscious rapping.
Mr Vritra, a 22-year-old warehouse worker with Odd Future connections, is a shy lad who has been making music since he was 10, which explains why this alien-sounding record sounds so finished. The sleek, lazy beats lean heavily on weird feverish synth sounds and tightly programmed beats, there's lots of oddball details like backward-masked melodies and the raps are sometimes clean and sometimes all blurred and processed until they're almost unintelligible.
The sample-free synthetic aesthetic is sweet and glutinous like wading through a thick sonic syrup; it's like the sonic equivalent of that tiredness you feel after you've been out too long on a hot day, a woozy, disoriented pleasantness that drifts in and out of focus in layers of gloopy synth and understated vocal flows. Really cool trip/hip-hop full of strong LA vibes and Flying Lotus-meets-Hype Williams punchdrunk weirdness.
9/10 Mark Customer review, 27th June 2014
One of my pet hates when discussing Hip Hop are those people that say "I only like Old Skool Hip Hop, no one is doing anything interesting or original these days". It annoys me because the people who say it clearly have good taste and any argument to the contrary will force them to drop bombs like Public Enemy, The Wu Tang Clan and a whole plethora of legends in the field.
I'm not saying Old Skool Hip Hop isn't awesome, but what I'm saying is there's a lot of amazing new Hip Hop around today that should not be dismissed because it wasn't made between the years of 1988 and 1995. And so on to Indra..
Pyramid Vitra aka Hal Williams is one half of The Jet Age of Tomorrow - the Odd Future affiliated beat team. He has recently signed to the legendary Stones Throw Records and this is his first full length album.
If you took the time to listen to his work as part of The Jet Age of Tomorrow (and you really should) the vibe on this record will not surprise you. It's all haze and synth bubbling through your ears like the drunk, bastard son of that 80s Atari game Centipede. This is coupled with a stainless neo soul vibe that shares some common ground with The Internet - one half of which is made up of Matt Martians, Hal's collaborator in The Jet Age of Tomorrow.
Hal spouts a laid back stream of consciousness flow that will make you think someone is talking to you in a dream. It's not the easiest to follow, but it really doesn't matter as his mumbled drugged voice merges in with the music to create a soundscape of a lost summer afternoon spent off your pickle in the park.
This is experimental left field psychedelic Hip Hop at it's best. It draws you in like a long toke on an imaginary bong, then blows you out into the atmosphere a changed and utterly different entity.
Indra is both original and interesting, it is breaking new ground and taking the genre into the realm of psychedelia, and at that it is a rip roaring success.
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