@NIGHT feat. Applescal (US Debut!)

@NIGHT feat. Applescal (US Debut!)

Applescal is an electronica producer from the Netherlands whose music
navigates both techno and IDM territories. At the tender age of 25, Applescal has
released 3 albums, as well as several other releases on Traum Schallplatten and
Manual Music. Not limited to releasing a host of records to acclaim from the likes
of Pitchfork, DJ Mag, Resident Advisor, XLR8R and more, this young producer
extraordinaire has remixed for artists like Extrawelt, Max Cooper, Telepopmusik
and Nick Warren. When he’s not busy making music, Applescal is 1/5th of online
music collective rtfkt.net & runs his own label 'Atomnation'.

Chester Raj Anand has always been a precocious creative soul. At the age of six, he discovered music production when his older brother showed him software like ACID and Fruity Loops. That knowledge coalesced with a background in piano, keyboards, and jazz percussion—as well as a fascination with “really raw, scary Aphex Twin” and the “lavish creative energy of the ‘90s”—setting Anand on his path to becoming the producer we know as Lord RAJA.

Now 22, Chester lives in Red Hook, NY, the place where he grew up. “It’s a small, rural town,” he shares, “and if you’re not good at sports, there’s nothing to do at all.” Which goes to explain how he quickly immersed himself in creating electronic music: He had all the time in the world to hone his skills as a beatmaker. “I just continued to make music every day in my basement on a custom computer,” he continues. Along with a drum set, keyboards, and his grandfather’s collection of old Indian records, the young artist worked tirelessly to craft his musical identity.

2011 was a big year for Chester, as it saw him issuing his first actual releases. Under the name InfinitiRock, he contributed an installment to Asthmatic Kitty’s library music series, Intonations: Music for Primordial Recollection, a drum-focused barrage of 22 sketches exhibiting his preternatural sense of rhythm and texture. Soon afterwards, Chester changed monikers for a class project while he studied at SUNY Purchase, donning the name RAJA to release and self-promote a string of songs leading up to Halloween. His newfound interests in

Prince, R&B, video art, and sculpture gave fresh layers of inspiration to the three-part October series, but Chester was still realizing his potential. “I just wanted to make songs that sound like visuals,” he elaborates. “Help take people somewhere bigger than their standard headspace.”

A quick stint with the audio engineering program at University of Hartford and time spent living in Brooklyn continued to broaden Chester’s horizons. However, he is ultimately a producer who thrives when allowed to stay in his own head. “I was on some type of quest for sincere isolation,” admits the producer. “A lot of my thoughts were tangled with existentialism and capitalism, and what it means to be human. Kind of the big questions, but the big arbitrary questions that seem impossible to answer.” And this is where he discovered the next chapter in his story, changing his name to Lord RAJA and teaming with Ghostly for his official debut album, A Constant Moth.

“A lot of my focus was to pursue granular synthesis, trying to explore perspectives with particles,” Chester says of the music on his first Lord RAJA LP. He also talks about using “world instruments for the spiritual effect” and how spontaneity and travel invigorate his production work. Add to that list his use of tape processes, custom-made pedals and circuits, an interest in composers Jon Hassell and Iannis Xenakis, and something he calls “pirating analog sounds,” and it becomes apparent that Lord RAJA is an evolving artist with a wide-range of knowledge and abilities. His is undoubtedly a career worth keeping tabs on.

Heathered Pearls (DJ Set)

The ambient project Heathered Pearls was the brainchild of Polish-born Brooklynite Jakub Alexander, who had a career deeply rooted in music before he ever released any of his own. He was music “curator” for Tycho’s ISO50 blog, Tycho’s manager, a DJ under the Aarnio moniker, and, latterly, head of A&R at Ghostly International, the label that released his music. Introduced as a young man to ambient music by his mother, he loved the sound but hated the “Pure Moods” clichs often associated with it, and strove to create his own vision of the genre that avoided these. In 2004, while residing in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he founded the eclectic electronica netlabel Moodgadget alongside his friend Adam E. Hunt, with the aim

of “exposing the diversity in electronically made music.” Many of the label’s alumni later went on to release albums on Ghostly.

After years of daily DJ mix podcasts on ISO50 as Aarnio, in 2011 his own music was released for the first time, as a now-hard-to-find EP compilation, Polite Isle, was issued under his real name through the digital subscription-only Ghostly Music Service; then, in December 2012, the Ghostly label proper put out his debut album as Heathered Pearls, Loyal. Created to help him deal with his own anxiety and heavily inspired by his favorite experience sitting by the ocean at night the hypnotic, soothing, melodic, loop-based ambient record dropped on vinyl and digital only. ~ John D. Buchanan, Rovi

Certain Creatures (DJ Set)

Oliver Chapoy’s (ex-Warm Ghost) Certain Creatures project provides two tracks of equally gritty, arguably dance tunes perfectly suited for headphone hauntings or Halloween raves. Narrated by Ike Yard (Stuart Argabright, a.k.a. Black Rain), “Sparkle” composes the 12-inch’s A-side with a nightmarish hallucination of urban throb and ambulatory paranoia. The track is effectively split into two parts, with the first half’s amorphous din shrouds the space with disorienting intent, leaving the second half to remove the blindfold, find it’s own way and make sense of it all. Luckily, Chapoy’s refined take on impulsive yet careful synth experimentation charts a litter-strewn path paved with ephemeral static and sub-bass foundation. In this light, Chapoy and Argabright are the modernized Suicide, translating the deranged focus and grotesque beauty of the legendary NYC no wave duo into the modern era. Impossibly deep low-ends riddle the path with world collapsing scope, recalling Raime’s or Emptyset’s speaker-destroying expansions without the posturing. Argabright’s frazzled mutterings play out like a burnt-out wayfarer, dropping insights like bits of fabric from a tattered, hobo-chic shroud but with an air of class nonetheless. B-side “Bosch” wastes no time launching its spaciously careening blitz of post acid thrash and guitar trash accompaniment. - Bobby Power // Decoder Magazine

Visual by CHiKA


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