Parisian crate digger Onra came to our attention with 2007’s Chinoiseries, a dusty sketchbook of beats sampled entirely from records that Onra picked up on a trip to Saigon.
Onra recently announced details of Long Distance, his fifth album in total and his first for All City, the label that’s put out fire by Hudson Mohawke, Mike Slott and more in the past. Inspired by 80s boogie and funk, it features Slum Village’s T3, Olivier Daysoul and more, and you can watch a nifty trailer video for it here.
Eager to find out more, we hit up Onra with some questions about the LP, which is out in May.
Hey Onra, how’s it going? Tell us about your new album.
“Long Distance is my fifth album out, my third solo, but I consider it as my first real album. Tribute and The Big Payback were collaborations, Chinoiseries and 1.0.8 were more like beattapes. I’ve put more work and effort behind this project, and I can say this is the first one that I’m gonna be able to enjoy listening after its release. It is signed on All City Records from Dublin, and featured Reggie B, Olivier Daysoul, Buddy Sativa, Walter Mecca and T3 from Slum Village.”
Your last LP was sampled entirely off vinyl records from Saigon. Is there a comparable theme with this one?
“Chinoiseries was made with vinyls I dug out in Saigon, but most of them were chinese records. I like to have a concept for my projects, I think it makes more sense to have a direction, rather than a collection of beats that don’t really relate to each other. Long Distance were made and inspired by 80’s music, mostly Funk, Boogie and 80’s R’n’B.”
You’re releasing it on All City. How did you hook up with those guys?
“I first hooked up with All City for their 7×7 series project. Then I met Olan (the boss of All City), in London, at Deviation’s 1st anniversary party, Dam-Funk was playing. It was around late 2008. We started talking about an album project, and the rest followed. What really started this project is the “My Comet” beat I released for the 7×7, cause I told him I was coming up with an album entirely in this vibe.”
What else do you have on your plate right now, and what do you have planned for the not too distant future?
“Next up is a Dub project I have with Quetzal, aka Al Quetz, the french producer I made my first album with. That is official. I have some other stuff in the works, but I’d reather keep the surprise for later.”
Which tracks/producers are you really into right now?
“I don’t really know, I haven’t kept up with what’s going on now for a while… Not to sound cocky, but All City is putting out a lot of dope projects these days. Knowledge, L.A. 10×10, etc… Pursuit Grooves Ep is just out, and I think it sounds dope and original… Madlib… Kan Kick… Dam-Funk… Jneiro Jarel…”