Filmed during a solo, somnambulist trip to Tokyo.
Strawberry is the first album to be released by Chester Raj Anand under his given name. As Lord RAJA the NYC producer has released two albums with Ghostly International, moving between sounds as diverse as Jersey club, footwork and IDM. For his debut release on Quiet Time, he strips back his sound over 10 compositions woven together from simple synths, a tape machine and field recordings.
The album was recorded during a solo trip to Tokyo, with the majority of synth parts laid down in secret at local synth shops. Anand would then take these recordings home and work on them late into the night, stitching them into to his emotive soundscape while drifting in and out of sleep. It was during this trip that he also captured the footage featured in the accompanying short film.
“Strawberry was captured with an intent to explore the multi-dimensionality of time and interconnectivity of physical spaces”, explains Anand. “I wanted to play with the idea of reality folding in on itself and all directions of time happening in one instance, or observe the theory of Eternalism in an impressionistic way.’
“For much of this footage I was listening to exported material from the album and recording what I felt matched the music in real-time”, he continues. “I had a small, cheap digital Casio camera that ended up having an organic tendency of blurring the images together in a pleasant way and had a surprisingly long zoom functionality which helped me record pretty casually. For most of the clips I was walking and recording what I observed outside in Shibuya.”
“There was also an interest in what meets in the middle of a state of dreaming and being awake. Much of the album was made in and out of sleep and sometimes I’d hear music I’ve never heard before in my sleep.”
Grainy footage of busy city streets married with Anand’s plaintive sounds conjures a unique, pre-COVID nostalgia, with lysergic tracer effects blurring the film into hazy memories and half-remembered images.
Strawberry is out now, on Quiet Time.