onra

November 6, 2010

Last week, French beatmaker Onra landed at Low End Theory, spinning found records into beautifully obscure head bobbers. I first came across Onra when he came out with his album Chinoiseries, which takes all of its sounds from a dusty crate of records Onra found while visiting family in Vietnam.The result is not only a unique blend of old east and new west sounds, but is also an experiment in postmodern identity.

You see, Onra was born Arnaud Bernard in Germany to a Vietnamese father and French mother and moved to France at a young age. According to the SF Bay Guiardian story, he spent summers in the Ivory Coast where his mother lived and listened to the Caribbean polyrhythms of Zouk. His love of beats, however, grew as he discovered 1990s American hip-hop, a universal language he carried with him on his travels around the world.

Chinoiseries reconciles Onra’s past in a way that could only be done in today’s digital age of sound collage and plunderphonics.

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