Raz started working on the album Tyrants in 2017 and mixed the finished version in 2021. The writing process began with listening to sketches and sound-files he had collected throughout the past years, which he had not yet given up on. The album is thus a natural continuation of his previous works and showcases Raz’s unique sound design coherently. His increased focus into composition and arrangement is highlighted even further in this release. In the oblivious environment surrounding his hideaway lake cabin he produced an album that is rich and diverse in its sonic palette, ranging from harshly distorted
synth-peaks, cinematic soundscapes, all the way to avant-garde contemporary classical, and jazz music. It is an album that invites the listener to explore and discover not just the intimate self: it is also a very personal, intuitive observation and reflection on the world that we are living in today.
Certain instruments are very prominent. An old piano that was left in Raz’ apartment by a friend that he found joy in playing. One can hear a certain curiosity in the performance of this newly found, dust layered treasure (Bardot). You will also hear a lot of Cello by Lih Qun Wong. Throughout the past years, Raz and Lih performed together in almost secret, or private locations, often in the nature, by the water. Only a few people were able to witness these concerts and it was where magic enabled itself to appear. The aim of the recording sessions that followed, together with Lih, was to bring some of these moments onto this
very record. Raz would send her sketches and would receive stems of cello takes for the song in return. Sometimes he would put these recordings into sessions of completely new tracks he had made in the meantime (Where To) Or he would take one of Lih’s instrumental improvisations and realize they fit just
perfectly on a new song (Pretty Bird). It was an intuitive – at times, irrational creative process, in which compositions came together as one, just like that, without trying to puzzle a piece. The image just appeared. You will hear field recordings on this album, birds from the forest outside the cabin
(River of Surrender). You will hear a song called Whistleblower, about a vision of a higher self. It is a
reminiscence, an homage to bold activists putting their lives at risk, acting for a purpose that goes far beyond personal interests. The title song of the album (Tyrants) portrays the idea of salvation from earthly
manifestation and tyranny, symbolized by the figure of a divine martyr. The lyrics are inspired by, and pieced together from, the words of Persian poets. Sonically the album is an attempt to blend acoustic sound recordings with synthesized sounds, and to blend musical genres into one. It is an acoustic expression of the transformative times we are living in, a realm of mankind being mastered by technology. The gap of this transformational process is a glitchy moment of time. It is portrayed on the front cover image of the album, by glitch artist Azamat Akhmadbaev.
Check the live performance of ‘Tyrants‘ :
If by any chance you were ever fascinated by the ageless, genre-less and race-less voice of mysterious figure Raz Ohara, you will have a long journey ahead to discover the vast and eclectic collection of works this unclassifiable musician, composer, singer, Dj and sonic explorer has released. He is not only known for his solo work, but also for the many formations he’s belonged to (The Odd Orchestra, Feathered Sun) and countless collaborations with finest artists of all genres including Apparat, Chilly Gonzales, Luomo, Acid Pauli, Oliver Doerell. As a singer songwriter he’s praised for his unique vocal style gifted with a soulful and beautifully strange voice with an ability to convey deep lyrics of love, loss, deep introspection and exploration of emotional and spiritual themes. 2023 is set to be the year in which Raz Ohara releases the album Tyrants. The album is a continuation of his previous works (Moksha, Like A Jungle Sometimes)
and showcases Raz’s unique sound design coherently. – Luke LaJoya (House Of Frequency)
Verdict: A wonderfully melancholic affair, Raz has produced a rather unique collection of compositions for the album, like a delicate patchwork made up of carefully collected materials, he has finely woven unused treasures from his extensive vaults with inspired new layers, creating a very personal sounding project, one that portrays the vulnerability of an artists sensitivity. The improvised flow in the structure and performance of the pieces infuses the work with a certain humanity, forming an emotional depth you can connect with as a listener, and is a testament to his ability to combine electronic and traditional instruments that do not contrast but instead intertwine effortlessly and symbiotically. The vocal style throughout the album sits perfectly with the music, edging more towards spoken poetry than melodic singing, and this only adds to enhance the beautifully organic cadences of the compositions. An honest and creatively inspired album.
- Instant Mastery
- River Of Surrender
- Where To
- Pretty Bird
- Vert Allure
- Bootsy & Nils
Available now: Digital – Tyrants | Raz Ohara | Denature Records (bandcamp.com) Vinyl – available at all reputable retailers of good music.