Red Bull Music Academy Stage [SAT] Society for Arts and Technology 01/06/2013
Paris-based Onra’s allegiance lies with the more experimental contingent of hip hop beatmakers. A sampling savant, as demonstrated by the impressive two-part Chinoiseries project – a fusion of vintage Vietnamese and Chinese pop with hip hop – his sophisticated compositions rank way up there with those of J Dilla and Flying Lotus. The Red Bull Music Academy-schooled artist, born Arnaud Bernard, has shown an equally firm grasp of Southeast Asian influences, neon-soaked funk and a kind of heavy, fatty, growling bass. His latest EP, Deep in the Night (Fool’s Gold), flirts with early ‘80s electro-funk, as popularized by Afrika Bambaataa and Debbie Deb. With a sexy, late-night, languorous sound, the electrifying performer continues to explore the esoteric groove he first set out to capture on his acclaimed 2010 album, Long Distance. Onra belongs to a rare breed of polymorphous producers who channel multiple strands of inspiration, all the while refusing to comply to the music industry’s prevailing sonic precepts.