Ray O'Hara

Real Time Voyeur

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Most electro artists claim to transcend genre boundaries, but most of them are lying: the vast majority fit pretty comfortably into one prefab category or another. Raz Ohara is different. His music tends to be dreamy without being ambient, hooky without being pop, funky without being funk. On Realtime Voyeur he manages to evoke both Prince and Divine Styler while covering the Pixies, so you see how confusing this can get. On "Gone to the Moon" he buries several layers of scratching and funky synth beats under multi-tracked vocals; on "Jane Flame" he uses a reggae bassline as the foundation for dreamy, slightly dubwise trip-hop; on "Ass for Cash" he takes a sort of modified New Jack groove and tweaks it into twisted hip-hop. The Pixies cover is a slightly thin, but nicely soulful version of "Where Is My Mind." The program ends with a whimper rather than a bang (the flabby, organ-driven ambience of "I Wanna Be Where You Are"), but for the most part this is a very worthwhile album.

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