Rashida Prime


Liam Murphy

April 27, 2022

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

Humanity and technology desperately reach out to each other on this swirling ambient release

The granular quality of electronic music allows for it to be utilised in many different ways. A producer's ability to manipulate sounds down to their very base level enables the them to present sonic illusions of depth, scale and atmosphere. These qualities are created frequently, to the point where the listener will sometimes scarcely appreciate their application. One ability of electronic sound that remains sacred, however, is the application of electronic sound to convey feelings of human emotion. The expression of sorrow and yearning through synthetic means, when done right, will always be striking. Much of this has to do with duality.

Rashida Prime’s Chroma stands as a testament to this, as the album as a whole presents wide sweeping exclamations of deep-seated emotions that are irrevocably human, while still navigating the realms of digital modernity using synthesis. Mistakes with Magnitude presents a typically melancholic chord sequence at its beginnings, euphoric pads engaging in that well-worn tugging of heart strings. However, as the atmosphere is built gradually and patiently by the artist, the purity of the emotion is noteworthy. Wind buffets, causing metallic percussion to clatter repeatedly, delicate arpeggiations bloom in the midst of a pained sequence. The thrust with which the atmosphere flows is emotive and moving. The piece combines the raw power of electronic instrumentation with the elegance of a classical piece, and in turn presents a vibrant meshing of the real and the digital.

A sense of grand scale embraces this feeling of emotion throughout Chroma, with a shining example being the gargantuan Sonic Transfer. The low-end sequence sets a solid but downcast tone for whirling synths and euphoric leads to peel off of in an emotive fury. The listener hears a vein of pad sounds glide through a scanning filter repeatedly, offering a hypnotic energy and separating the more easily manipulated higher frequencies from those below. The visual accompaniment to the album (provided by Hydra Void) perfectly depicts the experience as the viewer travels down an endless red-phased fractal of cold architecture. Rashida Prime’s composition providing an emotionally-fulfilling soundtrack to this otherworldly personal experience.

There are many instances in which the album and its visuals coalesce in to present the human and the digital in tandem. Data Design's snowstorm synth collage soundtracks an unnatural landscape where land stands parallel to land, presenting a place in which a human would be comforted but imprisoned. As the swirling notes are pushed more decisively forward by deep bass tones, a humanoid figure strides toward us from the middle distance. As the track reaches its peak, the figure reaches out toward the viewer, followed by a moving close up of a human hand. The lights go dim on this scene, and as the album pulls into the unsteady leviathan synth and calming aura of Mind Glitch, we are treated to an ascending view of a cold and hollow skyscraper exterior. As the eye dives into the centre of the form, a frantic, jagged form floats within its walls, mutating endlessly. The video meshes themes of technology and human emotion together elegantly with Rashida Prime's incredible album as its inspiration.

For their first release in almost three years, Rashida Prime offers listeners a chance to dive deep back into the world of the digital. Rich synths carve out an intricately created soundscape that feels unbounded. But what causes Chroma to stand out is its intensely emotional aspects. At the centre of each track is a moving melodic sequence that is presented through the lens of a dreampunk ambient sound. Combined with incredible visuals, Rashida Prime's return deserves a place at the zenith of Pure Life releases.