Onra: The Chinoiseries

/ Monday /
Before you listen to this, I need you to read the below. Then, put the sound up, turnall distractions off, and step away from the computer for 9 minutes (but not too far obviously). Cause you're worth it.

I started this project August 2006, when i got back from a trip to Viet Nam, the land of my grandparents. As a vinyl junkie, i really couldn't come back to France without bringing back some wax. After hours spent riding on a motorbike in Saigon streets, a taxi finally helped me find some Asian records.

I almost felt like an explorer discovering a forgotten treasure. I bought 30 vinyls, most of them in poor condition, back to the crib, and started making beats with some material i wasn't used to.

I worked on this album through 2007. I think this is the perfect soundtrack to any Hip-Hop head going to South East Asia. It reflects all the different sides of those countries: Raw, sad, culturally rich, amusing, kitsch and romantic.

With a hook like this I knew I was in for something special.

Everyone knows I love music- sometimes in an obsessive "okay I get the point but you're now getting creepy" way. There can be moments where I experience something new and it rocks my world. I vividly remember seeing Seekae for the first time at the now defunct Hopetoun and being completely entranced. It was hot, stuffy, and we were squished out the back and couldn't even see, but through all of this their music managed to stop me in my tracks.

The Chinoi Series by Onra makes me excited- and I love being genuinely excited by new music (new to me anyway, this was released in 2007).

I've mentioned on this blog before about my love of the "nostalgic" genre (I made that up, yep, go ahead and use it) and this embodies it to a tee. Onra's description above is perfect and I couldn't have put it any better. I can see stories play out in my mind listening to it and love the textures and layers it invokes. Perhaps on some level it's something I can relate to- Asian, but not quite. Listening to this interview just makes me love it more.

Excitingly, Onra is playing in Hanoi on June 3rd! Total win. I can't wait.

I hope you love this as much as I do.

* I've since found out that it's not actually The Chinoi Series, but rather The Chinoiseries (one word not two). Chinoiseries in french meaning "little things without much value, and that usually are decorated with a lot of details". Thanks Charlotte!


Anonymous on: May 23, 2011 at 2:49 PM said...

Ooh I thought this was very french sounding. Pulls well from that kitsch you mention

{ ChaPoul } on: May 23, 2011 at 4:53 PM said...


{ James } on: May 23, 2011 at 6:42 PM said...

could be my new running soundtrack :)

{ Orr } on: May 23, 2011 at 6:43 PM said...

I know! this is so exciting that Onra is coming (back) to Vietnam. This album was left for me by a predecessor at work - she left I came and we've become fast e-buddies ever since.
Check out Bombay the Hard Way (vol. 1+2) by DJ Shadow and Dan the Automator for a similar treatment of bolywood!

{ Deidre } on: May 24, 2011 at 8:16 AM said...

It's always exciting when you find something that invokes so much passion and feeling!

{ jodeska } on: May 25, 2011 at 8:35 PM said...

Whoo! I'm happy you all love it as much as me =)

@Orr thanks for the tip. Dj Shadow is in my top 3 gigs of all time and I never knew about this! Perhaps I'll see you at Onra?

{ hila } on: May 26, 2011 at 4:09 PM said...

love it! especially with that added detail you've provided about the meaning of 'Chinoiseries'.

on a slightly irrelevant note: my mum's name is 'orna', I initially misread the name 'onra' and thought, hey, that's my mum ;)

{ jodeska } on: May 26, 2011 at 4:20 PM said...

I'm going to think of your mum everytime his name is mentioned now!

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