Sunday, October 2, 2016

Crown Chakra Zulu

    Over the summer I spent a lot of time revisiting the music of the 8-Bit Bassquiat, Orko Eloheim. I was reminded that the Sycotik Alien never fell off, and has in fact released two of his most interesting projects in recent years:

   The first was a very low-key collection of tracks released first as a single disc effort under the alias Chakra Zulu and later, more officially, as a two disc selection entitled Audio+Annunaki+Archetect+Autism. This collection covers a wide range of sounds, styles and subject matter. There are aggressive battle raps and prophetic warnings over boom bap, laid back mood pieces with hypnotic chanting, rampaging drum & bass, as well as some unexpected sounds, with a plethora of uncredited guests, some who would be very recognizable to anybody who's reading this blog. With the best tracks condensed to a single disc and proper mixing and mastering, this project could be a very potent addition to his discography and shows a lot of promise in terms of what to expect on his next solo album. I had planned to post a link, but the album is currently not available.

    The second project I'd like to shine a light on is his recent instrumental opus, Art Chakra. While so many listeners likely, and understandably, focus on his rhyming abilities, I feel Orko's production sometimes gets overlooked. And while he has released several beat tapes over the years, some even being full-blown concept albums, like The Acid Bible (Confessions of a Teenage Acid Lord), this record stands apart as an album, a culmination of all his various experiments in sound into a focused LP. The record shifts from reggae and dub-tinged, to spacey and ethereal, to frantic jungle, and is a reminder of the wide range of sounds Orko has covered. The off kilter drums and experiments in ambient soundscapes act as a nod toward sounds yet to be explored. Overall, this is a keystone effort from the 8-Bit Bassquiat and should not be overlooked.


    Orko's most recent project is a collaboration with Japanese emcee Kaigen under the alias Tachyon Ghetto Blaster. The two released an EP back in 2014 and the new Heaven on Earth album, released on Fake Four, collects those songs and adds more. With production by Orko, Infinity Gauntlet, Psychopop, K-the-I???, Skyrider and more, guest spots from Gonjasufi, Self Jupiter, Gajah of Acid Reign, and cuts by DJ Roach, this project has a lot of interesting moments and serves as another solid offering from the Sycotik Alien.