‘Long Distance’ is Onra's fifth LP, and he is probably best known for 2007’s ‘Chinoiseries’, a great album created from Vietnamese found sounds after some extensive rifling through dusty crates. While this new set may be made via similar means – sampling old dusty vinyl –the sounds are distinctively Western and rooted in the ‘80s.
Long-established with a rep as one of the beat-scene’s “go-to” guys, he flips the style here to bring a distinctively French influence on what is a personal homage to the r&b, modern soul and boogie sounds of that era. 21 tracks in all – a mix of instrumentals and vocals – this LP resists being pigeonholed, being neither straight up beat based hip hop nor needlessly wonky low-end fonk.
Characterised by finely crafted songs with high production values, ‘Long Distance’ features vocal contributions from T3 of Slum Village on ‘The One’, Olivier DaySoul fresh from Hudson Mohawke’s ‘Butter’ LP is on two tracks, and Reggie B guests on ‘High Hopes’. French soul-jazz keys player Buddy Sativa and Walter Mecca also appear.