You really gotta swim inside of Jordan Raf’s tracks to consume them. Entire bits and pieces are indiscernible, but you didn’t dive in for content, you came for the feeling of it all against each tiny cell of your skin. Words, phrases, sentences morph into a milky wave you have to ride out like its own form of molasses alien communication. They’re spit-thick R&B vocals over perfectly textured disco landscape that you have to sync your breath to.
Following his 2016 debut full-length Double Negative on POW Recordings, he’s back with “The Scales of St. Michael,” the first song on his forthcoming POW EP, which we’re debuting here on VMP. Much like the syrupy world constructed in his debut, the John War and Best Picture-produced track boasts a dark multi-dimensional atmosphere, lightened and freed of clichés with a string of oddities and cohesive nuance. It’s filled with equal parts visceral hair-raising lust and existential judgement—a track for the times, if you will. I could keep on describing it but, as Raf seems to know more than anything, the best way for you to understand is for him to show you (and then tell you below). You can stream to the track below.
From Jordan: "In the early 1950’s there was a secret bunker called “the Raven Rock Mountain Complex.” It was built for the sheer purpose that if during the height of the cold war if, all us plebs were blown to smithereens, the government elite and richest families of our society would have a safe place to hide.
In Catholicism, the myth is that after your departure from the physical world, Saint Michael, the head of the angel army, would weight your soul on his scales of justice, and see if throughout your life, you were good enough to enter heaven. My thought is what if you slip him a blue hundred? What if Dan Bilzerian is there in a gold jetski squirting holy piss all over all the people who've made fun of his tiny calves? What if after all the good I’ve tried to do in my art and personal relationships, I have to be Asahd’s pedicurist chained to a giant speaker that resonates over and over “did the drake vocals come in yet??!” for eternity.
I know I haven’t lead even close to perfect life but i'm trying my best, even if that means taking so much ketamine that you think you are meeting one of the thumb people from spy kids but it's just a trashcan in front of a pick-up-stix. Anyway, that’s what this song is about, and fucking, I say it in there. God bless."
Amileah Sutliff is a New York-based writer, the Head of Editorial at Vinyl Me, Please and an editor of the book The Best Record Stores in the United States.
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