If you're not familiar with Lushlife (and I wasn't before spinning this album), it's the moniker assumed by musican/MC/producer Raj Haldar. Besides all of his production work, he also put out his debut, Order of Operations, back in '06, and even more intriguing, an album named West Sounds, where he becomes the mad experimenter, putting together the Beach Boys and Kanye West (if anyone knows where I can check a copy of this, please don't keep it to yourself). And speaking of dusting off some golden oldies, here he is taking on Jay-Z's Dead Presidents, live, in one take, on piano.
Taking it back full circle to my intro, taking it back to the day isn't just a YouTube gimmick for Lush. The real beauty of his album is how it pulls in where hip hop came from, revitalizing it, and building even further with, well, some lush instrumentation that melds seamlessly into the electronic elements of his music. Said instrumentation is just as central to this album as the rhymes laid down on top of it, with a few all instrumental tracks that you'd never place on a hip hop album if you heard them alone with their chamber-pop yearnings, yet when heard within the larger work, fit into place quite right.
With the exception of some guest vocals on only a few tracks, the album is the work of Haldar from the ground up. Check out In Soft Focus below, a track that does a fine job embodying that melding of rhymes and instruments.