After selling out their release show at Johnny Brenda’s, South Philly rapper Lushlife and beat makers CSLSX have now shared a video for “The Waking World” (featuring Swedish dream-rock outfit I Break Horses) from the new Ritualize LP. The clip opens with archival footage of a tape player inside of a jail cell before moving through scenes of young men in class, late night city life and quick shots of the outside world.
The ending is a beautiful explosion of flying galaxy lights paired with the airy vocals of I Break Horses, reaching a transcendental high that Lushlife aptly described as “celestial.” Check it out below and revisit Lushlife’s Unlocked feature here.
All week long we’ve been putting the UNLOCKED spotlight on the new release by Lushlife and CSLSX, Ritualize. Tomorrow night’s record release party at Johnny Brenda’s is expected to be epic. Lushlife will be performing with CSLSX, and he promises some special guests.
Fresh off a 72 hour media marathon in NYC, Lushlife, aka Raj Haldar, is a little hazy. Slouched deep in his blue upholstered couch with his Harmony electric across his lap, it’s the first weekend he’s had in awhile. Before New York he was in Austin at his label’s, Western Vinyl, HQ and the next weekend he would be flying out to the midwest to film with Nik+Lamar, who filmed the award winning “Magnolia” for Plateau Vision. Continue reading →
In some ways, the business of CSLSX (that’s “casual sex”)—started just as you’d expect it: casually. “We were all living at Broad and Tasker, and we had a room set up with all these instruments,” says producer/guitarist/vocalist Andrew Alburn, from a high-top table at Vincenzo’s Deli in South Philadelphia. “So people would come over and mess around. Originally CSLSX had no defined members; it was meant to represent music curated by the collective.” Continue reading →
Ritualize is a record that’s concerned with vibe and feeling—it’s a record that wants to transport you somewhere, then set the mood in broad, sweeping strokes. The collaboration between Philly rapper Lushlife (a.k.a. Raj Haldar) and production trio CSLSX is a dreamy journey through a jungle of smoke and sex, through which Lushlife, our narrator, weaves yarns and offers cinematic snapshots of the people and things he sees.
It’s beautiful, sultry record, with Lushlife’s raps the muscle that keeps it moving ahead. Constructed painstakingly by Haldar and CSLSX over the course of 3 years—in a process that Haldar describes as “Herculean”—Ritualize succeeds because it spares no detail in achieving its after hours vibe. Production is pristine, and listening on headphones, you get the sense that there is a real depth to these songs, even if they were layered together one piece at a time in the studio. Continue reading →
“It’s weird. I’ve been Lushlife my whole adult life. The genesis of the name is incidental now to me, but it’s just cute high school shit. Ultimately, I was just a marching band, jazz dork. Today, what Lushlife does is only tangentially related to that stuff, but a name becomes I name, I guess. When I was in the airport this weekend, someone recognized me and yelled out that name as I was walking by, and my head turned in the same intrinsic way that my given name would,” Raj Haldar says.
Philadelphia’s Lushlife began challenging the way hip-hop is defined long before his first official release, Cassette City, in 2009. Since his first show in 2005 at The Jazz Cafe in Camden Town, London, Raj Haldar’s ability to blur the lines between what the genre is and what it could be is the gospel he lives by. Ritualize, which premiered on Billboard on February 17th and was officially released February 19th, is the next notch in Haldar’s career, and it’s a coming of age story. And the story behind “Body Double”, his first single, is a harrowing one. Continue reading →
Rapper, DJ, producer and multi-instrumentalist Lushlife is releasing his new album, a collaboration with CSLSX (pronounced ‘Casual Sex’), Ritualize. The record is out on February 19th. To celebrate, he’s throwing a party at Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday, February 27th.
Co-produced and atmosphered with CSLSX, there’s a lot of awesome collaborations on Ritualize, as Lushlife (Raj Halder) worked with indie rocker Ariel Pink, Philly rapper Freeway, singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler, electronic artist RJD2, Nightlands (David Hartley of The War On Drugs), Killer Mike (of Run the Jewels) and others on the album. Additionally some of Philly’s most talented musicians play on the record including Mary Lattimore (harp), Chris Powell of Man Man on drums, and Julie Slick on bass.
Lushlife solo shows always bring the heat, but this one will be special. Haldar told us that the show “will be the first joint / live group performance for Lushlife ever, something that we’ll be taking on the road later this year,” as he and CSLSX bring the sounds of the studio to the stage. Continue reading →
We at The Key have been excited at the prospect of a new album by the talented Lushlife for a couple years now. But as even more details surface about his upcoming Ritualize, the word excited but not be enough to describe our collective enthusiasm.
Raj Haldar, the man behind the moniker, recently released the tracklist for his album due out in February ,and let’s just say that it was not without it’s share of enticing details. Rap albums track lists are more exciting than that of a typical album because of one thing above all else: features. In the case of Ritualize, the dizzying variety and overall quality of its nine different featured artists is what sets apart. Continue reading →
The Eagles season may be a disappointment thus far but it’s not because fans weren’t pumped for each game – thanks in large part to Philly-rapper and official Eagles tailgate DJ, Lushlife. While the Birds have been less than exciting, one thing that we can get pumped for is the release of Lushlife’s first album in three years. Continue reading →
The shrouded-in-mystery local electronica band CSLSX and the Swedish band I Break Horses have collaborated on a new song called “Violent Sea,” which you can download below for free. The lilting, uplifting song packs an infectious groove and the dreamy vocals recall the bliss pop joy of the Cocteau Twins.