Onra's musical lineage can be traced directly to two hip-hop titans, Madlib and J Dilla. From 'Lib he takes an appreciation for formalism, having mimicked the Stones Throw stalwart's obsession with place by releasing an album made entirely of samples from Vietnamese and Chinese recordings. The result was Chinoiseries, a collection of bangers born from unsuspecting origins. Onra's most recent record, Long Distance, is indebted to Dilla's love for soul samples and rich drums. A track like "Wonderland" demonstrates beautifully what he learned from the Detroit maestro, all hacked-n-slashed vocals, chopped in surprising, urgent ways. Madlib and Dilla are two of the most idiosyncratic producers in hop-hop history; Onra is poised to join that list. His interest in European electro and dance give his music a flavor distinct from his American heroes. It'll be perfect for blowing up the dance floor at the Knitting Factory Friday.
Friday, Onra will be joined onstage by Buddy Sativa, Sadat X, DJ Spinna, Ge-ology, DJ Amir, Com Truise, and Epstein.