Stream Prince Rama Xtreme Now (Stereogum Premiere)
Looking through the discography of Prince Rama, you can tell that sisters Taraka and Nimai Larson have been curating their futuristic neon glamazon aesthetic for quite some time. Furthermore, the release of their “15 Minute Exorcise” video back in 2011 tells us that the ’80s workout video element of their style isn’t something entirely new either. That being said, the disparity between the crystal clear production of Xtreme Now and the more far-off and abstract nature of their former albums feels kind of like not knowing you need glasses until the moment that you try them on for the first time. Each buzzing synth line, reverb-laden vocal part, and booming drum beat is now brighter, more energetic, and more in your face than before.
In addition to the heightened intensity in each sound, Prince Rama takes their work to the next level through an expansion in diversity as well. From the jangly strings and almost gentle falsetto vocals in “Slip into Nevermore” to the orchestral elements and gospel backup vocals of “Your Life In The End,” each song is distinct and imaginative while maintaining its cohesiveness. Whether all of these changes are the result of a “near-death experience Taraka underwent at an ancient Viking ruin on the Estonian island of Vȫrmsi,” collaboration with acclaimed dance producer Alex Epton of XXXChange (Gang Gang Dance, Björk, Spank Rock, Panda Bear, The Kills), or (likely) a combination of the two, Xtreme Now is a polished and highly danceable evolution of Prince Rama’s unmistakable sound. Listen below.
We should mention that this is only Xtreme Now’s online premiere; technically, the album already premiered at the top of a mountain in Squaw Valley, CA. Here’s a statement from Taraka on that:
Defying internet conventions, Prince Rama has chosen the top of a ski mountain to premiere their new extreme-sports themed album Xtreme Now, streaming it from a speaker placed on high atop its summit. They enlisted the locally infamous skier Andrew Hays to document the process with GoPros, blasting the album on his headphones as he shreds the gnar.
And here’s video proof of this majestic moment, recorded via GoPro 4: