Watch List: Street Rat’s Debut Shows Orchestral Soul is "In Bloom" This Month
Street Rat is the moniker of Brisbane’s Imraan Paleker – multi-instrumentalist and frequent collaborator with Jordan Rakei. The project’s first EP, This Dance, written and recorded entirely by Paleker, showcases the young talent’s penchant for jazz, soul, hip-hop, and everything in between. To call him a songwriter would be superficial and a tad off base. These five offerings are anything but humble in scope, and having arranged and mixed all of them himself, Street Rat’s producing chops are what shine strongest; he’s not writing songs, he’s composing movements.
Influences on this extended play range far and wide but can all be found connected on the same hub-and-spoke model. A song can begin in the realm of D’Angelo’s smooth, sashaying soulfulness, then dogleg at a moment’s notice to fit a more jazz-rock hybrid, akin to Flying Lotus’s You’re Dead! Track opener “Absent Minds” starts the whole thing off with an instrumental chord progression that harkens back to “La Jetée” from Chicago locals Isotope 217. “Desperate” enters with tremolo-soaked keys reminiscent of Chaz Bundick’s Les Sins outfit. “In Bloom” features a piano swell not unlike a distinctly straightforward interpretation of James Blake.
Paleker is truly a producer’s producer. Like many guitarists fashion their technique after previous players before them, Imraan emulates what he has learned by ear following so much time aurally studying the craft of what it means to make a record sound full – in the sense that it is genuinely complete and lush with ideas that make it so. Street Rat’s first official release, of what his Facebook page promises to be just the beginning of “lots more to come,” is oh so right for anyone seeking something bearing the varied components of soul.