Orange Milk

Maharadja Sweets - Something's Been Lost

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We discovered native New Yorker Maharadja Sweets' music in 2011 at an open mic performance in the coffee shop my label partner Seth was working. Richard’s sound was a bizarre mixture of improvised electronics and folk music, it was very different from what we had been curating at the time, but it had a rare and heartfelt allure that was hard to ignore. Now ‘Something’s Been Lost’ will be his third album we’ve released, and I believe it’s his most beautiful and stripped down work.

Sweets devoted most of the 90's to recording this album, after purchasing a reel to reel recorder (the legendary monstrous 80 lb Tascam 388) so he could properly express his deepest self on something better than the beat-up 4-track cassette recorder he was banging out albums on previously. It took about 9 years for him to warm up, get the tracks down right, and complete the project. Then he let it sit for another 17 years...

In 2019 the music on 'Something's Been Lost' could sit beside underground musicians like R Stevie Moore, Martin Newell, or East River Pipe, though it’s filled with a cleaner sound and direct sentiment. For instance the song “Four Days Before Thanksgiving” is a simple piece about the minutia of companionship, romanticizing the act of making plans. In it’s specificity it takes on an almost paradoxically universal quality, turning the act of being in love into a secular religious experience. The cover of Bob Dylan and the Band’s “I Shall Be Released” similarly plays up the sentiment of spiritual and physical release, a feeling that is maintained throughout the album through sparse arrangements for voice, guitar, and piano.