If one is to believe the ubiquitous font of knowledge known as Urban Dictionary, Inji is Tibetan slang for a westerner. Essentially, someone displaced from an established culture, out of place, out of time, regardless of where they’re from. Fittingly, there’s no better way to describe LA Priest and his music.
Born from the travels of Sam Eastgate (aka Sam Dust, former Late Of The Pier man), Inji takes a cocktail of influences and stirs them into the most unique record you’re likely to hear this year. The fact that it works took everyone by surprise on Oino, a barmy lead single that sees no problem in a prolonged synth-only interlude that takes up a lot of its four minutes.
That’s the admirable thing with Eastgate. He doesn’t conform to any standard of form or structure, with titles like Lady’s In Trouble With The Law (A-grade laidback jam) and Gene Washes With New Arm. It’s the sort of heady stuff that feels indebted to The Flaming Lips and the canon of psych-pop, but Eastgate has his own eccentric narrative, one that you’d probably want to hear about over several pints.
So you’ve got your eight-plus minutes of skittering dance on Party Zute / Learning To Love. You’ve got more straightforward nocturnal pop stabs on Night Train. And you’ve got a heap of quirky instrumentals as Inji unfolds as a frantic, idiosyncratic, genre-bending record that deserves attention. If this what it’s like to go to the church of LA Priest, we’d happily be touched up by him any day.
Inji by LA Priest can be ordered here.