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See Johnny Rain’s Brooding ‘Jericho’ Video

Johnny Rain

The hypnotic video for “Jericho,” a stand-out from the Southern California singer’s album L.O.M. (Lullaby Of Machine), released earlier this year, is like a hip-hop visionary Hype Williams remaking some ritualistic short by ’60s fall-out film freak Kenneth Anger: A woman writhes in slow motion in front of an ominous sunset; Rain himself rests on a throne, in near dark. It’s all appropriately moody yet a little bit hard to fully grasp the goings-on. That fits the producer/singer’s intimate vision of R&B, though. Signed to Tricky Stewart’s Redzone Entertainment as a producer, but unsigned as an artist, Rain’s work on “Jericho” balances 2013 R&B expectations (which are grow increasingly ambitious and experimental in and of themselves), with the searching, do-whatever values of an artist who doesn’t have to cater to expectations. The maudlin drift of a Drake or the Weeknd can be found here, but it is tinged with an even more brash experimental edge that takes it’s time thanks to rising and falling percussion and a bed of synthesizers whirling and hissing in the background.