It’s Like That: Raffertie

At the end 2010, after releases on Planet Mu, Black Acre and Seclusiasis, Raffertie joined forces with a friend to launch Super Recordings, a genre-defying, bass-heavy home for artists who’s music hovers around 130bpm. Keen to rid himself of the shackles of dubstep, the label captures a mature Raffertie who’s music is sonically gripping, whilst maintaining receptiveness on the dancefloor. Supers’ roster is comprised of a kaleidoscope of talent including Subeena, Randomer, Throwing Snow, PhOtOmachine and Morris Cowan to name a few.

Earlier this year, Super presented us with ‘Volume 1’, a solid 7 track compilation from the labels roster, offering an imaginative and refined impression with remixes from Ital Tek as well as input from Optimum and Girl Unit. They are expected to be following with a second compilation soon.

Kim Wilson went record shopping with Raffertie on Record Store Day to find out more about the man behind the ‘scissors’, details on his move to Ninja Tune and the problem with being labeled with the d-word.

How did this all start for you?

I studied classical music composition at university, but had started playing the trumpet aged around 7 or 8. Really, I fell into music. Having a good teacher makes all the difference, as becoming good at playing a musical instrument is essentially monotonous and repetitive practice, it is crucial to find someone who can make that process exciting, luckily I did!

What were your early influences?
The first music I bought, I think, was ‘It’s Like That’ (And That’s The Way It Is) by Run DMC Vs Jason Nevin. I listened to a lot of bands and producers in the interim, but my real musical awakening came in my later teens, as I studied electro-acoustic music at university. Through my lecturers I was exposed to a huge variety of music and composers that completely changed my musical outlook. In terms of club music, nights around Birmingham & London were educational.

Had you planned to set-up Super before leaving university?
Yes. Super is the brainchild of my friend, JP, and I. Despite talking about the idea for a long time it had never quite been the right time to start it. My work at that time with labels like Planet Mu had been loosely scooped up with and labeled dubstep. Unquestionably there are stylistic elements of those releases that were influenced by it but fundamentally I was not setting out to make ‘dubstep’. My main concern was with what ultimately dance music is made to do, to make people dance! But I also wanted to show other sides of the music I make. Noisy music for the dance floor is all well and good, it serves a purpose, but I beg to ask the question how long a life does it have? It is high impact and makes you sit up and listen, to begin with, but over time it becomes very easy to ignore because you have no point of reference to anything else, it is all at one level. Music for me should be dynamic and contrasting not homogenous. So with all this in mind I spent all of last summer locked away writing music to shed any preconceived ideas about what I make as a musician and there presented itself the perfect opportunity to found Super.

SPRLP1 : Various Artists – Super Volume 1 by super

Why move to Ninja Tune?
They offered me a platform like nothing before to promote my material, a great team and opportunities that only they could provide. Not to mention I’m a big fan of the label, they have some incredible artists on their roster. I remember listening to artists like Roots Manuva as a teenager and now being included alongside him and others like Andreya Triana, Bang On!, Toddla T, Mr. Scruff, Slugabed etc. (I could go on…) it is an amazing feeling.

What can we expect from the album?
More of me exploring new sounds, going further into new noise. I am excited to be working with some vocalists for the album, a few of which include new Big Dada signing Bang On!, Sara from Vision of Trees and Ryat from Brainfeeder. Leading up to the album there will be an EP and most likely a single but details will be announced in the upcoming months. I have been on a bit of a writing spree over the past year so the next challenge is to sort through it all.

How do you find new music?
Mainly from friends, people recommended things to me, online browsing etc. I like Soundcloud for this. Purely on a personal basis I try to listen to things that are radically different to what I produce, it feels like changing the air and inspires me.

Do you prefer DJing or producing?
I prefer to produce, write and compose, it’s what I feel most natural doing. DJing is a lot of fun too. It is a balancing act between what you want to play and what the audience wants to hear. I like the challenge.

So, are you more of a digital or vinyl dj?
Honestly, I’m a digital dj but collect vinyl as I love its physical presence. As a teenager, I was a big fan of CDs and a shop called The Woods in Bognor Regis.

What artists are you listening to at the moment?
Ryoji Ikeda, Mark Fell (check out Vortex Studies), also the new Emptyset album ‘Demiurge’ is brilliant, the new LV album is well worth a listen, and I love the new Fatima track called ‘Innervision’ which I believe was produced by Floating Points. Besides all of that there are some staples that are never far away, I bought some old classics from Whitney Houston the other day.

What emerging artists should we be looking out for?
Morris Cowan, PhOtOmachine, Throwing Snow, AlunaGeorge.

What are your plans for the summer?
To work hard on the album and get to some continental festivals, not sure which ones yet…

Can you explain your scissor logo?
A long time ago a friend described my sound at the time as ‘musical cut and paste’ because of the way I used and chopped up my samples, a pair of scissors seemed fitting and quite striking as a symbol that I hoped people would recognise.

‘Volume 1’ is out now on Super Recordings