Raffertie – ‘Mass Appeal’ EP (Ninja Tune)

Having made a name for himself with break-out party tracks and adrenaline fuelled sets, over the last 18 months there has been a quiet revolution going on in the world of Raffertie. After a summer locked in the studio he returned with a new approach, galvanising his typical originality with greater focus and substance than ever before. He started up his own Super Recordings imprint as a home for like-minded artists and before long the legendary Ninja Tune came knocking with an album deal.

His latest release ‘Mass Appeal’ is his second EP for Ninja, showcasing the more experimental side of his game after the dance-floor flavours of ‘Visual Acuity’. The title track combines a rich texture of elements that seem to challenge each other without competing, creating something that’s fidgety but not claustrophobic,
disjointed yet cohesive. ‘Brevity’ takes things deeper, the tension-building restraint adding to the breathy atmospherics that border somewhere between seductive and sinister.

Although deliberately intended to defy easy definition and genre labelling, there is no compromise on structure or form to Raffertie’s work, with each track demonstrating his delicate and purposeful compositional intentions. This is most evident on ‘One Track Mind’ where a looping synth pattern is carefully manipulated from inception to demise over a ten-minute voyage of rhythmic elegance.

Meticulously assembled and full of haunting subtlety, closing track ‘Courage Boy’ uses clips of his own voice to make a dream-like haziness that washes in over a gently throbbing bass line. The half whispers and murmurs are given space to expand as the track continues, they reach out from the haze in search of clarity but are tantalisingly snatched away before they can find it.

Another clear assertion of Raffertie’s artistic intentions, ‘Mass Appeal’ not only shows that the focussed creativity that has underpinned his work over the last 18 months continues to grow and develop, but also that he will follow those instincts wherever they take him. With the album due out later this year and a promise that its music will be different once again, we’re already buzzing to hear what he’ll bring to the long player format.

Robert McCorquodale

‘Mass Appeal’ will be released via Ninja Tune on February 6.

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