You may or may not recognize his name right away but Gordon Raphael deserves your immediate attention. Why? He was the man that made several volumes of your teenage indie record bible come to be. Having been behind the production desk on The Strokes’ Is This It and Room on Fire and Regina Spektor’s sublime Soviet Kitsch, which have become major touchstones in musical history, Gordon, with his vast experience in guiding and enhancing artists to success, is finally gearing up for the release of his debut album Sleep On The Radio, out on September 22nd.
The new single was originally part of a group of sad, soft and teary-eyed songs that Raphael was working on in Seattle. “The whole set was a combination of utter heartbreak over a completely crashed relationship,” he explains, “and my having newly acquired a sampling keyboard called Ensoniq ASR-10, which for the first time let me put all the sounds from my favorite analog synths and old drum machines into one place where I could build songs in a new exciting way.”
However, during the creative process, it gained an outer-space and spiritual dimension. “In the song’s scenario, my mystical lover was communicating her powers, love and thoughts telepathically from somewhere ‘out there’. It directly refers to rays of light descending, and strange messages encoded in drops of rain.” The video, produced by Spanish director Marta Figueredo, tells a tale of a close to the heart secret friend and unfolds as musical, rhythmic burst of colors.
After also working with The Tempers, The Plastics and most recently the Spanish indie darlings Hinds, Gordon managed to apply his attention and experience to himself. He’s been composing, producing and, most importantly, experimenting - while having fun at it. By learning how to write songs from a storytelling production point of view, Gordon aims to “transport people somewhere new and interesting” with his psycho-sounding soundscapes.
As a musician, Gordon is able to take full control of his path. “I can experiment as much as possible and capture the best results. (As well as destroy some of the evidence of the things that went horribly wrong!)”
When I asked him how it felt to be the producing his own material and focus on his solo endeavor, Gordon’s answer seemed logical: “I have always been working on my own songs throughout my entire life - It's just that now I have the opportunity to really let people know about it with my new upcoming album Sleep On The Radio, and the two singles we have released so far. I do tend to go overboard, which can be both endearing and endangering depending on the cosmic tides!”
Watch the colorful sound trip video for ‘Savage’, directed by Marta Figueredo.