With a passion for deep, emotional underground electronic music, Rafa’el has been bringing light and flow to Poland’s electronic music scene for over a decade. Infusing hypnotic basslines with melodic interludes, the rhythms of Rafa’el go beyond just dance floor drivers, but seek to connect to the soul. It’s something which I inevitably experience when listening to his tracks; I can’t help but feel that “beauty in the darkness” heartache which characterizes the power of progressive to me.
His eclectic influences that vary from Stephan Bodzin to Hans Zimmer showcase the range of Rafa’el’s creative sources, where storytelling through sound can come equally from a dark, twisted bass as a soft, floating melody. With releases on labels such as Soundteller Records, Visceral, Stellar Fountain, Particles, ICONYC, Electronic Tree, Lowbit and many more, the stories he’s telling are being spread throughout the world and shared by the DJs who aim to bring audiences to another level together.
As a DJ himself, Rafa’el takes the individual messages of each track to create an everlasting and interweaving story line, sharing a bit of his own soul in the process. You can get a feel for this through his guest mix on Oxygen, a deep adventure through light and dark, emotion and motion. As he shares with FRISKY News, “I love when people who listen to my music have a feeling of freedom,” something which is easy to experience when you listen to his mixes from start to finish.
Before the premiere, join FRISKY News as we get learn about Rafa’el:
I’d love to learn more about your background, who was the first DJ you saw or CD you heard that sparked your love for the music?
My love to club electronic music and and other electronic genres came in 2006, when for the first time I’ve appeared on the festival called Soundtropolis in Poland. I’ve fell in love with set of ATB played on this party. That was the reason I’ve started to deepen my knowledge about my favourite genre at that moment which was trance. Within time I’ve also started to listen to other music styles and that change was caused by sets of Hernan Cattaneo or track such as David West’s ‘Welsh Morphology’ from 2008. Apart of that I’ve always loved film music and I’m a huge fan of Hans Zimmer and also James Horner who’s sadly isn’t with us anymore.
What was Poland’s scene like when you first got into it? How does the present scene compare?
In 2008, when I’ve played on the first party of ‘Bit Embassy’ series, which of I was co-organizer, music scene in Poland gave feeling like it was overtaken by techno, but that’s how it exactly was. Hermetically closed teams which were really hard to get into, already teamed up with many clubs and it was barely possible to organise a gig with new and different music there. Because the music I have represented was a bit light comparing to the styles which were dominating stage at that time, I’ve always played first, as a warm-upper, which was a bit frustrating, because often it was just a few people on the dancefloor. Now it’s a bit different, but still not as I’ve imagined. I’m sure that I have inspired a lot of people by deep and progressive music which is really strong because of producers such as Tuxedo, Monojoke, Cream or E.F.G, but still we are missing gigs and clubs which will fully support this genre. Polish clubbers still prefer Techno above other music, but not as much as before.
You have such a beautiful studio, it’s obvious how much love and care you put into it. 🙂 How long have you been building it? What was your first piece of gear that you bought? What is your most recent addition?
As you write, studio is my oasis of peace and I love to work here. It looks like as it is not without the reason. I have there a lot of souvenirs taken from parties or trips and a bit of greenery, which in my feeling really well fits knobs and lights. The first serious stuff I’ve bought to my studio was digital synthesizer Waldofr Blofeld. I’m using it even presently to arpeggios, which I have a lot in my tracks. I have also all time classic, Roland JUNO106, which have really rich beautiful sound. Newest shopping was Moog Subsequen37, which is absolute analogue monster! Apart of that I have also Korg Minilogue, Korg MicroKorg, Clavia Nord Rack MK1, Yamaha SY55 and DX21, and all of that is filled by effects of Strynom Bigsky and Timeline. Right now I’m waiting for premieres of new synthesizers which for sure will find their place in my studio. For bedroom DJing I’m using Pioneer DJ-RX, which is more than enough for house use. Backing to your question, I’m building my studio since 9 years.
Do you have a routine or any habits when you get into the studio?
Haha, for sure it’s a good mood and cup of coffee, if it’s at the morning, but if it’s evening or night session, glass of wine or jar of beer then haha! But for real, inspiration and motivation is the only routine I’m entering studio with.
What is your favorite part of the creation process? What is the toughest part?
Entire creation process is magnificent and exciting especially when I’m experimenting with new sounds, but it’s not that easy if you want to get professional sound and original arrangement. In my opinion hardest part of producing is to make good bassline and I’m paying a lot of attention to that part. Bass must be perfect! Without that track seems to be boring or blurred in technical aspect.
What is a particular sound or atmosphere that you love to hear in a track?
I love diving tunes, and by writing that I mean, diving and warm bassline, especially Moog sounds, which fascinating me mostly because of Stephan Bodzin. He is absolute king of that instrument. I also really like interesting arps and vocal parts/chops. For me it’s perfect when I can hear all those elements in one tune which is also a key role for me to place it in my tracks.
What do you hope listeners experience when they listen to your tracks or sets?
I’ve heard many times that music I’m creating is a beautiful trip, and I’m building my sets the same way. I love when people who listen to my music have a feeling of freedom. I can close my eyes and devote myself to what is important to me – feelings. Progressive music is perfect to that role because of its specific mood.
What do you see as your most important role as a DJ and as a Producer?
Music creation and serving it in the best possible way. All is said in one particular sentence in my opinion.
Can you share some background on your show Singularity and what you it means to you?
Singularity will be a 1 hour story, full of deeper sounds. It always will be possible to hear some of my own music or sounds from my native scene. Set will have a good intro which will build up mood from the start till the end of that journey, which will be as calm as it has begun.
Is there anything else that you would like to share?
Big thanks to entire FRISKY team and everyone who supporting me in that musical journey, Tuxedo thanks to who my songs sound the way I want and to my second half, which is the biggest inspiration. Rest which is a cherry on the top of all of it, I will share with all of you in first episode of Singularity.