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RAF RUNDELL

Raf Rundell

O.M. Days

    Last seen a couple of years back on his debut long-player Stop Lying, Raf has today also shared Ample Change (feat. Lias Saoudi), the second track to be taken off the album following Monsterpiece on which he roped in the legendary Chas Jankel to provide his distinctive touch.

    Featuring on the cover a striking Keith Haring meets the Green Man image from acclaimed artist and long-time collaborator Ben Edge, the picture was inspired by the folk tale of the giant of Dawson, who is both male & female, human and vegetation and lived in the imagination of Dawson’s Hill, a stretch of South London parkland a stones throw away from Dawson’s Heights, the flats featured on the cover of Raf’s debut Stop Lying.

    Edge and Rundell, for reasons they can’t entirely comprehend, concocted a rite which took place the first full moon after this year’s summer solstice (the results of which can be seen in the short film trailer for the album). This involved the giant – also known as Tommy Hill Figure - being created on Dawson’s Hill. “Ben’s been digging deeper and deeper into ancient myths, the green man, all the stuff that’s been co-opted by organised religion,” Rundell explains. All this chimed with him because he is a magnet for signs and symbols. He has been ever since his Mod-loving parents named him after the RAF roundel symbol.

    “We’d been talking about this sort of stuff a lot,” Rundell continues. “The rite was about the birth of the new and using the coronavirus as a catalyst for that change, like a full stop to the way things were before. The corona was called the spark in the ceremony, although we’re not being too specific about the virus because this is a thing we hope to do annually.”

    This is the backdrop to the album, a record far larger and more confident than its creator could ever have imagined. Unlike his itinerantly created previous records, O.M. Days was entirely recorded in the same Forest Hill studio, with the aforementioned collaborators. “I love collaborating with people – like Lias Saoudi or Andy Jenkins, who are both on this record – that’s where it’s at for me,” Rundell says. “I worked really hard on this one. And although I had no plan about where it was going, I always have a notion about how I want things to sound. I had a particular idea about that.”


    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: There's always a considerable amount of rhythmic shuffling when Rundell comes on the stereo (I would obviously dance but am pretty terrible at it, so results in said shuffle). 'O. M. Days' has all of the latent melodicism we've come to expect from Rundell, but with an uplifting, post-pandemic groove sure to get the newly opened clubs moving It's a brilliantly produced and intensely enjoyable listen.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. More U Know
    2. Down
    3. Monsterpiece
    4. Ample Change (feat. Lias Saoudi)
    5. Always Fly (feat. Terri Walker)
    6. Luxury (feat. Man & The Echo)
    7. Miracle
    8. The Ides Of Albion
    9. Turning Tides
    10. Butter Gold (feat. Andy Jenkins)

    Having recently emerged from his Forest Hill bunker with "Monsterpiece", a joyful, larger than life, Chaz Jankel-featuring good-time party anthem and first single for new label Heavenly, here come the remixes…

    Harvey Sutherland is very much the filling in this 2 Bears sandwich, thanks to Raf Rundell’s tune and fellow Bear Joe Goddard’s remix. Although not exactly a household name (just yet), Harvey Sutherland has been making waves since the release of "Bermuda" on Danilo Plessow’s MCDE label in 2015 (check 2020’s "Superego" for further proof of his talent). Here he delivers a mix that lathers melody and jazz-funkiness on the top of Rundell’s already sweet (cheeks) vocal.

    Joe Goddard keeps the tempo at Sutherland’s similarly chugging pace, while adding some suitably disorientating Larry Levan-style delays without forfeiting the winsome Rundell falsetto. Nice! 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: Most likely doing the rounds at the hottest seated outdoor spots in town; the perfect soundtrack to tanning a load of cocktails down Social Avenue or Platform 13. Table service please!

    TRACK LISTING

    A1/ Monsterpiece - Joe Goddard Remix
    A2/ Monsterpiece - Joe Godard Remix Dub
    B1/ Monsterpiece - Harvey Sutherland Remix
    B2/ Monsterpiece - Harvey Sutherland Remix Instrumental 

    When we last saw Raf Rundell he was stood in a clearing, dressed in a shaman’s robes with a modern day magik staff raised above his head. Looking like the special guest DJ at a post-apocalyptic orbital rave, South London’s finest looked ready to take on all comers.

    As one half of the 2 Bears and the self-styled Selfie Boy, he was finding his feet as a solo artist - his first mini LP (‘The Adventures Of Selfie Boy Part 1’) was garnering glowing writeups in the rock press as well as electronic magazines. However, just after the record was released, the world around him changed forever.

    Put side by side, the birth of a new child and the rapid rise of a generation of Post Truth politicians don’t appear to have much connection. Seen through the eyes of a sleep deprived postmillennial two-time dad, however, these seemingly separate occurrences knot together into one paranoid, helpless, loving whole called ‘Stop Lying’.

    “I think ‘Stop Lying’ feels fairly apposite for our time; it’s my regular cry of help and sanity. It’s the result of a bit of pub talk between me and some mates, the best kind of ‘high’ concept really. It was a desperate cry in the lead up to the last General Election and it quickly became a mantra that I shouted at the TV the whole time. It’s ended up working pretty well with my children… and me.”

    One can’t be certain if it’s the age we live in or the age of his youngest that’s most heavily influenced ‘Stop Lying’ - whichever it is, it’s managed to make something pretty close to a perfectly reflective post millennial pop record. It’s Raf’s most confident and strident set of songs to date.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: Rundell brings glitzy keys, rolling grooves and early evening sunset tropicalia, before bringing things into darker territory with jagged downtempo, and weirdo Deconesque synth abstractions. Bonkers, and brilliant.

    TRACK LISTING

    Stop Lying Intro
    Every Morning
    Within Without
    Kinder Nature
    Sweet Cheeks
    Ric Flair
    Accept & Proceed
    Falling Out
    In Control

    ‘The Adventures of Selfie Boy Pt. 1’ is released via 1965 Records.

    Our hero, Raf Rundell (DJ by night, acoustic guitar picker by sunset, sometime music biz impresario and fulltime member of 2 Bears alongside Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard), emerges bleary-eyed from a studio high in a garret clutching the first fruits of a solo recording session. A session that saw the studio’s saloon door banging as queens, kings, crazies, painted ladies, ravers, rockers and ragamuffins partied night after night, each of them adding inspiration and perspiration to Rundell’s embryonic recordings to help the man realise his distinctive musical vision.

    1965 Records (visionary home of modern psych, electro-roll and North London deep south boogie) chased down Rundell and begged to be the sole outlet for his sonic art. Bending to their iron will, Raf eventually surrendered the mastertapes which is where our story really begins.

    TRACK LISTING

    Carried Away
    Right Time
    Shoppin’ For A Shaman
    Poor Bitch
    Cosmos Boss
    Llama Farmer


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