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RAF RUNDELL

Raf Rundell

Always Fly (featuring Terri Walker)

    A modern soul funk classic taken from Raf’s second full length album O.M. Days, Always Fly is gloriously laidback, the kind of languid RnB you can imagining booming out of the rolled down window of a souped-up whip anywhere from South Central to South London. Featuring a guest vocal from London born and based Terri Walker, a singer famous for a series of UK-G singles and her Mercury and MOBO nominated debut album Untitled.

    The newly pressed 7 of Always Fly comes with a Re-Freak by DãM-FunK on the flip side - four perfect minutes of Prince inspired late night digital soul music.

    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

      Barry 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)

      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

      Barry 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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