The esteem of a producer is found in the quality of their work. No amount of showmanship or grandiose can distract from the fundamentals of electronic music: thoughtful choices, invigorating arrangement, integrity of sound – without these, it’s easy to be swept away on a magic carpet of delusion and self congratulation that leads to a short and unsatisfying career.
Take producers such as Cornwall’s Aphex Twin or London’s Catching Flies, both discographies rife with carefully thought out and skillfully articulated ideas and approaches, garnering them both attention and respect from the communities they reside in – not from sheer dumb luck, but from belief in their work and careful attention to detail. The same can be said for that of Bristol’s KOAN Sound, in which a collection of moving moments and utterly solid soundscapes easily put them on a pedestal in their scene from, the two keeping themselves on their toes in a way that always pushed the vision of the project forward in new and meaningful ways.
This brings us onto RefraQ, the boundary pushing Plymouth based experimental production wizard who’s discography represents an approach to writing and arrangement that, on a surface level, is as baffling as it is brilliant. A firm and steady focus on sound design bears fruits that reflect quality over quantity, sugary sweet and sufficiently sour without overbearing the palette. Over the years, his work has taken him from the shores of the up and coming Soda Island collective, in which fresh and exciting new worlds are found through soft, simple, supple sonic means, to rough and ready singles such as Experiens and Necromancer, both of which prove in their own ways how much slap there is to the lad when you back them into a corner.
Necromancer came as part of an EP of the same name, a four track fiesta of visceral vicarious auditory imagery. The first body of work to come solely from him alone, it opened the door to a world of wonder and mystery, glimpses of which can be found in the iconography of artwork found throughout the discography. Influences from such worlds as that of David Firth play a large role in what RefraQ strives to create, creatures and monsters and moments all working in blissful harmony with the rhythms and tones of his work, resulting in vast and vivid visions.
Seemingly following in the vast footsteps of it’s predecessor, “Bloode“ is the newest addition to the roster. A grand and dramatic telling of otherworldly happenings, its frantic furiosity and feverous propulsion mark it as a surefire sign that RefraQ‘s movement into his own personal storytelling is a firm and decided decision. The track is out now via Inspector Dubplate.
Two worlds collide within ‘Bloode’ Padded percussion mutters and mumbles along to a rhythm confused by the knotty plucks that syncopate themselves awkwardly to the track’s trajectory. It’s spurred on by otherworldly Eldridge powers that channel themselves through an unsettling melody, an explosive introduction, a disjointed flow that holds the piece above the grounded beginnings of RefraQ’s peppy predeceasing tracks and instead throws it into a folklore-inspired witch’s melting pot.
“The intention of the track came from this idea I had in my head for ages ago of a bizarre jumpscare-like opening in this alien world, with a giant creature looming over a small one.” says RefraQ.
“The whole theme developed around that lovecraftian feeling of being oppressed by an unknown force. I wanted the track to translate that intensity with the beat becoming increasingly more relentless to the point it feels stifling.”
The vivid nature of the visuals that come packaged alongside all of RefraQ’s work are ever present here too, and can be found below. Characterfully chaotic, they paint a perfect picture to go alongside this sumptuous single.
Watch ‘Bloode’ here: