Raphael Ripperton just released his third album called ‘Sight Seeing’ on ESP Institute. Therefore the Swizz DJ and producer chose a different approach in terms of music and came up with a rather laid back sound that guides its audience to places that they have only partly experienced with the renowned musical mastermind. Shortly before the album was released Torture the Artist spoke to Ripa alias Ripperton about the birth of the album, the none existing process when creating musical pieces and much more.
Torture the Artist: Hello Raphael, tell us something about your day.
Ripperton: Hello there! Just woke up, sent the kids off to school and had my coffee while discovering the new Jenny Wilson video clip for her track titled ‘Rapin*’ and now I’m fully awake all of a sudden!
My album making process is so weird and mysterious that I struggle to even call it ‘a process’
Torture the Artist: It’s been a couple of years since your last album titled ‘A Little Part of Shade’ came out. Your third album ‘Sight-Seeing’ is just about to be released on ESP Institute. What would’ve been different if you had a record deal secured before producing the album?
Ripperton: ‘A Little Part of Shade’ came out almost five years ago now. Honestly, I don’t’ think this would ever happen to me. My album making process is so weird and mysterious that I struggle to even call it ‘a process’. The freedom that there is no one waiting for me and I can do everything on my own is absolutely priceless. When you come up with something interesting enough, those sketches are moved into the red folder and one morning you realize some of them fit together, and you decide to call that moment the birth of an album.
Ripperton: Right now what I feel is a mixture of devotion and frustrations. I try to stay appreciative of other’s people music but sometimes that inevitably interferes with my own work and vision. So I make an effort not to analyze music at all, continuously learning to simply take it as is. This is where the producer would stay away from the djing ideally, but then again, I think that might be called, or lead to, schizophrenia.
When you start touring a lot, you lose the will to make club music during the week. At the same time, if you don’t produce club music you don’t get touring anymore.
Torture the Artist: In the official press release it is noted that ‘the title ‘Sight-Seeing’ speaks of someone stepping outside their current reality to look in the mirror as if to ground themselves and keep sight of who they are in a world of extreme highs and lows.’ Which ups and downs did you have to cope with at an artistical level when producing this album?
Ripperton: Those are the words of Andrew from ESP Institute, I think he translated (in a greater way) the simple vocabulary I used when describing the album to him. When you start touring a lot, you lose the will to make club music during the week. At the same time, if you don’t produce club music you don’t get touring anymore.
So unless you’re a fan of schizophrenic paths, you have no real choice here. You’ve got to stay productive unless you decide to take a job and keep the music as a hobby. In the end, I found a way to enjoy my time in the studio during this period. I’ve started to play guitar and experience with looper and pedals without any computer running. Working on those drafts was a good way to exercise the whole thing.
Torture the Artist: When was the last time you mailed a postcard to someone?
Ripperton: I guess it was for my mother while in Japan. I used to send her postcards from places I never went before. Writing a postcard is a beautiful way to stay closer to the people you love and show them you care.
Torture the Artist: What would be the text on a postcard you’d write to your audience if read when purchasing the vinyl?
life is mainly built on mistakes, loss, art, and love.
Whatever happens: keep going, we need you.
I would like to take their hand and soundtrack their everyday life, being a catalyst for their thoughts.
Torture the Artist: What sight(s) do you want people to see when listening to the album?
Ripperton: Their own inside! Sights are everywhere. So I would like to take their hand and soundtrack their everyday life, being a catalyst for their thoughts.
Torture the Artist: Name a place or location where you’d like to perform the album, and why?
Ripperton: Bus del Buson near Belluno, in the Dolomites Park of Northern Italy. I was there last summer and was completely amazed! You get into the space by walking down the snake-like hill. And once you get there, it’s like a huge natural cathedral in the middle of the mountain. They do concerts there, with vocalists and classical musicians. That would be the perfect spot for me to be performing ‘Sight-Seeing’ because of the light, the reverb, and the surrounding oppressive ambience.
Torture the Artist: What was the best decision you made in life?
Ripperton: To be a father. Nothing can match this experience. You have no idea what your kids will teach you, they challenge you all the time. It’s simply the most intense/ardent thing I’ve ever experienced and I cherish this every morning, every day.
Stay true to some ideals and dreams I held from when I was a kid/teenager.
Torture the Artist: You run a label, Tamed, produce music under your Ripperton moniker as well as Headless Ghost. It seems like most of your life is dedicated to music. How do you give yourself a break from it?
Ripperton: That’s a really good question I ask myself all the time <laughs>. I love running, more and more lately. It’s my main escape. Last year, I did the Lucerne Marathon and it was an amazing experience. I’ve certainly learned a lot from that moment. Over time I’ve also learned to be more relaxed within this industry, otherwise, I would feel unsettled all the time.
Torture the Artist: What have you worked for the hardest in your life?
Ripperton: To stay true to some ideals and dreams I held from when I was a kid/teenager.
Torture the Artist: What would you like the headline in a magazine to read about your album, and why?
Ripperton: +Catalyst of Thoughts+