PORTAL ALBUM LAUNCH is PENNYBLACK MUSIC GIG OF THE YEAR 2016 picked by John Clarkson
“Raf and O specialise in floaty and delicate musical paintings. Raf’s dreamy vocals leading the way but more often than not melting into the instrumentation. The highlights include a track based on the words of Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 62’ and a version of David Bowie’s ‘Win’ which is almost unrecognisable and utterly charming. All in all, this is beautiful stuff.”
Push, ELECTRONIC SOUND
“Raf and O are a band of kaleidoscopic, unusual ideas, and, with ‘Portal’, they have created a remarkable record. There is a celestial, otherworldly element to them…they are totally unique”
“A further voyage into their adventurous musical dreams, spliced with the literary influences of William Seward Burroughs and Shakespeare.”
GOD IS IN THE TV ZINE
“The sublime new album by Raf and O is called ‘Portal’.
It’s very difficult to choose highlights from such a consistently winning record”
“Raf and O’s gothic and magical references are twisted to conjure up ominous visions, to a backing track of free-spirited avant-jazz drumming, trip-hop and contorted machine music …from esoteric Italian to plague originated nursery rhyme English, on ‘Drunk’, to channeling a smoky bar room Scott Walker vibe, on ‘Neurons’… Paying homage once again to their biggest inspiration, David Bowie, the duo transforms the original into a beautifully melting, strung-out plucked love recital. Brilliantly shimmering with an affectionate, ruminating and heart-aching vocal … the album cementing the partnership’s unique narratives and poetic views of a machine age and cybernetic world”
“I was at the QEH for a Burroughs night, where I saw Raf Mantelli and O Richard Smith, aka Raf and O, deliver a superb if too short set to the large and appreciative audience they really deserve.”
“If you are looking for instant gratification in a busy world, try listening to “The Deadliest Flower” or “Magic” to give you an insight into just one window pane of their diverse work”
- BUY SONNET 62/ INK EP - OUT NOW
'Seductive and alien...Aboard a haunted freighter in the deepest reaches of deep space…soothes and coos like a cross between Beth Gibbons and a female David Sylvian...It is both equally seductive and alien, a machine driven twitchy gallop into the ether. Creeping into the dense hallucinatory environment of ‘A Reason To Try’, the trio stir untethered in a strange soup of churned up beats and solar tidal waves’ MONOLITH COCKTAIL
- The Kick Inside – Kate Bush Tribute Live Outfit and Raf and O Tour in the pipeline
- Raf and O Celebrate David Bowie’s 70th Birthday Covering ‘The London Boys’
- Electronic Sound Reviews Portal, Raf and O Cover Scott Walker, Bowie Reflections, Italian Summer, Live on Radio and Magic on Video, Halloween DJ’s and other outings.
- Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity, ‘Sonnet 62’ Official Video and Raf and O’s New Album ‘Portal’ is Out Now
- Raf and O ‘Portal’ Album Launch + Split EP with Robert Logan ‘Sonnet 62/ Ink’ Out Now
- BUY TIME MACHINE CD Album HERE
FACT magazine Top 10 album of 2014 picked by Joe Muggs
"The excellent Time Machine represents the very antithesis of EDM ..There is a butterfly, acoustic delicacy about tracks like 'Mad And Brilliant', and yet also the deceptive, steel strength of spider silk in their complex weaving - Raf's vocal ranges far and wide in her emotional and lyrical foragings…Freeze-frame any given second of this album and it'll reveal a hive of pixellated, analogue activity...As with Time Machine as a whole, it's an approach you'd do well to take up, if you know what's good for you."
DAVID STUBBS, THE QUIETUS
"One of the more memorable events of the Beckenham Festival in September 2013 was RAF AND O’s haunting performance of David Bowie’s Lady Grinning Soul"
DAVID BOWIE OFFICIAL
"A beguiling slice of noir-pop...a total treat"
THE GIRLS ARE
"Tripped-out hypnotic Raf and O embody the exploratory art school/mime period Bowie. Their sound springs from a conjuncture of Aladdin Sane and The Man Who Fell To Earth, but with an added allure of trip-hop...Tender and diaphanous, from bent out of shape Air meets folkloric avant-noir to ESG and Radiohead’s Hail To The Thief"
"Whispering their song like tomorrow's cautionary lullabies sent backward to today as an omen of intrigue."
- BUY TIME MACHINE EP HERE
“Interstellar spaciousness” EXCLAIM MAGAZINE
"Four versions of the leading ‘Time Machine’ journey beyond the stratosphere, kooky, mysterious and breathy, attracting an impressive trio of sonic cosmonauts"
- BUY LADY GRINNING SOUL/ THE FOG HERE
“Very creative. I enjoyed it a lot” MIKE GARSON
“Raf and O caress Bowie” BOWIE WONDERWORLD
“A moving Avant – Bizarre version of Lady Grinning Soul” GOD IS IN THE TV ZINE