“Haunting And Compelling” Raf And O Review & Interview on Pennyblackmusic + London Live Show with Mally Harpaz and with TKI At West Kirby Arts Centre
September 18, 2019 § Leave a comment
Greetings! We have some exciting live news to announce and the latest from planet Raf and O!
Aside or probably more accurately orbiting around all current madness we’re seeking refuge in our music havens!
Raf and O are delighted to join Mally Harpaz on Tuesday September 24, an event presented by Blind Dog Studio at Paper Dress Vintage in London with Echo Wants Her Voice Back. There will also be some special guests.
Mally, multi instrumentalist with Anna Calvi, will be performing songs from her new album, Raf and O will perform songs from the new album ‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’ and on the bill also singer songwriter Echo. Looking forward to this very special concert! Not to be missed!
Get your TICKETS HERE!
On Friday, November 8, we are heading to the northwest, precisely to West Kirby Arts Centre, where we’ll be presenting both a long set by The Kick Inside with lots of beautiful early songs by Kate Bush and a specially selected Raf and O set.
TICKETS on sale now!
Since the release of our new album ‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’ which garnered some fantastic reviews, (see our previous blog) we were reviewed and interviewed in Pennyblackmusic Magazine, where both O and I talked to John Clarkson about our new album, the influence of David Bowie, The Kick Inside and Kate Bush, Scott Walker, Raf and O live, where are we from? And a few other things.
Read the whole interview here
“Raf and O are a defiantly original act, one which one can listen to time over and still find something new, and with ‘The Space Between Nothing and Desire’ they have created an album that is as daring as it is compelling”
This year marks 50 years of the Moon landing, 50 years of Space Oddity and 50 years since David Bowie performed at the Growth Beckenham Free Festival on the bandstand that has just received its Grade II Listing, the same bandstand appearing on the cover of our second album Time Machine and where we recorded ‘Echoes’ live (featuring on our ‘Portal’ album) at MOAFF in 2014. Proud to have played this festival three times since the remake back in 2013 and of course we celebrated in our own way, by releasing ‘A Bow To Bowie’ our song dedicated to David featuring on the new album and receiving wonderful support from the likes of Electronic Sound, God Is In The TV Zine, Joe Muggs, Monolith Cocktail, Pennyblackmusic and Adrian Specs, a big thank you! And thanks to the Soap Company for inclusion on their best albums.
Don’t miss the upcoming concerts!
Spread the news!
Raf and O X
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“From the poignant to the provocative to the playful” Electronic Sound and More Reviews for Raf and O’s New Album ‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’ Out Now! ‘A Bow To Bowie’ Official Video + Live Video from the Launch
June 5, 2019 § Leave a comment
Raf and O’s New Album ‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’ (CD/Digital) is out now!! Watch ‘A Bow To Bowie’ Official Video above, which was premiered on God Is In The TV Zine and a Live Video from the Launch! Reviews keep coming and are just incredible, a big thank you to all, excited to let the album out into the world! Spread the word and get it here!
The two covers are included on our CD, iTunes and other digital stores.
Buy Digital Album on iTunes
Buy CD Album on Bandcamp
“From the poignant to the provocative to the playful ‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’ is wonderfully theatrical and, unless you’re made of stone, quite irresistible .. It begins with ‘A Bow To Bowie’ an enthralling tribute to one of Raf & O’s main inspirations .. The intensity is off the scale”
“Stark and otherworldly, a haunting ode, subtle swelling bricolage of ghostly synths, tumbling acoustic notes and a bass drum that thuds like a heartbeat throughout. While Raf’s almost otherworldly almost jazz-like vocals spiral across the upper register with echoes of Kate Bush at her most avant-garde”
GOD IS IN THE TV ZINE
“This is a strange and luscious album”
“Sublime in execution, subtle but with a real depth and levity, TSBNAD is an astonishing piece of new romantic, avant-theater pop and electronica that dares to unlock the mind and fathom emotion, a masterclass of pulchritude magnificence. Imbued by both the musicality and spirit of David Bowie, Scott Walker, David Sylvian (both as a solo artist and with the fey romantics Japan), Kate Bush and in their most avant-garde mode, Bjork, the South London based duo of Raf (Raf Mantelli) and O (Richard Smith) occupy the perimeters of alternative art-rock and experimental electronica as the true inheritors of those cerebral inspirations”
An audio voyage that seems to bridge the gap between cosmos and earth as the record develops. ’A Bow to Bowie’ gazes explicitly heavenward, combining respectful, open sincerity with sheer intelligence and wit, absorbing musical and lyrical references to the song’s subject into a structure all their own. The title track is almost a battery-operated torch song, Raf’s sensual, almost swinging vocal conjuring up a kind of electronic chanson.”
Thank you to Joe Muggs for featuring us on his radio show “The Wonderful Raf and O”! Thank you to Dexter Bentley for continued support, thank you to Bowie Wonderworld and thank you to all who made the Launch at Servant Jazz Quarters, it felt like an intimate and very special party. Hosted by dear friend Klarita from Kaparte Promotions, the event was filmed by Mal Robinson (watch the live video above) and photographed by Junko Rathmell (featured photo below) capturing the spirit of the night! Meanwhile The Kick Inside, our side project as interpretations of early Kate Bush, went down a storm in Birmingham, you can read about it on social media, keep in touch with the latest live appearances on The Kick Inside FB page and of course Raf and O ‘s page! We’re also on Instagram, twitter, youtube, you name it!
The space between nothing and desire is already evolving … lots of new ideas are flourishing but for now, we are so proud to unleash into the world…
The new album!
Come and get it we truly value your support!
More images below.
Raf and O X
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‘A Bow To Bowie’ Is Here and ‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’ Launches 26052019 + More Live Outings
April 2, 2019 § Leave a comment
He sang himself to Earth…
A Bow To Bowie Is here!
Truly excited to share this with you!
‘A Bow To Bowie’ and ‘A Mechanical Ride’ are available now together with pre-orders of The Space Between Nothing And Desire on Telephone Records.
Pre-Order Digital Album on iTunes
Pre-Order CD Album on Bandcamp
The Album Launch will be on Sunday 26th May in the intimate and elegant space of SJQ, Servant Jazz Quarters, London, promoted by long time dear friend Klarita from Kaparte Promotions. We’re incredibly excited to be able to bring ’The Space Between Nothing And Desire’ live to you!
Tickets are on sale now!
Over the years Raf and O have expressed their affinity with Bowie and took on the task to reinterpret some of his songs, including ‘The London Boys’ which is part of the new album.
September saw the announcement of ABTB and on January 8th it was revealed to be ‘A Bow To Bowie’, written in December 2016.
“I really wanted to write a song for David after his passing, but it took me a few months before I felt I could tackle it” Raf Mantelli
With ‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’ Raf and O go in search of a new quest: where, or, what is the space between nothing and desire? The primal concept that makes the world go round, desire, is abstract and yet so tangible, juxtaposed to nothing, equally as baffling, as to truly imagine it, it is impossible. With these parameters forming their chart, the latest album captures the duo navigating a journey into the senses, into the longing and the belonging.
Below the album tracklist:
1. A Bow To Bowie
2. The Space Between Nothing And Desire
3. Underwater Blue
5. Your Gazing Stare
6. A Mechanical Ride
7. Such A Small Love
8. With Fatzer
9. The Windmill
10. The London Boys
‘Such A Small Love’ is a cover of Scott Walker recorded in September 2016.
Raf and O paid tribute to Walker last week as the news broke of his departure. Read here
Lovingly mastered at Trace. Big thanks to Mark Beazley.
Raf and O live, Pennyblackmusic 20th anniversary at The Water Rats. Photo © Peter Tainsh
In February we were celebrating the latest live achievements which saw Raf and O in the latter part of 2018 alongside our other selves The Kick Inside, performing selective shows along the East Coast of England and surroundings including Manor House and theatre shows, as well as live appearances at the Klinker, Bethnal Green Working Mens Club and at the mighty PennyblackMusic 20th Anniversary held in the Water Rats quarters; the latter was John Clarkson’ s favourite show of 2018 whilst Raf and O as The Kick Inside – The Songs Of Kate Bush is in Adrian Ainsworth round-up of favourite live music of 2018.
“…An entrancing set of slanted, left-field songs that work their hazy magic on a drunken summer day. Comparisons to Broadcast, Stereolab, and even – yes – Kate Bush might help, but in reality Raf and O exist in their own, idiosyncratic universe, with a deeply unique sound that everyone should fall into for a while” Dominic Simpson, Pennyblackmusic.
Live performances will also bring us to Birmingham on 7th April at Fletchers Bar with TKI and at West Kirby Arts Centre where we will perform both as TKI and Raf and O on Saturday 18th May. More info and events on Raf and O and The Kick Inside FB pages.
Join us for the launch, it will be a very special night in London!
‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’… don’t miss!
Raf and O xx
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