“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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Gazing Ahead to The Space Between Nothing And Desire + Celebrating Kate Bush with The Kick Inside Launch and a Live Session on the DeXter Bentley Show
February 11, 2018 § Leave a comment
It’s 2018 and we’re kicking off with live activities again!
Kate Bush has given music lovers something to treasure: a great musician and producer, a brilliant composer and an amazing most unique voice. This year and month marks the 40th anniversary of Kate and her debut album. Adopting their name from this album,TKI or The Kick Inside, a tribute to Kate Bush by Raf and O (see previous blog), perform tracks from her early albums fully live, elegantly and stylishly capturing the energy, excitement and fragility of Kate’s music on vocals, piano and double bass. Celebrating Kate, The Kick Inside Launch, promoted by the always excellent Kaparte, is in London at Bar & Co, the club on a boat, Temple Pier, on Sunday 25th February. It is also O Richard’s birthday and Raf, will keep celebration on hold till then.
‘We’ll be playing a full show of Kate’s beautiful songs from the early part of her career. Triple celebration. Come!’
The launch is also featured on Kate Bush News and TKI has been described as:
’Strikingly individual’ Kate Bush News
And to kick start it all off, The Kick Inside will be playing live in session on the mighty deXter Bentley Show on London’s Resonance 104.4 FM, Saturday 17th February, 12pm which is the date marking Kate’s debut album 40 years ago!
We’re now gazing ahead to … and we’re very excited to introduce ‘The Space Between Nothing And Desire’. That is the title of Raf and O’s new album and it’s set to be released later this year!
A slice from the album was aired yesterday for the very first time on the deXter Bentley Show: an edit preview of a brand new Raf and O song, ‘Your Gazing Stare’. The album will also include our version of David Bowie’s ’The London Boys’. We can’t say too much more at this stage, but keep your ears and eyes peeled, social media is always the quicker way to get fresh news!
Last November we even got to say thank you in person for the support Mike Garson had given to our version of Bowie’s Lady Grinning Soul back in 2013 after he played a magical show at the Camden Underworld!
Raf and O Xx
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