Every once and a while it can feel like EDM culture is going to self destruct. There is talk of ghost producing, headliner DJs letting the track run out at major shows, festival after festival repackaging and hyping the same lineup and more of the underground acts are getting bitter and jaded. Then, almost out of nowhere, an artist or an album reminds you how awesome the scene can be. Ripperton is one of those artists.
Ripperton grew up in the French speaking city of Switzerland Lausanne and started to DJ in the 90s. His talent was quickly recognized and has worked with Carl Craig, Steve Lawler, and Radiohead. His sound edges around the melodic aspects of house and minimal techno.
His interview with Magnetic was refreshing to say the least. It’s apparent that he loves what he does, and that no matter the level of success, he would still be making his music.
Take a listen to him, both in print and through speakers. His love of home, people, and music shines through and reminds you that no matter how ugly it can be in the news, if you keep your immediacy beautiful, the music scene can be quite a place to thrive.
Your new album is titlted A Little Part of Shade, what was the major inspiration behind it?
If you read between the lines of the title you’ll find some of the explanation. It’s about the inside garden that everyone has. It’s about the thing you hide and keep for you only…The secret inside life.
My inspiration came from the meetings, the experiences and the travelling I did in the last 4 years.
This is your second studio album and follow up to Niwa. How did you approach recording this album differently? How was it the same?
I try to not go to the studio with another idea than doing music. I collect songs and then I try to make them work together. It was absolutely the same spirit when I did Niwa.
Where did you record the album?
In my home town Lausanne, in my home studio. Living in Switzerland means being outside of all major scenes, So I don’t have any pressure or way to follow. I’m free of my ideas and my time and I think this is very precious.
This business can be very oppressive sometimes, as people have expectations. It’s hard sometimes to resist and stay true. For A Little Part of Shade it wasn’t a problem at all, I have a [strong relationship] with the guys at Green, like Joris, Edwin and Paul. Everything was flowing and I felt completely free to express myself.
Most of the tracks on A Little Part of Shade have vocalists. How did you select them?
Everybody on the album are really good friends. So it was really logical to work with them. The fact that you work with different people helps you to discover new landscapes. It surprises you by the direction it goes and this is really refreshing.
The spectrum of possibilities is way more interesting when you include lyrics in your music, you can add a lot of poetry too.
I love to make songs, to produce them, to write them and to sing them. Instrumental music makes me a bit sick lately. Sometimes I feel surrounded by music without soul.
What equipment did you use in the studio?
[I use gear] like drum machines and the analog 4, reel to reel tape, mixer Toft ATB16, reverbs and delay units. I use a lot of Roland Synthesizers and I work on Ableton, Logic and Protools… depends on what I’m working on. My monitors are the Solo 6 by Focal.
Electronic Dance Music or EDM has been used as an umbrella term that lumps commercial dance in with the underground sounds of house and techno. Where do you think the distinction lies?
I think (hope) people are smart enough to make the [distinction] between bad music and good. I never forget that I deal with a huge business with people making a lot of money which is not my spirit and my case.
Where do you draw your artistic inspiration from?
Everything I guess. Human relationships, nature, architectures, feelings. . . It’s important to stay open to everything as it feeds you. It’s really interesting to see how your environment influences the way your music sounds. If you take the Burial or James Holden cases for example, their music sounds like London without being there. . . It’s hard to describe. . . Music is fully surrounded and feeds by your biotope.
Once the album drops, do you have a plan for additional singles? Any artists of note working on remixes?
No, I don’t think so. This album is good as it is. There’s a lot of artists I would like to work with in the future, but not on this project.
But I guess your question was about to know who I like in particular lately, so let me whisper few names like Benoit Pioulard, Tim Hecker, Grouper, Andre Bratten, Rhye, Daphni or Baikal.
Any tour dates coming up?
Sure, there’s a lot to come in the next month, hope to come back the USA,
As I had a really good experience the last time I came over.
[Also] I’m working on a live version of this project to see if I can be able to adapt it as concert or club performance.
Ripperton’s ablum, A Little Part of the Shade, is out now via Green Records.