Raffertie (aka Benjamin Stefanski) is a British producer whose debut album
bears many of the hallmarks of current cooler-than-thou electronica.
What he has delivered in these thirteen tracks, however, is a cut-and-paste
compendium which fails, to my hairy ears at least, to achieve sonic coherence.
His debts to James Blake are immediately obvious and in compositions such
as 'Rain', 'Touching', 'Window Out' and (especially) 'Black Rainbow' become
unavoidably apparent. The melancholy melodic material, fractured beats and
deconstructed vocals are almost embarrassingly derivative but Mr Stefanski's
management of his materials can rarely hold a candle to his illustrious mentor.
(Methinks he may also be more than a tad aware of the work of San Francisco
based producer Eskmo). There is skill here in abundance but little originality.
On a more generous note 'Trust', a moody duet of-sorts with Ms Yadi, is a
rather lovely invention but when faced with the interminable arpeggios of
instrumental number 'One Track Mind' and the numinous xx-lite approximations
of 'Known' any possibility of my becoming a True Believer was entirely crushed.
Mr Stefanski certainly has potential but will need to find his own voice to prosper.