After Dj’ing for 10 years and producing since 2009, i came upon the realization that even though i come across many bomb tracks regularly, most of the amazing music i hear is just a one off track by a producer and there are very few producers that have a discography that is consistent all the way through in the quality and delivery of their productions. In other words, i was never really able to become a serious fan of a producer because i only ended up liking one or two tracks from their catalog and so i always felt a little let down. However there are a handful of producers i have lately discovered that have blown my mind and through this series i would like to shed light on their work and share their brilliance!
Today post will focus on Mr Raoul K from Ivory Coast who moved to Germany from Africa in 1992. I accidentally stumbled across his music in 2016 and was really impressed with his sound. His exotic productions were characterized by a combination of traditional African instruments, ranging from the Cora to the Balafon, with the industrial sound he found in the clubs. What caught my attention was that he was not just merely sampling these records but was really playing the instruments and giving them the perfect electronic soundscape in the background. I initially thought that 1-2 tracks will be good but every single track had a real special vibe to it. I could sense that he had gone all out on all the tracks and really put the maximum effort in terms of his musicianship and production skills. Usually a lot of the exotic tracks have samples in them but i have noticed that when actual recordings are done in the track, it really comes alive and then sounds extremely rich and unique. Mr Raoul K’s unique and musical vibe made me an instant fan and follower and gave me a lot of inspiration to also incorporate a more musical approach into my own productions. I have posted all his links here for you guys to listen to. Enjoy Listening!!
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Being a refuge from the Ivory Coast, he traveled to Germany in ’92 where he made Hamburg, a city in the northern parts of the country, his new residence. His biggest dream was to become a professional soccer player and he even made it to the professional level in Germany, but after a serious knee injury he was forced to stop playing soccer.
It was in Hamburg where he first got in touch with the aesthetic vibe of house & techno music that was played at the local clubs, after which he was immediately sold: these nightly experiences resulted in a surprising change in his future career. In 1999 he moved to Lubeck, where he during the day would work long hours as a carpenter and developed and refined his musical skills at night. After years of taking double shifts and setting aside every hard earned penny, he finally had enough money to build his own studio. Mr. Raoul K., a true perfectionist, was ready to share his productions with the world.
His exotic productions from the Ivory Coast ensured that his current home base and other cities in Germany welcomed him with open arms. His productions are characterized by a combination of traditional African instruments, ranging from the Cora to the Balafon, with the industrial sound he found in the clubs.
Part from being a talented producer, Raoul also is an exceptional DJ. Being a vinyl lover, he regularly still spends days in the local records stores, looking for that one 12” that can make the difference during his sets. He accommodates his own music at the Baobab Music label (founded in 2007), his own brainchild. The label is named after the ancient African tree, which according to the myth is being inhabited by the wisest of monkeys. Through his label, gems like “Le Cercle Peul” were released, which received critical acclaim from prominent critics and respected producers like Jerome Sydenham, Josh Deep and Henrik Schwarz. In 2009 he set up the Baobab Secret label in order to put out tracks that do not fit the output schedule of Baobab Music. All of his hard work is paying off and earned him gigs at the world famous Panorama bar (Berlin), Rex Club (Paris) and a set in the legendary Boiler room. Nowadays Raoul created a firm, still growing fan base all around the world, from Germany to Japan.