Influences 12: Ripperton
Retrospective eclecticism from the Swiss artist.
Influences 12: Ripperton
Retrospective eclecticism from the Swiss artist.
A decade has passed since Raphaël Ripperton appeared under the guise of his second name. Born in the ’70s, an exciting time for music if ever there was one, he grew up in the small town of Lausanne, Switzerland and began DJing as a teenager with friends in 1992, before experimenting with production just a few years later alongside friend Sacha Unger. Much of his early tastes were defined by local radio show “Pump it Up Live” on Radio Couleur 3, which featured international guests such as Mandrax, Tony Humphries, and Mr Fingers, among others. “At that time I was making roller-skates and skateboards, and I guess those shows made me want to be a DJ,” he recalls.
Ripperton’s Influences podcast covers these early years until his 30s, a period that’s seen him spend many hours scouring record stores, both as a worker and a customer, professional and hobbyist; tour the world as a DJ; indulge in any television and cinéma (a great source of new music); and amass a quite remarkable discography, solo and in various collaborations, encompassing house, soul, disco, ambient, and even indie-oriented works. Reflecting on the records that have influenced him the most over these 15+ years, Ripperton compiled a list and whittled it down to a select few that stand out in his mind. “I chose these records because I remember them vividly when I think about this period of my life,” he explains. “I wanted to be as true as possible, and not invent a past as a crate digger because it was not possible to find good records in Lausanne. Sometimes I had to wait five years just to get one 12″.”
The result, therefore, is a thoroughly engaging and wildly diverse mix that you feel only someone with Ripperton’s sort of musical upbringing could compile. There’s something for clubbers, sure, but the beauty of this mix comes in the eclecticism: split into two sides fit for a tape for Ripperton’s children, it pairs contemporary artists like Massive Attack, Radiohead, Tricky, and Carl Craig with obscure French forgotten gems in a way that works though you know it really shouldn’t. Some tracks will inspire nostalgia, some a certain melancholy, and some sheer joy, and some all of the above. So put your headphones in and check out the records that made Raphaël Ripperton drop his first name.
“When you asked me to do this podcast I said “Yes” without thinking but then I took it way too seriously. You brought me back to my early years, when everything was possible and exciting. I couldn’t put everything I wanted on; there’s too much of it and what a mess my inspirations are. I couldn’t do it as a usual podcast, so I figured out that 100 min k7 will be the best option and so I made a tape for my children. Like in the good ol’ days! I hope you’ll appreciate it for what it is: a period in time.” — Ripperton
Due to issues regarding the GDPR, EU readers can download the podcast here.
01. Plastic Bertrand “Tout petit la planète”
As teenager, I was exposed to a lot of French shit music (even if this one is from the always on point Belgium), it’s the advantage of living next to the country of “La Variété” and having access to the three French television channels. With hindsight, I realize how much it has influenced… and not just in “good” honestly and whether I like it or not; it’s part of my culture and you can also hear Daft Punk’s inspiration here.
02. Vanessa “Ne Pars Pas, Je Veux T’aimer”
Obviously I spent all my youth in the ’80s. Disco mobiles, the end of summer camp with “la boum.” With all the good and bad things that this implies. But what keeps me warm from this period is this naivety, nostalgia, and the positivity you can hear in this Swiss ’80s synth-disco gem.
03. Betty Wright “If You Abuse My Love”
Much of our electronic knowledge and culture has come from tapes, VHS, and radio broadcasting. You know when you left the family table at Christmas to go launch a recording in your room, when each shared tape gave the big thrill. Tony Humphries, Kid Batchelor, Jack’Omollo, Djaimin; just talking about it gives me the chills because I have made a large part of my culture like that. I was a teenager in front of his radio and his most precious possession that moment was his walkman. I had to leave home early enough to go to boarding school and music has always been my escape. I’ve always been lonely and I’ve always enjoyed it.
04. Arthur Russell “Get Around to It”
There’s finally little doubt that Arthur will find himself in every other mix here and there. Pure genius, unique sounds, and new discovery with each listening. It’s an endless source of inspiration.
05. The KLF “Chill Out”
The first time I heard the KLF, it was in a hotel by the sea in Tuscany. I’ve never heard that before and I remember asking the bartender to make me a copy of his tape for my walkman. I listened to this cassette over and over throughout the holidays. I must have been 16 years old. God knows I hate the name chill out because of what it encompasses now. But this…
06. Julie Cruise “Into the Night”
I mean, when we saw Lynch’s Twin Peaks arrive at 8:30 PM on a Tuesday night on national TV I think my world just stopped. For me music is very much linked to memory and cinema.
07. Björk “Hyperballad”
Bjork is the sorcerer. My favorite… I like everything about her. Even if there have been some painful albums, she has always made her own path in music. She is so different TO everyone else, she is magical.
08. Mc Solaar “La concubine de l’hemoglobine”
French music is an integral part of my musical culture. Thanks to guys like MC Solaar that I found that French could be graceful and direct. I have done some songs with my friend Van Hai who has the same writing skills on tracks like Dernier amour or Chaos Calm. Those years were also very dark, with the explosion of hard drug use and AIDS. I think we’ve all lost friends like that. Not just good memories.
09. Carl Craig “At les”
Carl is the prince of techno, he’s already done everything, he is humble, he’s an example. He’s in my top three of my favorite producers of all time.
10. Craig Mack “Flava in y’a Ear”
We spent our evenings at the leisure centre listening to Tribe, Digable Planets, Solaar, or De la soul. We danced or skated outside, breakdance was fine too. It was an incredibly fertile and positive time. I loved it when those albums came out, those new directions…
11. Herbert & Dani Siciliano “I Hadn’t Know (I only heard)”
Herbert was also a huge slap in the face. A genius without equivalent in electronic music. When I heard his remix for Moloko I thought I was dying. I saw him several times live disguised as Dr. Rockit with his sampler, his boilers and his packet of chips. I saw him with his jazz band in Montreux or in Barcelona cooking music. How to put everyday life into music with everyday instruments. I enjoyed his work with Dani Siciliano so much… the perfect beat. You can refer to him as Mr. AKAI S612.
12. Nina Simone “Live at Ronnie Scott”
The most fascinating woman. Not even a Lion has his presence.
What a shitty life, what an injustice until the end. But what an artist… I really like live albums more than studio albums. If you’ve never seen Nina’s DVD live in Montreux you’ll see what I mean.
No compromises. Never, ever.
13. Tricky “Black Steel”
This album is just great. Fusion of good taste. I ate next to him not long ago at the Michel Berger. I didn’t dare say hello… Tricky is a fascinating musician.
14. Fennesz “Rivers of Sand”
How to make a world out of a guitar.
15. Massive Attack “Protection”
The first time I heard protection was at night in my car on the radio with my friend Van Hai. I think we stopped the car so much we were hallucinating (thanks to the weed). Tracey Thorn is so amazing on this song and the piano from Craig Armstrong….. You know that time when the radios played incredible songs late at night and you had to wait a month before the records came out… An essential reference since then, as much for the work of Nellee Hooper, emotion, collaborative work as for quality over the length.
16. Mood II Swing “Searchin” (Dub)
These two have radically changed my life. It’s certainly the guys who have influenced me the most. This unique way of mixing feelings, house and what a beautiful name “Mood 2 Swing”. They wrote beautiful songs, it’s also with this kind of garage music that I started as a dj and when I started producing they were always in a corner of my head.
17. A HOMEBOY “A Hippy”
For me a beautiful evening is a small club, a mixed audience, gays everywhere, dark corners, drag queens and that was the kind of anthem from these parties. I miss this madness too often nowadays.
18. Silicon soul “Who Needs to Sleep Tonight?”
First time I heard this I was working behind the counter at Tracks Records store in Lausanne in the ’90s. It has become a bit like my personal anthem. This song is pure magic. Thanks to Disco B!
19. Depeche Mode ” Enjoy the Silence”
I remember running into my cousin Laurent in a record store and it was my birthday. He bought me Violator. God, what a slap. The same cousin also had an ATARI and a synthesizer at home. Something I could never have even dreamed of owning.
My first home studio excitement.
20. Radiohead “Everything in its Right Place
Radiohead have been with me all my life. This is definitely the perfect opening track to a perfect album.
Ripperton recently returned to Drumpoet Community with a six-track EP, his first release under his Headless Ghost moniker in two years. Info here.