South London based avant-pop duo Raf and O AKA Raf Mantelli and Richard Smith (O) release their third full length album Portal on Telephone Records on the 22nd of July. We have the video premiere for the bizarre evocative landscape ʻSonnet 62ʼ where Raf and O have set music to Shakespeare; here, a haunting melody is underpinned by hypnotic guitar lines and interjections of underwater bells, gongs and ghostly choirs.
“Garnering widespread acclaim in the UK / Europe and later US and Canada since their first 10ʼʼ EP release in 2008, the two piece band from South East London have created a buzz with exciting performances of their unique detailed avant-pop, fusing electro/ acoustic drums, self-made triggers, pads, samplers, vocals, synths and acoustic guitar bathed in effects.
Supporting artists such as Faust, Little Annie Bandez, they were special guests in Richard Strangeʼs production for William S. Burroughs centenary in the grand settings of Queen Elizabeth Hall. They were praised by David Bowieʼs pianist Mike Garson for their unique interpretation of ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ and following a live BBC session, performed at the legendary Beckenham Free Festival Remake (Memory Of A Free Festival 2013/ 2014) and featured on David Bowie Official.
In 2014 Raf and O launched their second album Time Machine at Shoreditch Church to acclaim. Recently Raf and O were invited to celebrate Bowieʼs life with a performance at the Union Chapel and composed music for the theatre play That Woman’s Voice a Tribute to Jean Cocteau and The Human Voice’ staged at Camden Fringe Festival. They now return with their new album Portal a further voyage into their adventurous musical dreams, spliced with the literary influences of William Seward Burroughs and Shakespeare.”
The album launch is in London on 22nd July 2016 at St James The Less, Westminster, promoted by Kaparte.