Words by Lexis: Montreal-based DJ and the founder MusicIsMySanctuary.com (2007) and 24 Hours of Vinyl (2011).
The Ratgrave project came out of the leftfield and appeared on our musical radar last week. Nothing was known from the project other than it being released out of Steven Julien’s (aka Funkineven) always reliable Apron Records imprint.
On closer inspection, I discovered that Ratgrave was a new project from Max Graef and Julius Conrad, a first-time collaboration for the German musicians. Other than that, the album came out with very little fanfare or additional information.
They define the sound as “Electronic P-Fusion from earth” and deliver exactly that. Just a raw mix of lo-fi drum programming and live instrumentation that will almost surely give you a neck sprain!
In a certain sense, this is a fusion of fusions! Merging the old masters like Jaco Pastorius, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock with the new school flavours of Thundercat, Kirkis, Kamaal Williams and Steve Lacy.
Some of these tracks fit with the London jazz + broken beat scene while others are P-funk bangers that Kendrick could jump on.
All in all, this is a fun and fresh project that also shows the beatmaking background of both artists – a lot of the tracks feel like spontaneous jam sessions which give it a mixtape feel while showcasing some bonafide chops.
Ratgrave is out now via Apron Records – buy here