The Maker #11 – Dominic Razlaff

This instalment of The Listener features Dominic Razlaff. The Braunschweig-based musician has previously released works on Elm Records, Singing Birds, Kaarbanik Sound, and stuk Label under the name of DR. Now joining RTR with his latest album, ‘Melancholie’ (RTR019), Dominic explore low-fidelity through degraded audio and manipulated field recordings.

Dominic joins us to talk about discovering beatless music, finding the right mood to create, avoiding concepts, and provides a lengthy list of new music recommendations

How did you first get introduced to ambient/drone/experimental music?

I began making music with drums. But from time to time I have made more music without drums. The reason was, I had the feeling, that drums prevent my creativity in making sound design & ambient music. Boards of Canada’s beatless tracks (like ‘Olson’, ‘Farewell Fire’, etc.) was like a door opener for beatless music for me. I think, that was the starting point and also like an introduction to ambient music for myself. Later, it goes more towards drone. Artists like Eliane Radigue, Thomas Koner, Celer, and Nicholas Szczepanik were all a huge inspiration and my first contact with drone-based ambient music.

What inspires you to create a new body of work?

Honestly, I don’t know. Usually I just need the right mood. Sometimes it can be a field recording which inspires me, or a good book. Sometimes I get ideas if I play around with the Ukulele or Cavaquinho, and found a nice chord progression or so. But it is really rarely that I realised what exactly inspires me for a new work. It just comes with the right mood.

How do you approach working on a new release?

If I start a new album/EP, the first track leads the way for this; what’s coming next? Or sometimes I listen to unfinished sketches for parts which can be nice to use it for tape loops. Usually I have no concepts or anything like that, I just let it run. I have tried to do something with a concept, but it doesn’t feel comfortable, like a restriction.

Can you tell us about your favourite new release from the last 12 months?

This is really difficult, there is so many beautiful stuff out there right now. This are some of my favourites from the last time:

øjeRum – ‘Sange Til Døende’ {Pladeselvskab Reissue}
Sarah Davachi – ‘Gave in Rest’
Arctica – ‘Hanami in Tokyo
Federico Durand – ‘Pequeñas Melodías
Celer – ‘I Wish You Could
Sawako + Yuri*Maki – ‘Snow Gamelan

As RTR is a tape label, we have to ask: What attracts you to the cassette medium?

The warm sound. Cassettes has also a nostalgic feel, I grew up with


DR – ‘Melancholie’ (RTR019) is available to pre-order on RTR now, to be released on Monday 22nd. Limited to 30 tapes, the album features a fantastic three-panel J-card based on the photography of Matt Atkins.

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