Crunked up dubstep/2-step/house rhythms

Sat in a North London cafe with the twenty-four-year-old producer Raffertie, AKA Benjamin Stefanski, we discuss the frantic need for new music to be categorised and labelled, with often hideous consequences (witch house anyone?).

“I often think that maybe I should just come up with my own name for the music I’m making. Or maybe you could do that?’ declares Stefanski. As much as that proposition seems tempting, the fact that Raffertie is one of those innovative artists that constantly seeks to push his sound to new levels and incorporate ideas from numerous influences makes this no easy feat.

Preferring to listen to choral music in his spare time and with a penchant for Radio Four, it’s perhaps surprising that Raffertie makes such explosive electronic music for the rave-hungry. A onetime purveyor of the wonkier side of dubstep, Raffertie soon became a victim of certain overzealous journalists who shamelessly branded him with the ‘wobble’ tag. In an attempt to break free of these restraints, Raffertie holed himself up in the studio for a whole summer to hone a new sound that proved his open and intelligent attitude to music and his desire to avoid being pigeon-holed. “When I started releasing music a few years ago it just happened to be around the same time that dubstep was really exploding....but I never wanted to be boxed in to one particular sound.” Indeed, Raffertie returned with the ‘Rank Functions’ EP that demonstrated a smoother and more controlled approach, more akin to the UK funky inflected house sound currently taking over the airwaves, but also dabbling in a curious mix of styles from 2-step to techno.

With past releases on Planet Mu, Seclusiasis, Special Branch and his own imprint Super already under his belt and an album scheduled for early 2012 with recent signing Ninja Tune, the future for Raffertie looks decidedly bright and wobble free.

Words by Laura Humphries

Where: Belsive Park, London
What: Crunked up dubstep/2-step/house rhythms
Unique Fact: The name Raffertie comes from a friend’s work colleague who had two children named Raffertie and Mcintyre.
Get 3 songs: ‘7th Dimension’, ‘Horse Flesh’, ‘Rank Functions’

Follow Clash: