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Gordon Raphael

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Gordon Raphael
OriginSeattle, Washington, U.S.
  • Record producer
  • songwriter
  • musician
Instrument(s)Keyboards, guitar, bass, vocals

Gordon Raphael is an American record producer and musician from Seattle, Washington and New York, currently living in Hebden Bridge (UK), after a 15 years in Berlin. Gordon runs a website called Gordotronic which features his own original music, artwork and writings. In the year 2022 he published his first book, "The World Is Going To Love This (Up From The Basement With The Strokes)" though Wordville Press in London.

Raphael is most widely known for his work with The Strokes, whom he met while attending an early show at Luna Lounge on Ludlow Street, New York City. He produced their debut EP The Modern Age as well as their first two albums Is This It and Room on Fire. The EP and first album were recorded entirely in his basement studio Transporterraum NYC (co-owned by Jimmy Goodman). He has also produced songs for The Cribs, Sarah Maguire, Skin, Mexico's top rock band Fobia, Satellites (from Mallorca), and the well-loved album Soviet Kitsch by Regina Spektor.

Other notables he has worked with include the Cult's Ian Astbury and Ian Brown of The Stone Roses. Other rock music he has produced: from Bognor Regis Kill Kenada, Britain's The Moonies, the London band Three Trapped Tigers, operatic art rockers Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man, Swiss literary-rock band The Mondrians, Finland's Caroline Taucher and The Whas, UK artists Charly Flynn and The Sound Explosion, Peruvian band Los Outsaiders. He worked as engineer, and played keyboards, on all of New York singer-songwriter Roxanne Fontana's second album, Souvenirs d'Amour.


Early career[edit]

As a musician, Raphael formed two bands in Seattle, Mental Mannequin and Colour Twigs. He was also the keyboardist for the Seattle-based psychedelic band Sky Cries Mary and part of a dark-wave band called Absinthee with Anna Mercedes.[when?] His favorite instrument is the Arp Odyssey, which he started learning at age 18. This small 1970's analog synthesizer creates an infinite pallet of evocative, intense outer space noises as well as a barrage of bass which he uses on many of his own and other artist's recordings.

2000s: The Strokes and work in Europe[edit]

Raphael moved to London in 2002 following the success of Is This It, and founded a studio there called The Silver Transporterraum of London. In his first year living there, he worked with thirty bands, and was asked to produce the debut album of The Libertines whilst mixing live sound on their first-ever UK Tour (with The Vines and The Strokes). Rapahel also began curating a club night called The Basement Club with Transgressive Records co-founder Toby L, presented very early concerts by Regina Spektor, Bloc Party, The Libertines, and Raphael's own band Black Light among many others.

In 2005, after working for almost a year on The Strokes album First Impressions of Earth, Raphael was replaced as producer by David Kahne.[1]

He moved to Berlin to be close to his friend, producer Moses Schneider. From his Berlin base, many European bands began to contact him via the internet to work, including Zeno and the Stoics (Madrid), Mikkel Glasser (Copenhagen), Satellites (Mallorca), Big Deal (London), A Brand (Brussels), Deportivo (Paris), Scanners (London), Olivia Anna Livki (Berlin), Super 700 (Berlin), Ian Astbury (London), Eva Loft (Berlin), and The Michelles (Berlin).

2010s: Further international work and original music[edit]

In January 2010, Raphael went to Cape Town, South Africa, to produce the debut album Shark by indie rock band The Plastics.

In 2011–2012, Raphael worked in San Antonio, Texas with Education, The Dirty Clergy, Ill Prospekt and Victoria Celestine. He then met Ricky Berger and co-engineered her new collection of songs. Around the time of Hurricane Sandy, he was back for a rare visit to Manhattan producing an album for Lewis Lazar, then luckily being called to his beloved Seattle for an album with Ben Ireland (a drummer that Raphael worked closely with in his own bands including Mental Mannequin, The Tears of Gloom, and Sky Cries Mary). Whilst in the Pacific Northwest, Raphael was introduced to The Tempers, a "wild-electronic band of brother and twin sisters" and was thrilled to record 6 interstellar electronic rock songs with them.

In May 2013, he went to Lima, Peru, to record a Peruvian new band called Los Outsaiders. In October 2013, he went to Seattle, Washington, and recorded a seven-song EP with Red Martian. In April 2014, Raphael went to Mexico City and recorded a six-song EP with the up-and-coming band Sol Flamingo while simultaneously filming a small documentary on "the making" of it with Montreal based filmmaker Patrick Barbeau.

Raphael gave a pruduction master-class at British & Irish Modern Music Institute in Berlin (BIMM) in March 2016.[2]

A fortunate development occurred when rising Argentinian musician Rocco Posca asked Raphael to produce his new album, Fervor for Sony Music. In June 2018, these recording sessions began, and on the first day guitarrist Maria Florencia Silva, offered to start a new band with Raphael, called The Wild Cards which toured briefly through South America.

On January 1, 2019, Raphael released his album I Lick The Moog, which had been recorded in his old NYC Studio Transporterraum during Christmas 2000, four months before the recording of The Strokes Is This It began. At that time Raphael, was actually living in the studio, in a basement under Avenue A. The album contains outsider-rock songs, mixed with experimental soundscapes and electronic atmospheres created on his beloved Arp Odyssey, a Jupiter 6 and Mini Moog.

Production discography[edit]

Year Title Artist Credits
1986 Skin Yard Skin Yard Assistant engineer, recording[3]
1986 Dry As a Bone Green River Engineer
1998 Fresh Fruits for the Liberation Sky Cries Mary Engineer, mixing
1999 Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time Scout Engineer, mixing
2000 Colour Twigs Colour Twigs Producer
2000 Mélodie Citronique Blonde Redhead Engineer
2001 The Modern Age The Strokes Producer
2001 Is This It The Strokes Producer
2001 Souvenirs d'Amour Roxanne Fontana Engineer
2001 The Bellweather Project Slang Engineer
2002 Riff After Riff The Wildhearts Producer
2003 Soviet Kitsch Regina Spektor Producer
2003 Room on Fire The Strokes Producer
2004 Fake Chemical State Skin Producer
2005 Rosa Venus Fobia Producer
2006 First Impressions of Earth The Strokes Co-producer
2008 Reality Check The Teenagers Vocal engineer
2008 Close to the Sun Jody Porter Producer
2008 The Right Way to Do Wrong Myriad Creatures Producer, engineer, mixing
2010 Close the Evil Eye The Tellers Producer, engineer, mixing
2018 I Don't Run Hinds Producer
2021 Cool Colleen Green Producer, engineer


  1. ^ "when-it-started". when-it-started. Archived from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  2. ^ "Interview with Gordon Raphael - new BIMM instructor and producer of the Strokes - indieberlin". indieberlin. March 9, 2016. Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  3. ^ "Skin Yard: Detail of 1st Album".

External links[edit]