Gordon Raphael

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Gordon Raphael
Gordon Raphael by Juani Bousquet.jpg
Gordon Raphael in Argentina 2013
Background information
OriginSeattle, WA
GenresSpace rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsSynthesizer, guitar, electric bass, vocals, drum machine
LabelsShoplifter Records
Associated actsThe Strokes, Regina Spektor, Sky Cries Mary, Absinthee, Mental Mannequin, The Tears of Gloom, Colour Twigs, The Tempers, The Plastics, Auditores, Rockfilia, Paris Paris Musique, Los Outsaiders, Red Martian, Roxanne Fontana

Gordon Raphael is a record producer and musician from Seattle, Washington, and New York, currently living in Berlin.

Gordon 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 many songs with Sarah Maguire, Fake Chemical State for ex-Skunk Anansie lead singer Skin, Mexico's top rock band Fobia, the well loved album "Soviet Kitsch" by Regina Spektor. Other notables he has worked with include Damon Albarn, Ian Astbury and Ian Brown. As far as recording rock music: 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. He worked as engineer, and played keyboards, on all of New York singer-songwriter Roxanne Fontana's second album, Souvenirs d'Amour. In 2011-2012 Gordon Raphael worked in San Antonio, Texas with Education, The Dirty Clergy,[1] Ill Prospekt and Victoria Celestine; then met Ricky Berger from Sacramento, California 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 Gordon worked closely with in many of his own musical bands including Mental Mannequin, The Tears of Gloom, and Sky Cries Mary). Whilst in the Pacific Northwest Gordon was introduced to The Tempers, a "wild-electronic band of brother and sisters"- and recorded three demos with them in their own home studio- Kirknasty.

As a musician, Gordon formed two original bands in Seattle, Mental Mannequin and Colour Twigs, which featured his own songs. In the 1990s during the famous Grunge Revolution he was keyboardist for the psychedelic band Sky Cries Mary- and starred in an epic dark-wave band called Absinthee with Anna Mercedes. 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.

Gordon, age 6 showing his painting at Red Cross Art Show in New York

Gordon 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 30 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). Living in London was a dream come true for Gordon, as his primary rock influences were mainly British, and he saw it as a great chance to learn more about the people, history and culture there. He participated in Skint and Minted, a talent night at Filthy McNasty's pub, which at the time (2002) was a heady meeting place for young creative London minds. As well, Gordon made a strong bond with Toby L, the founder of Rockfeedback.com (and Transgressive Records) and they created a clubnight called The Basement Club which presented very early concerts by Regina Spektor, Bloc Party, The Libertines, and Gordon's own band Black Light among many others.

In 2005 after working for almost a year on The Strokes album First Impressions of Earth, Gordon was replaced as producer by David Kahne.[2] 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: Zeno and the Stoics (Madrid), Mikkel Glasser (Copenhagen), Husky Stash (Berlin), Sue and the Unicorn (Berlin), 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), The Michelles (Berlin).

In January 2010, Raphael went to Cape Town, South Africa, to produce the debut album Shark by indie rock band The Plastics. They had a number one song called Jukebox from that record which features Gordon on piano, and a lush string section.

In May 2013, he went to Lima, Perú, to record a Peruvian new band called Los Outsaiders

In October 2013, he went to Seattle, Washington, and recorded a 7-song EP with Red Martian

In April 2014, Gordon went to Mexico city and recorded a 6-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.

Gordon Raphael performed at British & Irish Modern Music Institute in Berlin (BIMM) in March 2016.[3]

In March 2018 Gordon released his "first proper solo album" SLEEP ON THE RADIO via Zero Hours Records in London. This record was recorded entirely in Buenos Aires, in four different studios- except for the song SAVAGE which was a re-worked version by his former London band Black Light. (Matt Ingram, and Tim Smith). There were 9 singles released during the yearlong campaign to promote the album, and then a small European tour beginning in Serbia, Vienna, Prague finally winding through Germany. The European tour was with his band The Half-Full Flashes, which included Kevin Kuhn (Die Nerven), Christian Heerdt (Käse. Der Ritter), Eleni Zafiriadou and Daniel Benjamin (both Sea + Air).[4] Then a very fortunate development occurred when rising Argentinian musician Rocco Posca asked Gordon to produce his new album Fervor for Sony Music. In June 2018 these recording sessions began, and on the first day Maria Florencia Silva, one of the musicians on SLEEP ON THE RADIO offered to start a new band with Gordon, called The Wild Cards. Seven very powerful shows were put together quickly during June–July 2018, including one at La Confiteria in Buenos Aires- a very fashionable and valued performance space for music and subcultures. This performance was filmed for an upcoming documentary which portrays both The Wild Cards and the work with Rocco Posca. The success of the seven Argentina shows led to The Spring Wild Tour, that saw The Wild Cards journey throughout Argentina, over to Santiago Chile, and then Brazil (São Paulo, Sorocaba and Florianopolis).

On January 1, 2019, Gordon 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 Gordon was actually living in the studio, in a basement under Avenue A. The album contains some songs, mixed with experimental soundscapes and electronic atmosphere's created on his beloved Arp Odyssey, a Jupiter 6 and Mini Moog.

Gordon playing his Fender Contempo Jazz Organ at a rock concert, age 14


  1. ^ http://www.thedirtyclergy.com/
  2. ^ "when-it-started". when-it-started. Archived from the original on 2014-12-18. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  3. ^ "Interview with Gordon Raphael - new BIMM instructor and producer of the Strokes - indieberlin". indieberlin. 2016-03-09. Retrieved 2016-05-17.
  4. ^ Germany, Stuttgarter Zeitung, Stuttgart. "Gordon Raphael und Band in Stuttgart: Hallo, i bims, der Gordon". stuttgarter-zeitung.de (in German). Retrieved 2017-10-05.

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