GR 102CD GR 102CD

This is the long-awaited and highly-anticipated debut artist album from Switzerland's Raphaël Ripperton, released on Joris Voorn and Edwin Oosterwal's Green label. Known for his first-class quality releases on countless respected labels such as Ovum, Rekids, Dessous and his own imprint Perspectiv, Ripperton has established himself as one of the most highly-regarded and exciting artists around. In Japanese, "niwa" means garden, and with this album, you will open your ears and emotions to singular stories, that, element by element, fuse together into a greater whole. The influences here are far beyond dark, booming warehouse parties, and are just as likely to conjure up vivid images of dewy Lausanne sunsets. Folk-tinged downbeat experiments peacefully co-exist with delicious jazz blueprints and sublime ambient soundscapes, sitting in harmony with deeply hypnotic house grooves. "A Simple Thing," with its delicate mood, immediately hints at the joys that lie within this album. An accordion, gentle, stripped-down beats, deep dub bass and the longing beauty of a wordless song. "At Peace," featuring the achingly sensual vocals of Christina Wheeler, unfolds from this beginning as a bittersweet lament. It is not until "Ecotone" emerges with an energetic, emotive Detroit bass line that the dancefloor is hinted at. The album's mesmerizing, exotic journey has only just begun as Ripperton's garden blossoms into all kinds of colors and shapes. "The Sandbox" is arranged around the looped refrain of an African children's choir and features a quirky, squeaky rhythm pattern that, combined with delicately-picked guitar motifs, hints at a vision for future electronic folk music. An astonishing, jacking bass line erupts into "Echocity" before diving deep into the downtempo, looping, angelic reprise of "L'Ardo" with its lush acoustic beauty. "Farro" unwinds into a deeply hypnotic, melodic synth exploration of joyous simplicity, as Ripperton prepares to conjure up ghosts in the machines with the dislocated, head-twisting radio broadcast that is "I Know My Place," followed by "A Simple Interlude," which returns to the source of the album's opening theme. This is only a temporary lull, as "Des Promesses De Couleurs" lifts the mood to a hip-swaying groove and "Leonor's Lanugo" explores deeper grooves, building towards the intensely uplifting, emotive piano motifs of "Random Violence," before dropping back to "A Train To Nowhere" and its Detroit dub club sway, which heralds the return of Christine Wheeler for the thoughtful finale of "Solastalgia." This is an album of ageless beauty that begs to be returned to over and over and over again.