Raf Rundell: ‘I’ve been getting into country’


Raf Rundell: ‘I’ve been getting into country’

Welcome to Sound Travels: a new series exploring the audio adventures of some musically minded globetrotters. And who better to kick things off than the man who graced the decks at this year’s Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Awards: Raf Rundell.

Richard MacKichan

BY Richard MacKichan22 May 2017

As a DJ, and one half of the 2 Bears with Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard, Raf Rundell has played everywhere from Glastonbury to Goa. Now he’s striking out on his own with his debut solo album, Stop Lying: a personality-packed collection of South London soul tunes. Here he’s hand-picked his perfect travel-tailored playlist…

What’s the song that immediately transports you somewhere else?
‘Beau Mot Plage’ by Isolee is incredibly transportive. It sounds like a hot night somewhere exotic; it’s sultry, trippy wonderful music.

Which song always reminds you of home?
This sounds incredibly cheesy but it’s ‘I Must Be In A Good Place Now’ by Bobby Charles. That whole Bobby Charles album is fantastic.

The ultimate road-trip song
I had a magical day driving the Pacific Highway north from Los Angeles listening to the KLF’s Chill Out. But those lunatics deleted all their work 20 or more years ago so you won’t find it. I also love ‘Drivin’ Sister’ by Mott The Hoople.

Ideal sunset soundtrack?
Otis’ by Durutti Column is a beauty in those situations.

And your poolside party jam?
A bit of soul: Leroy Hutson’s ‘Love The Feeling’.

Your favourite song about travelling?
‘When I get off of this mountain/You know where I want to go?/Straight down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico…’ – ‘Up On Cripple Creek’ by the Band.

Required airport listening?
‘Dream Baby Dream’ by Suicide. Gently does it…

Is there a country you have a particular musical obsession with?
Not a country, but I’ve been getting into country – I really want to go to Nashville. ‘All The Time’ by Kitty Wells was one of the oldies that got me in.

Best musical memory from a holiday…
I’ve had so many amazing musical adventures. I know it’s not strictly a holiday but recording bits of the second 2 Bears album in Soweto was a highlight. We recorded an amazing young Zulu vocalist called Sbusiso for the song ‘Son of the Sun’.

You’re going away for a while – which records are essential packing?
Compilations are great to take away. Any of Jon Savage’s 60’s ones on Ace Records are great – 1966 is my favourite. Then there’s Sky Girl, Brown Acid, Personal Space, any of the Rough Trade annuals… Also Soul Jazz, Soundway and the Numero group never put a foot wrong, and the Light Sounds Dark comps are fantastic too.

Stop Lying is out now on 1965 Records. Raf plays Bermondsey Social Club on 7 June. The 2 Bears play Bestival in Dorset, Kaleidoscope in London, and a host of other festivals this summer.