DJ Raph is an electronic musician, producer and DJ from Nairobi, Kenya. He is an outstanding figure in the growing Kenyan underground electronic scene. His debut album Sacred Groves is a rare gem of a record; considered, emotional and contagious. DJ Raph builds rich, textured electronic music from pan-African ethnographic field recordings. Sacred Groves opens up a timeless musical universe, that is both ancient and futuristic; a deep melange of modern electronic bass music, African chants and traditional rhythms. This is essential dance music. It is fundamentally not kitsch or cliched.
What makes DJ Raph´s approach unique within the abundant production of African electronic music is a keen interest in the meanings and contexts of the original field recordings. Sacred Groves emerges from weeks of research in the extensive music archive of the Iwalewahaus in Bayreuth. The music, rhythms and chants which he builds from are not just to expand his sound palette; his work is a considered homage to the traditions which he borrows from. The archive is revered rather not researched.
The respect that DJ Raph, a Nairobi-based producer, has for a broad African cultural heritage is deeply visceral and palpable in this music. Long samples allow the field recordings to breathe, to open up an innovative and vital electronic soundscape. Sacred Groves is simultaneously traditional, contemporary and deeply sacred.