Interview with Suddi Raval: Electro and Beyond

The pulsating heartbeat of dance music has danced through countless reinventions, from its underground roots to the neon-lit dance floors of today. Amid this sonic tapestry, Suddi Raval releases his latest EP, aiming to capture the genre’s most recent metamorphoses. Drawing from unconventional soundscapes and injecting fresh rhythms, Suddi attempts to redefine electro while maintaining its core essence. We sit down with him, and delve deep into his collaboration with cult figure Justin Robertson, the inspirations behind his EP, and the intricate process of crafting beats. From tales of spacemen to lyrical plays, join us as Suddi Raval takes us on an auditory exploration of his electro universe.

Electro Evolution: Electro music has seen numerous evolutions over the decades. How do you see your EP fitting into the current electro landscape, and what unique elements are you bringing to the table?

The way electro has evolved has been fascinating and recently it has got so good I wanted to make sure I offered something right at the cutting edge of what’s going on by experimenting with unusual sounds and giving people less obvious rhythms while striking that magic balance of still feeling familiar to the electro universe and hopefully I cracked that with this. Its exciting that this new EP has been getting a brilliant reaction across the board.

Collaborative Chemistry: Working with Justin Robertson, a renowned figure in the music scene, must have been an experience. Can you describe your initial thoughts when you heard the remix?

Hearing the mix for the time, as it folded and it turned into this beautiful dance floor friendly melodic monster I was floored. I called the label co-owner David and put in on again immediately! I was amazed at what he did with the elements of the original. Such a cool and contemporary sound but then, I wouldn’t expect anything less from him! I cannot wait to hear it in a club!

Inspirational Moments: Was there a specific event or moment in your life that acted as the catalyst for this EP? How did it shape the tracks we’re about to hear?

I would say lockdown pretty much caused this! Like many others, I was super down that clubs had shut down, dance music was on hold and peoples livelihoods were at stake so in an attempt to escape from it all I buried my head in music and wrote literally hundreds of tracks and out of that creative streak came this EP.

Visual Vibes: Music and visuals often go hand in hand. If you were to describe the visual or cinematic counterpart to your EP, who or what would that be?

We have been super lucky to have collaborated with an awesome video maker. We gave him the track and he came back with a visual proposal about spacemen and outer space. Being such a big sci-fi fan, I was all over it and the detail he went into, it sounded awesome but I didn’t expect to see something so visually stunning! I cannot wait for people to see the video! Its pretty amazing what he has done!

Behind the Beats: Electro music is known for its intricate beats and rhythms. Can you share a behind-the-scenes insight into how you crafted a particular beat or sequence that you’re especially proud of?

Ha! Now, I swear every single word of this is the truth! And I start off saying that because a bunch of producers that I really look up to asked me how I made the beats and when I tell them they don’t believe me because the answer is, I did everything in Logic! Mainly using stock sounds. I proved that old adage “its what you do with it” because I have developed a bunch of techniques that am going out of my way to share with people because there’s no real magic, its just a bunch of simple tricks I’ve developed and I 100% believe anyone could follow the techniques. Manchester University asked me pretty much the same question about my music and asked me to share the techniques so I showed them the tricks I used. They’re pretty simple but they work really effective and the best bit is, you don’t need much money to do it. A couple of hundred quid and you’ve got all you need. Its just about tweaking the sounds to get that sweet spot that will rip a dance floor up when you get it right. I am going to post some videos of my techniques to my socials because I’m not precious about keeping them a secret and want everyone to make music! I believe everyone has got music in them, they just need to see that it’s not that hard and get past that feeling that you might fail. So what, your first few ideas might not be big club smashes but keep at it and anyone can do it. Sorry I went slight off the original question there! 🙂 To give you a couple of ideas of what I do is, I tend to dunk my main drums like the kick, snare and hats in saturation and then for percussion – that I use a lot of – I drown them in huge cavernous reverbs. The Valhalla Super Massive reverb is free and one hell of a reverb that I use on most tracks. Also everyone who makes music in a DAW needs to grab the Rough Rider compressor by Audio Damage. I once tweeted that this compressor changed my life. I think when I make statements people think I’m kidding but I meant it!

Lyrically Speaking: While electro is often instrumental, lyrics can play a crucial role. What messages or stories are you aiming to convey with the vocals in yours?

Some of the lyrics I have used on this EP are very tongue in cheek, I love it when people do that. Green Velvet makes incredible music! And he’s not always being entirely seriously. London artist Josh Caffe too, always has vocals and still extremely cool. Another underground artist that often has vocal snippets is Paranoid London so I find these guys inspirational. Tongue-in-cheek, nothing taking themselves too seriously. Often, hilarious and brilliant at the same time. I guess I was tapping into that kind of mentality when writing these lyrics! Oh and I translated some of the words into French because, doesn’t everything sound sexy as hell in French? I’m talking about laser beams and mirror balls in my title tune but when it says it in French its so much more seductive! I’m praying that clubbers in France will take to it!

Tech Talk: The tools and tech used in music production can greatly influence the final sound. Were there any new tools or techniques you experimented with for this EP? How did they enhance your creative process?

Yeah I got an Arp Odyssey just before starting this EP and thats the big synth on Zub Sierra – and all those weird synths sounds are from the Odyssey that Behringer recently released. Its a beast of a synth! Another thing I did was used a lot of very old samples from the 90’s that had a depth and bass that was very retro cos it was all made using genuine analogue kit.

Genre Blending: Electro has the ability to blend seamlessly with other genres. Were there any non-electro influences that played a role in the creation of this EP?

Other genres that played a part on this EP include, House, Techno, Acid and ambient.

Future Frequencies: As artists evolve, so does their sound. Where do you see your musical journey heading after this EP? Are there any genres or styles you’re eager to explore next?

This EP allowed me to experiment more and that’s something I found very exciting so that’s where I see my future musically. I want to push the boundaries of I do and try to aim for sounds and rhythms that people haven’t heard before.

Personal Playlist: If you were to create a playlist that includes tracks from your EP and other artists that have inspired or complemented your sound, which songs would make the cut? (pick 5 -10)

Sansibar – Cry
Post Human – Pleasure Machine
Sound Synthesis – Electric Flux
Owsley – On Safari
Daniel Avery – Chaos Energy
Plant43 – HD 36485
Temporal Narcosis – Inkipak
Morphology – Flatlands
Annie Hall – Promeses De Fusta
Suddi Raval – Robot Computer

Grab your copy of ‘Laser Beams and Mirror Balls’ EP!