Australian trio Rufus describe their new record “Bloom” as jellyfish electronica, an echoey, distant, sometimes out of pitch collection of songs that are meant to immerse listeners in the equivalent of a submarine club. The Sydney-based electronic dance formation is not only ambitious and ultra-charming but they also make music that embraces imperfection and unpredictable bends over spotless synths and perfect vocals.
Thanks to RÜFÜS
RÜFÜS Official Website
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Interview Patricia Tavares De Oliveira
We’ve been on tour for about two and half weeks. We’ve done about ten shows so far. It’s been going great, mostly modest-sized venues, some bigger ones like in London where we played a venue called Heaven which is basically an underground tunnel. We did some more intimate shows, which has been really nice. We haven’t really done as much international touring over the last year and a half because we’ve been doing a lot of Australian shows, bigger venues, bigger crowds. You lose the connection sometimes a little bit so it’s nice to bring it back.
Is it your first time in Paris? How do you like it?
We’ve been here three times before. We’ve played a couple of shows here. We love Paris. The last time we were here we had a day off and did some sightseeing. We’ve never had a chance to properly discover Paris but we’ve discovered some really cool parks. There’s so much history. It’s nice because everything is so tight, so squished together. Sydney is pretty spread out, expansive, probably the opposite of most European cities.
What is the alternative dance scene like in Australia?
It feels like it’s growing. It’s a pretty big thing now, this culture of people approaching electronic music in a way that’s original. People are feeding each other’s creativity. There’s a really supportive scene down there and we’re friends with a lot of the artists. Australia is such a tight-knit community since there aren’t that many people there. There is definitely more and more recognition for people coming out of Australia.
How would you describe your music?
Jellyfish electronica. The underwater imagery was a major influence in this album. A lot of the sounds we were drawn to were wobbly, out of pitch, distant and echoey. The three of us listen to the same type of music but have slightly different tastes. We each bring something different to the table.
How did you guys meet?
I went to school with Tyrone and his best friend’s older brother is Jon. It’s not a super crazy story, just a group of friends getting together and making music.
Can you tell us about your creative process? How do you go about making a song?
It’s pretty collective and democratic. We’re all involved in every aspect of the process. Everyone comes in with suggestions for everything. In the writing process, we all can jam on the keys, synths and teach each other new tricks. It’s fun. We feed off each other. Sometimes, someone will stay overnight and work on a production and the next day we’ll find it so great and chose to use it as is, or not, but in the end it’s a group effort and that’s what’s really nice.
How’s “Bloom” different from your first album “Atlas”?
We’ve matured as producers and songwriters. We know what we want a lot more. Sonically we were definitely embracing more imperfections on this album, and not shooting for as clean of a sound. It’s more personal in that way. We kept demo vocals for some tracks where Tyrone’s voice crackled or bent at times. The same went for some takes that we recorded on the synths that were a little out of time. We like them better because they were not so “on the grid.” Allowing ourselves to feel less restricted or tied was a big thing on this album.
What are some of your influences?
Definitely David August, Nicolas Jaar, George FitzGerald, Bonobo as well as old, more samply music like Cassius which is heavily sampled house. We love The Avalanches, Vanilla, also old, dusty-sounding hip hop or disco or whatever. On “Bloom” we wanted our music to sound a little older, more imperfect or out of tune.
An album or song that you can’t stop listening to?
Bob Moses’s “Days Gone By”, a record we discovered last year. Also George FitzGerald’s “Fading Love”.
A French artist you’d like to collaborate with?
Cassius we love. They’re icons.