Rohan Walder, AKA Randomer, has a discography spanning some of the best imprints in dance.
Releases have come for Hessle Audio, Hemlock Recordings, Numbers and Clone as well as L.I.E.S, showing off a sound that bangs somewhere amid the splintering, metallic interface between jungle, techno and garage. It’s ravey for sure but not quite how anyone else is doing it. London heads will be able to check out Randomer’s abrasions when he performs alongside Actress, Raime and Mica Levi at the upcoming Convergence Festival on 24 March. Ahead of the event, we quizzed him on why the best dance music ‘is the most pure feeling in the world’…
How did you first get into electronic music? What turned you onto this sort of sonic tackle?
Passion wise pretty much just hearing jungle/drum'n'bass on pirate radio in London when I was young. I don't think anyone who grew up in the nineties could have avoided electronic music at all.
When did you first realise that you were onto something with music making?
I never really had that thought. I was 12 when I started playing guitar and just started writing my own riffs as I was learning. As I grew older I knew that's what I wanted to do with my life.
How do you approach your production process?
I work on little things at a time. When I'm in the mood to make drums I make drums, if I'm in the mood to write a hook I do that. If I write a good hook then I'll usually use something I made already to create a loop and then develop that into a finished piece.
The most important thing for me recently has been to move away from goal focused work and into simply writing music to exercise creativity. When being creative alone is the sole objective, you remove your own subjectivity about what you create and all the anxieties that come with that.
What’s been keeping you busy? And what do you have planned for the rest of the year?
Did a lot of performing this past year. Trying to fit studio time in the week too. It's hectic. I'm launching some new projects this year with some close friends, sadly can't say much more about that, but I'm excited to be moving things to the next logical step.
How did you hook up with Ron Morelli and L.I.Es?
One day on a whim I had some tracks I thought he might like, and sent them. I wasn't expecting to hear anything back but he was really enthusiastic about them and then we did two records from those tracks. I trust his taste in music a lot, that's very important when you're working with labels.
What’s your most treasured piece of studio kit?
I used to use two Big Muff pi pedals in stereo as a send effect, almost on every tune for a while. But I got bored of the sound recently. They're still nice for a subtle crunching up of elements, if you're careful with the settings and how hot a signal you send.
Who are your current favourite music makers?
I've been listening to a lot of Ligeti recently. Electronic music wise I'm feeling a lot of 'beatsy' stuff from the US like Tsuruda and Blank Body.
What should attendees at Convergence expect from your night with Actress and Raime?
It's been a while since I've seen either Actress or Raime perform. I'll be doing my own thing, with slightly less 4/4 leaning rhythms than usual probably. Percussion lead, organic, with rave spirit.
The world around us appears to be crumbling, or at least changing rapidly, when it comes to politics both here and in the US - do these sort of goings on have an impact on how you make your music?
If you mean does it affect how I express myself then no. I'm making something abstract, it has no narrative or literal meaning, no direct relation to any story.
But it's physical. Emotions are physical too. When you hear music that has energy and feeling in it, there's a transfer of power and feeling into your body, I still get such a rush from that alone. I feel like any intellectualising that is diluting it. It's the most pure feeling in the world to me. And it moves you.
I dance because I want to express that feeling, to get it out. Sometimes it makes you feel like you want to tear all of consciousness apart, not out of aggression but as an expression of the power that’s moving through you.
Have you got a favourite club to play?
Anywhere dark and full of sweaty people.
What are your thoughts on clubbing in the UK? Now fabric has been saved, are you optimistic about the future for rave?
As long as there are soundsystems people will want to listen to loud music on them in the dark, clubs or no clubs it won't end. We're incredibly lucky here in the UK to have such a strong tradition of dance music.
If you could give new producers one piece of advice, what would it be?
Make your music memorable.
Photo credit - Hana Makovcova
Visit the Convergence website for more info and tickets