Gordon Raphael is a record producer and musician from Seattle, Washington and New York, currently living in Berlin.
Gordon Raphael is most widely known for his work with The Strokes, whom he met while attending one of their shows at Luna Lounge on Ludlow Street, New York City. He produced their debut EP The Modern Age as well as their first two albums Is This It (which was voted best album of the decade by NME in the UK, and number 2 best of the decade in USA by Rolling Stone) and Room On Fire. The EP and first album were recorded entirely in his basement studio Transporterraum NYC (co-owned by Jimmy Goodman). He has also produced many songs with Bristol's Sarah Maguire, Fake Chemical State for ex-Skunk Anansie lead singer Skin, Mexico's top rock band Fobia, the well loved album "Soviet Kitsch" by Regina Spektor. Other notables he has worked with include Damon Albarn, Ian Astbury and Ian Brown. As far as recording rock music: from Bognor Regis Kill Kenada, Britain's The Moonies, the highly skilled London band Three Trapped Tigers Operatic art rockers Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man Swiss literary-rock band The Mondrians, Finland's Caroline Taucher and The Whas, UK artists Charly Flynn and The Sound Explosion. He worked as engineer, and played keyboards, on all of New York singer-songwriter Roxanne Fontana's second album, Souvenirs d'Amour. In 2011-2012 Gordon Raphael worked in San Antonio, Texas with Education, The Dirty Clergy, Ill Prospekt and Victoria Celestine; then met Ricky Berger from Sacramento, California and dedicated 11 months of intensive collaboration on her very detailed and orchestrated collection of new songs. Around the time of Hurricane Sandy- he was back for a rare visit to Manhattan producing an album for Lewis Lazar- then luckily being called to his beloved Seattle for an album with Ben Ireland (a drummer that Gordon worked closely with in many of his own musical bands including Mental Mannequin, The Tears of Gloom, and Sky Cries Mary). Whilst in the Pacific Northwest Gordon was introduced to The Tempers, a "wild-electronic band of brother and sisters"- and recorded three demos with them in their own home studio- Kirknasty.
As a musician, Gordon formed two original bands in Seattle, Mental Mannequin and Colour Twigs which featured his own songs. In the 1990s during the famous Grunge Revolution he was keyboardist for the psychedelic band Sky Cries Mary- and starred in an epic dark-wave band called Absinthee with Anna Mercedes. His favorite instrument is the Arp Odyssey, which he started learning at age 18. This small 1970's analog synthesizer creates an infinite pallet of evocative, intense outer space noises as well as a barrage of bass which he uses on many of his own and other artist's recordings.
Gordon moved to London in 2002 following the success of Is This It, and founded a studio there called The Silver Transporterraum of London. In his first year living there he worked with 30 bands, and was asked to produce the debut album of The Libertines whilst mixing live sound on their first-ever UK Tour (with the Vines and The Strokes). Living in London was a dream come true for Gordon, as his primary rock influences were mainly British, and he saw it as a great chance to learn more about the people, history and culture there. He participated in Skint and Minted, a talent night at Filthy McNasty's pub, which at the time (2002) was a heady meeting place for young creative London minds. As well, Gordon made a strong bond with Toby L, the founder of Rockfeedback.com (and Transgressive Records) and they created a clubnight called The Basement Club which presented very early concerts by Regina Spektor, Bloc Party, The Libertines, and Gordon's own band Black Light among many others.
In 2005 after working for almost a year on The Strokes album First Impressions of Earth, Gordon moved to Berlin to be close to his friend, producer Moses Schneider. From his Berlin base many European bands began to contact him via the internet to work: Zeno and the Stoics (Madrid), Mikkel Glasser (Copenhagen), Husky Stash (Berlin), Sue and the Unicorn (Berlin), Satellites (Mallorca), Big Deal (London), A Brand (Brussels), Deportivo (Paris), Scanners (London), Olivia Anna Livki (Berlin), Super 700 (Berlin), Ian Astbury (London), Eva Loft (Berlin), The Michelles (Berlin).
In January 2010, Raphael went to Cape Town, South Africa, to produce the debut album Shark by indie rock band The Plastics. They had a number one song called Jukebox from that record which features Gordon on piano, and a lush string section.
In May 2013, he went to Lima, Perú to record a Peruvian new band called Los Outsaiders
In October 2013, he went to Seattle, Washington and recorded a 7 song EP with Red Martian
In April 2014, Gordon went to Mexico city and recorded a 6 song EP with the up and coming band Sol Flamingo while simultaneously filming a small documentary on "the making" of it with Montreal based filmmaker Patrick Barbeau.
For the past 4 years Latin American countries have been requesting Gordon's production work, mainly because the live music and rock music scene there is still thriving, and a vital part of both the history and culture. In Buenos Aires he lectures at music colleges and does DJ sets whenever possible. Recently in Curitiba Brazil he produced an album for Audac, as well as 3 songs with Trombones de Frutas- both band he also did live performances with on keyboards and singing. "Some of my favorite bands that I recorded in Mexico and South America include Auditores, Paris Paris Musique, Detonantes, Plastico, La Nave De Oniro, Vension, Cuarenta Dias, Tesla Trip, Destrozada de Formalidad and Risin' Sun" he has mentioned in one recent interview. Building on his momentum in these countries, he formed his own band Gordon Raphael Y Sus Hermanos Argentinos, and is about to play several very awesome and amazing shows in Buenos Aires.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license