Interview with Ripperton aka Headless Ghost

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As we are warming up for the next Komiks warehouse party with Ripperton and Maxxisoundsystem we bring you an interview with one of the headliners. Ripperton is one of the key figures on the electronic scene and he truly influenced many of us in such different ways. It’s a pleasure to have him answer a few questions for us.
When did you first get acquainted with electronic music? Do you remember the first record you bought?
I think I bought my first acid house k7! in the commercial center near my house in the late 80’s and I listened to a house music radio show on the national radio “couleur 3” by Djaimin and Mandrax.
I know that you have been djing since the early90s, but you didnt release any of your own tracks until 2006. Was it because you waitied so long for the right inspiration before creating something of your own?
That’s not correct. My first release was in 1999 as Soul Merge on Chic Records and was called “Can be love”. After I founded the band ‘Reasons’ with my friends, and released on my first label Lovearth Records. Back then it was really hard to make records: renting studio, using musicians, finding nice distributors, etc..

You live in Switzerland, is the local electronic scene specific in some way? For instance, does Cadenza, being based i Geneva, have a major influence on the scene? What about Nordstern in Basel?
Cadenza was super big but has absolutely no influence on me. It turned pretty “religious” and “ridiculous” from my point of view. As I always play various kind of house music, doing the same thing over and over was and is still not my cup of tea. Thank God all this turned quiet now and it’s very good like this. I was more influenced by the work of my friend Agnès on Sthlm or Chaton with his great Plak Records.
Nordstern in Basel is well known, but i think Hinterhof is a really interesting club as well in terms of spirit and bookings.
Have you thought of relocating to London, Berlin or some other club music metropolis.
Not really. I always thought it was way more interesting to stay here and be far away of the mainstream.
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Recently you have started using the alias Headless Ghost. Is there some crucial difference between what you release as Ripperton and as headless Ghost? For instance, I can recall your HG track “Swept Illusions” which to me seems to stay true to your classic Ripperton sound.
Yeah you’re right but I release on Clone as Headless Ghost and they wanted to use the Headless alias for that release.
Lazy fat People used to release on Border Community, which has been moving more and more towards more experimental electronica and krautrock. What are your feelings on krautrock, do you for instance like German electronic music from the 70s?
I love Krautrock, I listen a lot of that while on the road. There is a similar approach in the deep sense, basic trance, returning  patterns. I think James is doing good with border community lately. But to answer you, German electronic music was essential in many ways. It even inspired producers in Detroit before the golden age of techno.
You are a renowned remix artist. Do you approach each remix individually or do you use some kind of a creative process that has worked in the past?
I take every track on his own and try to find the right path.  It’s a style exercise to me.
Some time has passed since your last  “A Little Part Of Shade” LP. Are you working on a new LP? If so, what can we expect?
I’m not working on a new album for now … Next year there will be some new material, EP’s.
Not everyone may know that your alias is inspired by the soul singer Minnie Ripperton. Would you not be tempted to make some pure soul, or simply non-electronic, album?
I did it already, and I think that copy/paste doesn’t make sense to me. So i’ll continue my way.
You always feature many guests on your albums. However it seems to me that it works on the bases of personal relationships, so are the people you work with in the studio also your friends?
Yes, I feature most of the time friends and always the same ones, simply because they’re talented and I like working with them. It makes the relation in music more intense and you can hear it in the result too. From my point of view music is all a matter of emotions.
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What has, in your opinion, been the most crucial moment in your career so far?
When i had my kids, it radically changed my vision of this world. They give me such an amazing energy and confidence in me. Nothing can compare.
In Prague you will be playing at a party called Komiks. Do you like comic books or similar types of art or design?
Yes, I’m really an amateur comic book collector. I’ve got a nice collection here. My favorites are from a French artist named Marc-Antoine Mathieu or Frank Miller. I like the black and white a lot.
At the party you will be playing at an interesting venue – skateboarding freestyle park. What types of venues do you like the most (clubs, outdoor or warehouse parties?
I’m definitely open to everything as long as the audience is nice but small clubs or skateboarding park sound awesome!
What is your current Ripperton Top 5?
Kalabrese – Is this
Barnt – 22:25
Juju & Jordash – anywhere
Jo Johnson – Silver threads
Gathaspar’s ‘Vaporizer Lowtec remix
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