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Live Review: Riton 'The Same' ft. Irfane

22 May 2014 | 6:50 pm | Gavin Butler

A lesson in European languages: Riton is French slang for Henry—as in Rollins; the fifth; the octopus or, if you happen to be a world-renowned DJ, Smithson.

A lesson in European languages: the word RITON (pronounced 'ree-ton') is French slang for Henry—as in Rollins; Winkler; the fifth; the octopus or, if you happen to be  a world-renowned DJ, Smithson. And yet one Henry Smithson—known throughout the music world simply as 'RITON'—is decidedly English.

Decidedly, insofar as he was born there, raised there and cut his musical teeth there. Nonetheless, he is an Englishman with his hands in a lot of pies—and not all, if any, are exclusive to the motherland.

In addition to his DJ-ing exploits, Smithson has earned himself a pretty busy and impressive track record. He's been in a krautrock band with the SOULWAX boys called DIE VERBOTEN (German for 'the forbidden'); he's released an album through 'Modular Records' under the EINE KLEINE NACHT MUSIK pseudonym (a German phrase loosely meaning "a little serenade") and he's collaborated with the late French producer DJ MEHDI on an electronic project called CARTE BLANCHE (a French term more or less denoting one's authority to do whatever the fuck one wants).

It would seem that Riton Smithson is quite the Europhile after all. With his latest release, however, the wunderkind's left the collaborations behind and gone back to his almost roots, releasing a bunch of tracks through 'Ed Banger Records' under the simple RITON moniker.

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The EP is titled 'Bad Guy Riri': and the first of the six tracks is 'The Same', featuring part-time BREAKBOT collaborator/vocalist IRFANE. It's all industrial percussion and 80s/90s Sesame Street style synth vibes, varnished with IRFANE's PRINCE-y croons and pop vocals.

'Ed Banger Records' are the guys standing in the corner for such electronic heavyweights as JUSTICE, SEBASTIAN and CASSIUS, which probably gives a pretty good idea of the kind of vibes bouncing around here. For the most part, it channels the infectious grooves of tracks like JUSTICE's 'DVNO', albeit with a little less bass and sludge: punchy, sharp percussion hits and high-pitch falsetto hooks.

Electronic béatitude.

Words by Gavin Butler