Having honed his DJing, scratching and turntablism skills over a period of 14 years, 27 year old Dussledorf-based DJ Rafik brings us an eclectic mixture of hip hop, dubstep and electro for the fifth instalment of our Faux mixtape series. With a stunning six DJ World Championship titles under his belt, as well as a stunning mastery of a variety of techniques, Rafik brings us a special extended 30 minutes of incredible mixing skill, variety and fluidity.
01. (Intro) Tinie Tempah – Pass Out Instrumental (Edit)
02. Theophilus London – Enjoy The Sun
03. Floating Points – For You
04. Take – Crystallia (Edit)
05. Headman – Dirt
06. Spoon – Don’t You Evah
07. Spoon – Don’t You Evah (Diplo Rmx)
08. Bag Raiders – Shooting Stars (Siriusmo Rmx)
09. Madkids – Bolo Bomba
10. Bingo Players – When I Dip
11. His Majesty Andre – Peep Thong (The Mane Thing Rmx)
12. The Aston Shuffle – I Wanna See You (Harvard Bass Rmx)
13. Vitalic – Valletta Fanfares
14. Mount Kimbie – Sketch On Glass
15. Hudson Mohawke – Fuse
16. The XX – Stars
Describing himself as “primarily a dj/producer/performer for club, as well as experimental music”, Rafik began experimenting with turntablism from a very early age. “I grew up making music and always had a very diverse taste in music. I was a drummer and could act out my passion for rock and metal music, but I was also heavily into rap and house/techno. DJing back then used to be all over the TV – I knew immediately I had to get into this. I was super lucky and found someone patient enough to teach a 13-year old hyperactive kid how to mix. Scratching of course caught my attention through my passion for rap music. I had messed around with my parent’s deck before, but now I could practice without getting into trouble.”
Rafik’s approach to the mix comes from a passion for a wide range of music. “In General I have a big pot of stuff that I can throw at people and I always take a moment to study a particular crowd, so I can find our crossing points. My DJ sets are primarily a mix of banging clubby electronica, but I always glue as many genres together as I can if the crowd ain’t too purist.” This is reflected throughout the mix for Faux, which sees a mixture of electro, dubstep, hip-hop and even the XX turning up throughout. So why did Rafik pick the tracks he picked?
“It’s a combination of stuff that I listen to. It is a bit ‘all over the place’ and I like that about this mix. It starts off with some experimental hip hop beats, goes over to electronic rock, over to house and finishes with some of my favorite easy dubstep-ish joints. I picked the tracks because I see this as an opportunity to host music that I love listening too – and that means a whole lot of different styles and stuff that I don’t get to play a lot.”
After 14 years behind the decks, Rafik is looking to begin experimenting with the production side of music, beginning to work on tracks with fellow DJ and producer Pitchben. “Production is the main focus now. I was torn for a good while, trying to find ‘my sound’ before I step up. I think it is very important to be individual with your music and have your own twist to things. Now I realize I just have to take care of dosage and put the different things I do in the right boxes, rather than trying to stick to just one style – that’s not me.”
So after 14 years and 6 World Championship titles, does Rafik think he’s the best he can be as a turntablist?
“I think it’s an ongoing process since I started and will hopefully never stop, I never had a final goal in mind when I started making music. Of course the extreme years of competitions have been intense in terms of technical skill development, but I never stop learning about techniques, crowds and whatever can enhance the way i see and make music.”