Improvised Suites For Analog Machines – Arp Frique & Erik “Keysie” Ritfeld

Improvised Suites For Analog Machines – an improvised tribute to some of the most influential synthesizers of the 70s and 80s, performed and composed together with Arp’s Family-member, keyboardist Erik “Keysie” Ritfeld. Arp Frique: “Each suite is named after the synthesizer we used, limiting ourselves to one synth per song, accompanied by the Elka Drummer One rhythm box and reverb/delays from the Roland Space Echo. These improvised suites give only a small insight into the beauty of these machines from the past. I was able to explore part of the sonic capabilities of these analog (and one FM) synths together with and through the beautiful mind and hands of Erik “Keysie” Ritfeld, a most special person in my musical journey, for which I am deeply grateful”. Erik, born in Paramaribo and grandnephew of Surinam sax legend Kid Dynamite, a child prodigy on keys, drums, guitar and bass, started performing solo when he was just 8 years old. As a teenager he toured with Ghanaian highlife artist Adomako Nyamekye, who happens to be Marissa Nyamekye’s dad, the lead singer in Arp Frique & Family. Hard to believe but true: Marissa and Erik only found out about this AFTER they joined Arp Frique & Family while soundchecking for a show on stage! Coincidence? Besides playing highlife, he became one of the most sought after keyboard players in the reggae scene, working with Lee Scratch Perry, Eek-A-Mouse, Aston Barrett, Michael Franti, Beenieman, Elephant Man and many more. Erik and Arp Frique have worked together in several bands over the past 15 years and both eagerly grabbed the opportunity when Arp Frique was looking for a band to perform his music live.

On “Improvised Suites For Analog Machines”, the beauty of the raw sounds of the mostly preset based synthesizers was the inspiration for each composition. In an attempt to demonstrate the incredible warmth and delightful sounds of these machines, each suite contains only one synth to create a unique sonic palette for each suite. Compositions were all born out of improvisations with no premeditated form in mind. This gives room and space to the unconventional style of keyboard playing of Erik, resulting in a record that borders on, blends with and borrows from many styles, from krautrock to East-African keyboard styles, reggae infusions from a Dr Who-perspective, and meditational experiments of audio interspeared with free form spacejazz. An instrumental record that serves both as a demonstration of a piece of music history, as well as an introduction to the raw virtuosity of Erik “Keysie” Ritfeld.

Album will be out in October on Colorful World / Rush Hour. To celebrate this, we will perform this record live a few times, starting at Le Guess Who 2019. Its sound like this.