Rohan Walder has a bit of an underlying dark streak that only seems to really manifest itself in his music. He’s not the intense, smudged eye makeup kind of glorious mess that some of his recent productions as Randomer might make you think he is. In person he’s like… actually affable, knowledgeable, sociable and all the other complimentary terms you can think of that end in able, but on record he’s starting to become a bit of a mean fucker. And I mean that as a compliment, completely; his latest self-released work, the four track RNDMR001, came with a real thunder and primal track titles like ‘House Banger’ and ‘Meat and Dancing’ but it was a tightly produced breath of unashamed air that just banged and banged as hard as it could. And the absolute best thing about it, is that it was supposed to be that direct.
Walder’s toyed with several styles over his discography, from d&b to carnivalia, but it’s in this type of aggy techno mode that he really seems to be shining, with the brutality of his no prisoner approach and his kick drums drawing a deserved comparison to Blawan’s.
Ahead of Randomer’s upcoming appearance in Room Three for the first ever 2nd Drop Recordings takeover – where he’ll be joining Djrum and Pedstrian to help label owners Markle and JBliss celebrate 6 years of putting out records – we asked him to pick five pieces of music that could actual as his own personal musical cross section and then we asked him some questions about them.
The Terminator Soundtrack - Tunnel Chase:
Do you think you’re picking this because of a fondness for the film? Or was it totally the music that stuck out? It’s kind of so iconic that it could be hard to distinguish in a way….
When you sent me the questions I thought to myself what's the first electronic music I remembered? And it's definitely in The Terminator. I watched it religiously when I was younger, and it's still amazing today. So much atmosphere. Both the soundtrack and the film are really grainy and raw, it must have had a strong effect.
It’s kind of a prog selection, when you listen to it without the moving image you get a real mania from it. Did you investigate a lot of Brad Fiedel’s other music off the back of this?
Nope not at all, I probably went and played Doom for a bit.
You’re music, although admittedly harder, seems to have that same kind of amped up drive to it. Are you conscious of trying to put a kind of movement into your music? I suppose you have to considering it’s dancefloor music…
Yeah I know if I'm writing something good that I start to grind my teeth and bounce on the edge of my seat. Grim.
Korn – Good God:
Ah, Korn. I remember being at Leeds festival for the first time when I was 16, fresh and content in my indie rock box and being exposed to people like Deftones and QOTSA just on the recommendation of other people. We’re you properly into that whole scene as a youth?
Metal was the first music I got into, learning guitar. I still love the first two Korn albums today, I even transcribed every riff and drum pattern off both albums so I could see how they were put together.
Obviously Korn singer Jonathon Davies about dubstep put him in the limelight for some interesting reasons. What made you pick a Korn track, and this one specifically?
I got tired of always going on about Meshuggah all the time.
Were you ever into Glassjaw? I still fucking love Glassjaw.
The name reminds me of reading Kerrang but I have no other memories
Bad Company - The Nine:
Did you go to the 10 years of Exit party recently? If no, proceed to the next question.
Yes. I didn't manage to stay long enough to see Bad Company because it was too rammed :'(
There’s definitely a parallel between the production on The Nine and the toughness of your own music. What was it about the music and Bad Company in particular you latched onto?
This tune had just come out and was getting smashed on pirate radio when I got into drum'n'bass. That techy dnb connected up dance music with heavy metal for me as a youth and opened my mind.
Do you think that level of producership evident in a lot of d&b helped shape the way you produce? Like, are you meticulous with it all?
Music production is just like music theory, you learn it all meticulously so you can forget everything you know when you're being creative
Merzbow - Cannibalism of Machines:
I feel like these videos might be in chronological order for you? Like after d&b you found noise music like this away from the dancefloor that was even more vicious and insular?
YES. Badman for getting that. I wanted to fit jazz as well in cos I went mad for it in my late teens but couldn't find the right track. Anyway I was at uni studying music and by 3rd year was really pissed off with it. So I was saying this to my classmate (yes Mark) and he said “Ro, you should listen to Merzbow” and it BLEW. MY. MIND.
Considering it’s you picking them, I can really see how you kind of use the temerity of a piece like this and work that warped noisey shtick into your own music. Are you just constantly processing different sounds to make weird edges? What equipment are you using to make them?
Yeah that kind of sound design is a hobby for me so is what comes easiest when I'm making tracks.
Up until like a few weeks ago I was using Ableton mostly with their native plugins. Then I finally started messing with some hardware fx, and I'm now hooked and I'm gonna blow all the money I earn on hardware (and drink).
Big L - Devils Son:
What made you pick Devils Son from Big L? I guess there are more obvious tracks you could’ve picked from him…
The past couple years all I've really listened to is underground 90’s hip hop.
Considering his career got cut short, it probably leads us quite nicely into exploring the next chapter of yours. What else is coming up for you?
I've got a single coming on Turbo in July, more raw dancefloor shiz, and after that I'm got some deeper stuff coming. I'm just gonna keep writing singles for a while, got no desire to add to the massive pile of bad albums.