If Raffertie's early releases - picked out for support by such razor sharp ears as Nick Grimshaw, Mary Anne Hobbs and Huw Stephens' - marked him out as a singular, exciting new voice in electronic music, Build Me Up constitutes a thrilling new level of achievement from the young producer. The big news is that he's added his own vocals to his intensely atmospheric production, and it's a move that's paid off and then some. His mused, heartfelt singing adds a personal depth and emotional punch that brings real weight to his latest single. There's a sense that his production has stepped up in turn; Build Me Up is startling in its simultaneous heaviness and delicacy, a combination that makes it strikingly original.
Like his contemporaries Jamie Lidell and How To Dress Well, Raffertie is part of a vanguard that is changing electronic music for the better. Their experiments in adding unabashed feeling to a form that's often slightly cool in temperature constitute a genuine paradigm shift - they are pushing things forward.
Build Me Up is taken from the forthcoming album: a collection of snapshots, events and dreams inspired by his seaside hometown on the South Coast. There's a wistful, melancholy element to the music that it's easy to see as inspired by the bygone grandeur of the British seaside resort.
The package is backed up with a hypnotic, pulsing cover of Hot Natured + Ali Love's summer anthem "Benediction", and the aching, guilty lament of 'Trust', featuring the vocal talents of rising star YADi. Finally, the ominous, foghorn-at-sea bass of "Known" gives way to an arpeggio that remains tantalisingly on the sad side of uplifting, Raffertie's brooding vocal full of dark certainty. There's so much thematic depth in these four songs that Build Me Up becomes less a single than a mission statement in miniature. If this is anything to go by, 2013's debut album will be a high watermark for electronic music.