Nicholas C. Raftis III is an audio and visual creative entity, striving to manifest inherently fused synaesthetic animations and music, via programming organic generative systems based on genetics, simulating the evolution of abstract virtual worlds of sound and vision. Designing hyperdetailed soundscapes using cutting edge custom designed sensor instruments. Balancing this technical science of rhythm and form with expressive harmonies, tones and colors. Invoking the mysterious abstract nature of space and reality, inspired by science and the infinite fractalized beauty of nature.
Growing up in Detroit with a robotics engineer for a father, wandering through giant industrial buildings full of massive mechanical machinery, eyes widened by their astonishing complexity and accuracy, inspiring his young desire to create. Thus began his experimentation with programming and electronics early on, building small devices, simple analogue synthesizers, and programming video games and randomized audio visuals in Basic and C++.
Later on as a teenager, during the explosive birth of the electronic music culture, his first performances were in similar industrial warehouses in the heart of Detroit. Performing for crowds of thousands alongside the early icons and innovators of Techno such as Juan Atkins, and Aux-88, and hip-hop legends Wu-Tang Clan. Interpolated amidst the Techno and Hip-Hop scenes, he produced for many Detroit Hip-Hop artists, receiving recognition from Virgin A&Rs, and astounding local rappers and producers.
At 17 he caught the ear of Rephlex records in the UK, and later signed with Planet-Mu to release OOO "Upon Cycles" receiving high acclaim from critics. "Only two circles are needed to form the sign for endless. The possibilities for OOO aka Nicholas C. Raftis III are also endless. He chose to build sounds into delicate, post-modern, complex structures of what is only badly described as electronic music. Greatly talented with the gift of almost intuitively finding the right beats and sounds to put together, he stays with computer-generated sounds that range from old keyboards to the fringes of power-electronics and the rhythm-bastards of old Warp-records. All mashed into one big pile of beautiful art, like a glass-tower or an ice-sculpture of the most fragile and filligrane design. Yet never foregoing the pounding basses and the long-winding floors of sounds. Everything moves, everything changes. " -monochrom.at "Upon Cycles is a rich enough slice of music to satisfy the most demanding fan of sharp electronic music...this record is, behind its enigmatic cover, a mine of sounds, textures and beats....As first albums go, Upon Cycles is as near perfect as it gets. With an impressive control over his work and a creative approach to sonic structures, OOO’s Nicholas C. Raftis is likely to rapidly become a name to count on. As Upon Cycles progresses, it dawns on the listener that there aren’t any boundaries Raftis cannot push down, and that this album is simply the expression of a small part of his talent. 4.5/5 ." - themilkfactory.co.uk
Now he performs alongside his contemporaries like Jimmy Edgar and Richard Devine. He has played events at prestigious art venues like Museum of Contemporary Art, Cranbrook Art Community and Miami Art Central. He has done interactive audio/visual installations, cutting edge sensor dance performances, published albums on Planet-mu, Sublight, Detroit Underground, Melted Mailbox, Circuitree, Catalogue and Rolax record labels, written scores and animated for film and television including sesame street, and screened films in festivals worldwide.