Eclectic Minds: Ruckspin
If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the short time we’ve been doing Eclectic Minds features is that the entire dance music industry has a secret penchant from drum and bass. But for Ruckspin this love is not so secret… He might be best known for his deep-funk dubstep productions, either solo or as Author (with Jack Sparrow). He’s also well known for his incredible jazzy, soulful live dubstep band Submotion Orchestra. But he’s been collecting, playing, promoting and producing D&B for years, having been turned on by cheap Moving Shadow CDs and an eye-opening night of dark ruffage at the legendary Baggleys in the late 90s.
“My first experience was just a dark room full of moody looking dudes with their heads down, shadow-boxing to some kind of horror-film soundtrack with amens,” he laughs. “I was far too young and excited to be screw-facing with the rest of them, so I went next door to the happy hardcore room… It’s one thing getting really into dark D&B in the comfort of your own home – I think it takes a bit of time to learn to enjoy that feeling of paranoia when you’re in a club!”
“I was already running a weekly night and a radio show by that point so I was pretty comfortable,” he explained. “I wouldn’t say that it was a baptism of fire – it was just a really enjoyable experience. I wasn’t interested in trying to chat to the big DJs that came through or trying to get involved in ‘the scene’ – I never have been like that. There was one nerve-racking moment though – one night Andy C was booked as headliner, and for one reason or another couldn’t make it. At the last minute I was told I had to go on instead… I started off the set with Dom&Roland See the Light with some kind of complex tease/double-drop with some new anthem I had worked out the night before in my student digs. As much as most of the 1000+ punters were pretty miffed that the headliner hadn’t shown up, the set seemed to go down really well and I really enjoyed having some experienced MCs essentially help me win-back the crowd. I think FatmanD and Foxy were hosting but my memory is hazy!”
His own night Central Beatz became something of a Leeds D&B institution, adding 15k of their own sound to the club’s standard 15k, tweaking the levels all day until they had the perfect sweet spots. Inspired by his Valve experiences and performances on infamous rigs owned by Irration Steppas, Exodus and DMZ, Ruckspin and the Central Beatz crew knew how to blow their raver’s minds away. And he had his own tunes to test out on them too; his production path mirroring his DJ career, Ruckspin tunes were in heavy rotation as often as possible.
“When you’ve got an old curmudgeon like Dillinja dancing around like a kid to a track you made in your bedroom, you know you’re doing something right,” he laughs.
Inspired by moments like this, Ruckspin delved deeper and deeper into the studio, and still makes D&B now. Some of it would probably see the light of day if he wasn’t so busy on other projects – listed below – but first, a little about this mix he’s giving you. If you happen to be a fragile disposition as you read this, download and listen later. This is power hour material here: just like his initial adventures into D&B, he loves the dark stuff!
“This is essentially me playing some of my favourite dark D&B tunes,” he grins. “I haven’t played D&B in a while, and it’s not often I get the opportunity to play whatever I want, so I just put a load of my hardest vinyl in front of the decks and had a blast for an hour! When I used to get the chance at house parties or later sets at Central Beatz I would play really hard – it was the closest I would get to feeling 17 again. I used to enjoy the feeling I would get from outrageously heavy and dark tunes, but of course I collect all kinds of dnb so I would have to choose the appropriate moment to bust out the Limewax and Current Value… Now that I am producing and playing a lot of dubstep those moments are very few and far between!”
So here it is, our very first Eclectic Minds mix! Done in the most possible purist sense – one live cut, all vinyl.
1. Dylan – Dark Planet (Donny remix) [Position Chrome]
2. Phace & Noisia – Stagger [Neosignal]
3. Limewax – Golden Path (Second movement) [Obscene]
4. Katharsys – The Scraper [Breed 12 Inches]
5. Donny – The Resistance [Algorythm]
6. Raiden & Current Value – RM Bleeps [Offkey]
7. D.A.V.E. the drummer – Hydraulix 9 (Proket remix) [Subsistenz]
8. Propaganda – Hardcore Will Never Die [Position Chrome]
9. Limewax – The Attack [Tech Freak]
10. Gridlock – Fifth Dimension [Violence]
11. Absolute Zero & Subphonics – The Code (SKC remix) [Renegade Hardware]
12. Dom & Roland – Paradrenasite (Hive VIP) [Moving Shadow]
-> Digital – Gateman (Keaton remix) [Phantom Audio]
13. SKC – Offguard Remix [Commercial Suicide]
14. Silent Witness & Break – X Track [Quarantine]
15. Ancronix – Lightly Salted (EBK remix) [Sudden Def]
16. The Sect – Kill All Humans [Offkey]
17. Mumblz & Gancher – Braincracklin [Prspct]
18. Current Value – Tunnel Vision [Barcode]
19. Nphonix – Zed [m-Atome]
20. Raiden – Sputnik [Offkey]
21. Amit – Swastika [Commercial Suicide]
22. Donny – Symptomless Coma (Current Value remix) [Barcode]
22. Current Value & Limewax – Desert Storm [Triple Vision]
23. Current Value – 60,000 Thoughts [Soothsayer]
24. Limewax – One of Them (Current Value remix) [Lost Soul]
Once you’ve checked out his hair raising mix, have a gander at his material below – Ruckspin’s ripples run deep in all bass shades, get up to date.
“My live dubstep band (www.submotion.co.uk). They’re not really what most kids would call dubstep anymore – we’re taking a more jazzy soulful direction with it, taking the lead from producers like Mala and of course the early Ranking Records material. We’ve just finished another sold-out tour of the UK which I really enjoy engineering, as well as doing a few gigs around Europe, and everything seems to go down really well. I’m currently producing the second album due for release on Exceptional Records later this year – the lead single is out soon and it’s a cover of one of my solo productions called ‘Jibber’ Check the official video here”
“A collaboration between myself and Leeds dubstep veteran Jack Sparrow. We put a really nice album together for Tectonic last year, which saw us get voted a close second in the DSF dubstep awards for best album. We’re currently working on the second Author album which looks like it will be released by the end of this year.”
“I also do a lot of solo work, remixes and productions for clients one of which has been a great as-yet-unsigned band called ‘People in Jars‘ – they are very politically motivated and I think that’s really refreshing in an age where it seems like musicians don’t speak out any more (even though global and UK politics are probably more lost in the woods than they have ever been). Perhaps it’s because the music industry is so desperate that musicians shouldn’t do anything to put people off their music by making any kind of statement, that everything just ends up really bland. Perhaps it’s because everyone is apathetic and sedated by mass media. Either way I’m glad that People in Jars aren’t afraid to look straight down the barrel of the gun, and I’m proud to be working with them.”
Interested? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org