A cosmic journey through balearic, house and disco with a Manchester veteran.
Ruf Dug is quietly one of the most respected figures in his native Manchester and much further afield. With ties in Australia, the US, Denmark and Guadeloupe, and a strong presence in several other cities in the UK, it seems that everywhere he goes people find a kindred spirit and worthy collaborator in his passion for music. As a producer this has led to tracks on labels as disparate as experimental vapourwave crew Dream Catalogue, moody club label Unknown to the Unknown, Peckham’s Rhythm Section (which recently released the excellent collaborative mini-album Ruf Dug presents The Committee) as well as his own Ruf Kutz label, which houses releases from Glowing Palms and Garth Be among others.
His best-known work to date is likely his 2015 debut LP Island, recorded on a trip to Guadeloupe. The record had a predictably tropical flavour, conveying a sense of warmth and easy living, and these notions are often the first that people think of when thinking of Ruf Dug the DJ. As he holds down semi-regular slots at places like Pikes in Ibiza they wouldn’t be wrong, but you’re equally likely to find him playing 8-bit video game soundtracks in a south London basement or dancefloor bangers at any of Manchester’s best venues.
This mix was originally planned as a specialist delve into the balearic, boat party-ready sounds that are his modus operandi, but in truth this feels disingenuous to a style of playing that is far more interested in feel than form. As such we find Ruf doing exactly what he does best: both adhering to, and subverting, ideas of the balearic vibe his name is often synonymous with. That means plenty of woozy and warm sounds, smattered with intergalactic left turns, grubby basslines and more dark and skittish moments that punctuate the flow.
In his own words, the mix was “recorded at Ruf Kutz HQ a couple of weeks ago as we were literally heading out the door to Gottwood. This is a good representation of the tunes I’m playing out at the moment!” A no frills set of inimitable party heat.
Ruf Dug headlines the Futureboogie party at Barberellas at Love International, Tisno, on 8 July