Ruf Dug – Porn Wax 6


Ruf Dug is very much a producer on the rise. Like a fine wine, the eccentric Mancunian DJ/producer seems to be getting better with age. He’s hardly a newcomer, having dropped his first 12” on Popular People’s Front back in 2009, a delightfully fuzzy and off-kilter chunk of warm analogue house that defied easy categorization. Yet it’s taken him some four years, and a stop-start schedule of in-demand edits and oddities (the excellent Ruf Kutz series), bizarre mixtapes based on charity shop finds, and amusing social media rants, to really fulfill his potential.

Ruf Dug - Porn Wax 6
Artist
Ruf Dug
Title
Porn Wax 6
Label
Porn Wax
Format
10"
Buy vinyl

In truth, he’s not quite there yet, but the signs are good and the past twelve months have been something of a breakthrough for Simon Rufdug Mcruff Al-duggleston. Last November saw the release of his best production yet, the wide-eyed, near-Balearic bliss of “Tape 13,” that featured on Use of Weapons 005. Oozing analogue fuzz and blessed with both luscious chords and intoxicating melodies, it was a bright-eyed blast of perfection that hinted at great things to come. Then there was The Head Cleaner EP, the 12” that marked the relaunch of the previously dormant Süd Electronic imprint. His first full collection of original tracks, the EP darted between styles and tempos, offering quirky analogue jams that variously touched on glistening Italo-funk, woozy deep house, lo-fi electrofunk and blissfully naïve, off-kilter futurism. Given its quality and the inventive, unusual nature of the tracks, it was probably a little overlooked.

Now, he’s stepped it up again with another dose of eccentric analogue business on Porn Wax, the Tusk Wax sub-label that’s previously given us vaguely Balearic-themed chunks of impossible-to-pigeonhole goodness from Coyote, Avanti and DRVG CVLTVRE. As with Ruf Dug’s best work, there’s great warmth amongst the analogue fuzz, colourful synths, playful melodies and intricately programmed percussion. And as usual, both tracks are hard to accurately characterize.

Lead track “Sorta Rican” bubbles away, melding together percussive elements of Latin disco with the drum machine handclaps and sturdy kicks of early house cheap-sounding European electronic disco with it all underpinned by the easy shuffle and bassline of a dub reggae track. Defiant in the face of easy categorization, Ruf Dug has produced the track record diggers will pull out from dusty record boxes in 15 years and struggle to explain. As we all know, it’s those sorts of tracks that you return to time and time again.

By contrast, “MV Look” feels much more straight-forward and orthodox, yet is still very much filled with effervescence. Blessed with bold, winding, constantly rising synths that drive the track forward – helped, in no small part, by a chugging analogue bassline and an almost endless stream of handclaps and sweaty drum builds – it sounds like someone desperately reaching out to some distant star in order to pull it down to earth. It’s every bit as playful as its predecessor, but boasts greater urgency. You can imagine Ruf Dug playing the synth melodies on a classic ‘80s keytar, eyes closed in the traditional “with feeling” pose often sported by badly dressed keyboardists on Top of the Pops.

The most endearing thing about both tracks is that they simply don’t fit into any neat pattern, trend or simple dancefloor narrative. Too often producers play it safe and create functional tracks that will easily fit into straightforward, no-risk DJ sets. Ruf Dug seems to just be making the music for adventurous DJs and curious listeners. For that, he should be applauded.

Matt Anniss

Tracklisting:

A. Sorta Rican
B. MV Look

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  1. Wavatar Ryan says:

    Love the Tape 13 track. go back to it over and over again. looking forward to this..