RUSKO with XI, SEK ONE and MATT CARL at Levack Block (88 Ossington), Saturday (April 26). $10. www.myspace.com/subtrac. Rating: NNNNN
Originally, electro-house superstars Justice were slated for the 37th edition of the critically acclaimed Fabric Live DJ mix series, but shit got complicated and suddenly a replacement was needed.
Bloghouse’s loss turned out to be dubstep’s win when the label/club opted to take a chance on the emerging genre and give the honour to young up-and-comers Rusko and Caspa, who rose to the occasion and delivered a mix that has significantly raised their profile across the world.
“I’d been working with Fabric and playing there a lot, but they didn’t really think dubstep was ready yet. We kept at them and eventually convinced them,” explains an exhausted Rusko between gigs from his London home.
“It was so last-minute. They asked us to do it on the Saturday, and we needed to deliver it by Monday. We went into the club on the Sunday, the engineer hooked us up, and we just went for it. We’d been playing back-to-back sets for the few days before it, which was quite handy, since we were well-practised when Sunday came around.”
Don’t feel bad if the term “dubstep” doesn’t mean anything to you yet – even in London it’s still mainly stuck in the side rooms and smaller clubs.
That’s starting to change, though, and not just because of the hype behind the Fabric Live disc, which was the first major commercially released dubstep DJ mix. You’re starting to see tracks like Rusko’s Cockney Thug crossing over into the drum ’n’ bass scene of which dubstep is an offshoot
, and also into other scenes, with artists like Diplo and Scratch Perverts cranking out remixes to fit their dance floors.
This sudden rise in profile means Rusko is being offered some high-profile remix work of his own. Not only is he doing a dubstep remix of Kid Sister’s surprise crossover hit Pro Nails, but he’s also been roped into tackling Adele’s next single, the Mark Ronson-produced Cold Shoulder. Dubstep is primarily instrumental, so these vocal remixes are likely the kind of thing that will officially raise the sound from niche genre to the main room.
“It’s good to cross it over, but you still need to make those bangers for the dance floor. You still need those tear-out tunes for the club. You can’t be doing those girly vocals there. A couple of decent remixes is good for radio, but you don’t want to do too many and become that remix guy.”