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Selections: Ruf Dug

In this series, Selections, we invite DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their collections. This week, Ruf Dug goes from peak time to downtime with house, dub, outsider pop, avant-jazz and more

Mondays have been a lot easier lately thanks to Manchester DJ Ruf Dug, whose award-winning weekly Soup To Nuts sessions on NTS have provided a leisurely and musically varied balm to the early workweek woes since late 2021. The ‘tropical cyberpunk’ has been working daft magic behind the decks for a lot longer than that though. From an extended stint in Sydney’s underground warehouse party scene and summers spent in Ibiza, to years cutting his teeth at clubs on home turf, he’s as comfortable spinning space-age disco, street soul, boogie, house and balearic as he is diving into weird n’wavy wormholes of dub, jazz, acid and ambience. 

It’s a versatility he’s brought into his productions too, with releases on labels including Futureboogie, Rhythm Section International, Shall Not Fade his own Ruf Kutz label, which returned last month with lush ‘Deep Water Mixtape’ by Sydney trio Inner Glow. He'll also have a track landing soon as part of the 'Crazy P Curates' 12" series on 20/20.

For a taste of something “tougher, darker and deeper than the usual sunny Ruffy tackle”, Dug shared a recording of a set he played in Corsica Studios last summer during the week. Check that out here. For his Selections, he casts a wide net, covering house, dub, outsider pop, avant-jazz and whole lot more. Check them out below.

John Haycock
‘Dorian Portrait’

“Sublime, other-worldly music that taps into contemporary aesthete Fourth World trends and then manages to push beyond the fetishistic into genuinely beautiful territory. Manchester’s John Haycock makes the 21 string Kora soar high and low over the course of this definitive listening work.”

‘Cynical Gringo’ [TARTAN]

“This is Wallace’s year, even if you don’t know them you’ve almost certainly heard their music. With a truly deadly LP due on Rhythm Section, this is your very final chance to say you were into them before they blew up. ‘Cynical Gringo’ sees Wallace lay down ANOTHER perfect club beat, liberally sprinkled with laser-sharp Latin piano cuts. TIPPPPPP”

Buy it here.

The Necks
‘Travel’ [Northern Spy Records]

“From peak time to downtime! If you’re a regular listener to my NTS show you’ll know I’m an enormous fan of seminal Aussie avant-jazz improv trio The Necks and their latest release just dropped. Four tracks, each coming in at a ridiculously brief (for them) 20 minutes, all pretty much one-take improvisations with a few little overdubs, all with that divine, time-suspending magic, and designed to be listened to in whatever order you choose. Shuffle mode encouraged!”

Bernardo Femminielli
‘O Signe Des Temps (Talking Drums remix)’ [Before I Die]

“I’ve been a fan of Femminielli’s for some time, his outlook and productions manage to straddle outsider cool and pop kitsch in a very sexy way and his latest for Stockport’s newest and coolest label, Before I Die, does nothing to dispel that image as BF leans into the Purple with this fuckin’ mega Prince cover. I’ve chosen the remix by Moss Side’s finest corduroy purveyors Talking Drums who take the OG into a perfect drug-chug dirge oven-ready for the Salon Des Amateurs or my own Open Secret party.”

Buy it here.

Soichi Terada
‘Asakusa Light Remixes (Byron The Aquarius & Alex Attias)’ [Rush Hour Music]

“A couple of tracks from Soichi Terada’s recent release ‘Asakusa Light’ get remixed here. Of the two remixes, my favourite is Byron The Aquarius’ version of ‘Bamboo Fighter’ - my favourite track from the album. The original was a mighty piece of high-grade megadrive house that could easily be the soundtrack to a missing level from Streets Of Rage – I play it in almost every one of my sets. The remix wisely doesn’t fuck with the formula much at all, opting just to upgrade a few of the 16-bit sounds and sprinkle a bit of extra cosmic ambience across the top.”

‘In Session’ [None More Records]

“High grade 21st century dub from gun engineer and hot sauce maestro Mali-I. Made largely the old way – live dubbing through proper hardware – Mali has assembled a fantastic ensemble of musicians and vocalists who provide a really great variety of rhythms for him to work his magic on. Defo worth appreciating as a whole album, genuinely timeless... Sounds like it’s centuries old and from the far future all at the same time."

Pop Wallpaper
‘Strawberry Letter 23’

“I found this one via the mighty NTS chatroom. A listener had found a load of their dad’s old demo tapes from the ‘80s and it turns out that their dad made some bloody amazing music that never saw the light of day. I don’t know these days but with everybody doing reissues it feels quite wholesome that this one’s a family affair, with the band’s offspring taking over on remix duties.”

Cru Servers
‘Eel’ [12th Isle]

“12th Isle is one of my favourite labels, a super weird imprint run by the super weird Fergus Clark, one of my favourite DJs. He’s able to find new and old music that nobody else can and every release is a really beautiful package. On this latest one Scots duo Cru Servers open wormholes to brand new dimensions - make sure you’re strapped in before loading this one!”

‘Across The Street’ [Vicious Charm]

“OK so pulling a few strings here... JIM is Jim Baron from Crazy P. He’s got this fantastic solo project that’s into its second album now and it’s fuckin' WELL BALEARIC... The whole album covers all the bases and is gonna be your perfect Ibiza holiday album this year. There’s two tracks up for a listen now on the pre-order including the pitch-perfect AOR of ‘Across The Street’... Get this saved now cos you’re in for a real treat when it comes out.”

Free Love
‘Inside’ [Lost Map Records]

“Formerly known as Happy Meals, Free Love are a Scottish duo who manage to blend pop, house, techno and yoga to make an incredible sound. They’ve been around for a while, have had releases on Optimo Music amongst other fine outlets and their latest album, ‘Inside’ is the perfect refinement of their sound – heartbreakingly sweet outsider pop with just the right amount of weird inflections.”