This St Patrick day eve, Test promotions brings you a snake scaring instalment of quality techno from Blueprint record's godfather, James Ruskin, Pure Plastic's king pin, Mark Broom and Mr Mantrap , Sunil Sharpe.
These 3 are unmistakably on form and are at their best at the moment. Slaying crowds by the dozen with their hard hitting dancefloor beats. If you are into techno this is where is will be at on March 16...
Tickets available here.
James Ruskin - Biography:
A lot has happened in the six years since James Ruskin’s third studio album ‘Into Submission’ (Tresor, 2001) hit the ground like a dancefloor wrecking ball. Computers have become studios, digital downloading has revolutionised the music industry and the boundaries between rock and dance music have become increasingly blurred. Similarly, in the same period Ruskin has rebuilt his studio, started a family and suddenly last year lost his best friend and Blueprint co-founder, Richard Polson. Taking stock of all these experiences and developments brings us to a new composition that is a huge step in Ruskin’s musical development and fitting testament to the inspiration and life of a close friend. Forming a massive leap in sound that joins the dots between his previous dancefloor savvy material with intricate basslines, beautiful melodies and hypnotic rhythms, ‘The Dash’ is the mark of an artist in full control of his sound.
Ruskin`s early exposure to musical alternatives via active radio and club scenes affected his own need for self-expression and identity through music. The rampant electro, hip-hop and emerging Detroit techno scenes channelled his influences toward more electronic sources enough to inspire his own productions in the early 90s. His step toward DJing had already been made in 1991 and his blinding mixing style was earning him top spots across the UK and eventually worldwide by 1996, coinciding with his and Polson’s first releases as ‘Outline’ on the emerging force that was Blueprint.
With Ruskin constantly delivering the Blueprint message to the clubs, his own production signature became more frequent, resulting in his first solo releases on Blueprint, spawning classic club tracks such as ‘The Divide’ and ‘After Dark‘ whilst his collaborations with Surgeon, Polson’s Surface imprint and Oliver Ho’s Meta label and remix work brought his name to a wider audience. With the focus on British techno sharpened by the late nineties, the scene' s welcome reaction to his ‘Further Design’ (Blueprint, 1997) debut album propelled his name and motivation still further. Already a guest DJ at Berlin’s infamous Tresor sweatbox he was to begin a long-standing musical relationship with the label that continues today. Two albums, ‘Point 2’ (2000) and ‘Into Submission’ (2001) quickly followed, cementing his sound within the world’s electronic elite and then Ruskin took a back seat from production, regrouped and developed new strategies.
“I didn’t feel over that period that I had what I needed to complete an album,” says Ruskin of his six year hiatus. “I didn’t want to put an album out with no real point or focus so I continued working on various tracks and remixes whilst I rebuilt my studio and looked at different ways of working. There was a long break because I didn’t want to keep doing the same thing, I wanted to explore different ideas and new production techniques.”
These new techniques have spawned a sound full of depth and atmosphere whereby basslines become melody hooks and tracks such as the opening sequence link four different sections together like a conductor building and bridging the composite segments of a concerto. The dancefloor is never far away but the warm; tunnel like encasement of sound cocoons the listener into the subtle layers of the album’s myriad hidden depths. ‘The Dash’ may well still be about electronic body movement but this is also just as much about mind and soul.
The album has a feel that traverses from home listening to James’s incessant nocturnal realm of DJing with consumate ease. Consistently headlining clubs and festivals throughout Europe and beyond as one of the UK’s most revered techno DJs, the album gives us glimpses into a twilight world full of sweaty handshakes, dimly lit clubs and smoke filled caverns. Now incorporating a computer into his DJ sets, which has effectively become the third turntable, it has allowed him to explore and return to classic house and electro tracks that simply could not previously fit into his sets. “I can now layer sounds underneath old tracks to counteract the sonic deficiencies they have with modern records and manipulate them far beyond what you can achieve solely with vinyl,” he says of his re-shaped DJ sets. Similarly old house records were literally too slow to play but Ruskin’s use of new technology has helped to bring those elements back and join the sounds of his formative years with modern techno compositions.
Whilst the first two Tresor albums, ‘Point 2’ and ‘Into Submission’, were integrally linked and part of a more extreme sound, ‘The Dash’ marks a new beginning in many ways. “It’s not as forceful as the previous two albums,” he points out. “My aim was to try to bridge the gap between music designed to listen to and music I would use as a DJ at the weekend” and Ruskin’s slow burning fourth studio album achieves this objective in abundance
Mark Broom - Biography:
Since the start of 90s, Former East Londoner now Norfolk based Mark Broom has always been a name that is synonymous with the UK electronic music scene. A truly prolific artist, he has a myriad of production credits to his name having worked with world renowned labels such as Mo-Wax, Warp, R&S, Soma, Ifach (with Baby Ford ) Bpitch Control, Platzhirsch,Rotary Cocktail, Material and more recently 2020 vision It all started in the summer of 89 when he landed in Tenerife on vacation and stumbled across the delights of the emerging sounds of Chicago & Acid House. Returning to the UK, he immediately went in search of this new found music a pair of turntables were bought and with it, a musical career was born. A regular customer at London’s Fatcat record store, Mark found himself at the epicenter of a burgeoning scene. In 92, a certain Pete Baby Ford was on the scout for Djs to play at his new Club Night, Nude. When a mix tape was put directly in to his hands, Marks turntable skills were soon in demand. A short time afterwards, he found himself in being introduced to Ed Handley and Andy Turner from the infamous Black Dog Productions. The meeting brought about the foundations of a solid studio partnership, with the trio putting together a string of releases for the seminal General Productions Records, all recorded at UXB studios. Run by a certain Dave Hill, after two years of coming and going to his east London hideout, Dave approached Mark about making some music together. From there, a longstanding partnership was spawned with the founding of Pure Plastic Recordings in 1994. With the label having played host to some of Marks finest work, the release of the classic Angie is a shoplifter LP in 1996 cemented his reputation as a leader in the scene. In 2001, further notable success was scored with the writing of Rue East’s Indoor Culture Lp alongside Dave Hill. An album which brought about the massive techno classic, Birmingham. Marks services as a Dj and re-mixer have also been in high demand over the past two decades having played around the globe at some of the worlds best clubs: from Fuse to Fabric, to La real and Florida 135 and, he has also had the pleasure of reworking material from artists such as Steve Rachmad, Ken Ishi, The Advent, Eddie Flashin Fowlkes, Ben Sims and more recently Mason on Great stuff. Mark has recently signed to 2020 vision for 3 ep's the first " Black Russian ep " already proving very popular amongst the masses. Also coming up are remixes of his Bpitch Control release " Twenty Nine which will be released on Memo, Remixes for Dubfire, Fuse Also he has collabarations with Two Emm from Berlin, Dustin Zahn and also with Safras on the Material label...
Sunil Sharpe - biography:
Coming through the traditional DJ route of pirate radio, outdoor raves and working on the front line of a record shop, Sunil Sharpe is one of Ireland’s most celebrated underground DJs. Honing his turntable skills in the late ‘90s, Sunil played his first club gigs at the end of 2000 – gaining a formidable reputation for his quick fire mixing and fast paced sets that were soon to be heard regularly at clubs across the country. Before long he was invited to play at Berlin’s legendary Tresor Club in 2001 - the first of many European based events he has played at since.
Sunil is a tutor at Bray Institute of Further Education, where he has taught the DJ Techniques class each year since 2005, sharing his knowledge in many areas of dj-ing and the music industry. He has also been part of national station RTE 2FM’s ‘Late Night Sessions’ team since 2006 (after a long run on both local and pirate radio), where each month he supplies his favourite new selections of music as well as live recordings from recent gigs.
Sunil’s production output has moved steadily, mostly since 2006. He has recorded for labels such as Tonewrecker, Bastardo Electrico, Open Source and his own Mantrap Recordings – a label (of “full-blooded techno, electro and experimental flavours”) he established in December 2007, which despite an irregular release schedule, has become a favourite with some of the scene’s leading djs and tastemakers.
In 2009 Sunil coordinated club events at DEAF (Dublin Electronic Arts Festival) in its sadly last but arguably best year. It was during this that he formed ‘Earwiggle’ – which has become a series of one-off gigs in Dublin, hosting the debut Irish appearances of acts like Planetary Assault Systems, Adam X, Ancient Methods and Reeko. After a near 8-year spell working at Spindizzy record shop (2002-10), Sunil has made the move to All-City where he recently established a space for new & secondhand techno/electro/house vinyl under the Earwiggle banner.
2011 sees the release of two new eps by Sunil on Labrynth and Takeover, with various tracks and remixes on other labels to come. A firm believer in playing the very best records he has rather than only the new, Sunil’s DJ sets reflect his favourite styles from the past up to the present, with his trademark techno energy showing no sign of letting up.
VENUE: The Underground Westland row
Date: 16 MAR
Admission: €16/€12 early bird tickets
Tickets available here : www.eventelephant.com/jamesruskinmarkbroom