2nd podcast of the year for K / D P – Keep It Deep Podcast 007 by Rubin who co runs the underground party in London Make Me with Rupes and Nic Baird. Rubin and the Make Me brand have slowly and quietly been doing there thing crafting there sound and booking names they believe in past the hype for over 5 years. Past guests include Soundstream, Prosumer, Steffi, Ben UFO, Dj Qu, Tevo Howard, Kassem Mosse, DVS1, Dj Deep, Madteo Trus’Me, Bodycode and a handful more. Rubin supplies 120 minutes of quote ‘it’s deep, dubby, moody tunes for a cold rainy day in London’ as the city flexes between seasons, changing moods and demeanor and disruptions of one kind and another, forms of escape, reality and wonders become precious, seeked out and treasured. Find your space, find your mood and seek out what makes you feel good inside. This all vinyl mix exploits long transitions and creates a certain dialogue which we hope you can interpet and enjoy over time and space. Keep It Make Me.
K/D: Where and when did you record the mix?
Rubin: I did the mix on New Year’s Eve during the day while I was hanging out at home. It’s one of those weird periods where days just roll into each other and you lose track of time.
It was raining and cold outside and I was feeling pretty chilled and full of food and booze after Christmas.
K/D: What equipment did you use?
Rubin: I recorded the mix on two Vestax PDX-2000 turntables that I bought about 12 years ago when they first came out and an Allen and Heath Xone 62 mixer which has seen better days. All but two of the channels are blown, the filters don’t work – it’s been battered, but it’s mine and I like it and it still sounds good. I also used a Samson power amp and Tannoy Reveal monitors that I’ve had forever.
K/D: Describe the mood and break down some of the tracks for us?
Rubin: Well I was told to Keep it Deep so it’s deep, dubby, moody tunes for a cold rainy day in London. It’s not really a dance floor set, although under the right circumstances I would definitely drop all of these tracks in a club.
It’s a pure vinyl mix, not for any aesthetic reason but mainly because I’d been sorting through my records with this mix in mind and thought these would fit well together. It was recorded in a single take and I was definitely winging it with some of the transitions but overall I think it comes together well. I tried to blend and work the tunes for as long as I could and, wherever possible, to use the full track from end to end. When I play in a club I’m usually far too impatient to do this but it’s definitely a technique I use more at home when I’m just mixing to listen to tunes rather than move a crowd.
In terms of the tracks, it’s a really broad cross section of producers who I think have really pushed the boundaries in electronic music over the past few years – Shed, Pearson Sound, Ricardo Villalobos, Levon Vincent, Shackleton, Moritz Von Oswald, Peverelist. There is a big emphasis on sub bass and there are quite a few breakbeats – something that I still reach for a lot in the right circumstances.
K/D: Rubin you DJ and also run a party can you detail how this journey began and detail any key highlights and low lights?
Rubin: I’ve been promoting parties for 12 years, DJing for 15, and clubbing for a bit longer than that so the journey has been quite a long one. Underpinning all of it is the fact that I just love club music and club culture. There is something genuinely amazing about what can happen when you get the right crowd in the right room, with a proper sound system and a DJ who knows how to work a dance floor. I still get the same buzz today that I did when I went out to my first ever club when I was 16.
When I was a kid I was obsessed with Jungle, so when I got my first decks on my 17th birthday I completely disappeared into that scene for about 6 or 7 years. I still went out quite a bit to house and techno nights and was seeing people like Richie Hawtin (v1,0, no hair), Laurent Garnier, Dave Clarke, Surgeon, Craig Richards and many others but from a DJing and promotions perspective I was a total purist. I could go on about Jungle for hours, but I’ll spare you 😉
In about 2004, like a lot of people, I started to lose faith in that scene, the music became incredibly formulaic; quite the opposite of what it was supposed to be, and the parties were attracting a lot of attitude. At that point I ended up heading in two directions musically – into house and techno in a big way, and also into dubstep, which was starting to emerge from South London and make an impact at a national level. As well as going to Technique in Leeds (where I was living) and traveling down to London to go to Fabric and The End, I was also going to DMZ in Leeds and London and listening to Rinse sets by Youngsta, N-Type, Hatcha, Loefah, Skream and all those guys who were completely redefining UK urban music at the time.
In 2006 I moved down to London and kind of carried on in that vein – I went to FWD>> every Friday for 2 years between 2006 and 2008, but at the same time was going out to the Minus parties at The End, going to Ibiza most Summers, Sonar festival and getting my minimal kicks at the same time. All of which leads us to Make Me, because it was at this point that I had started buying lots of house music and decided that I wanted somewhere to play it.
Long story short, here we are 6 years later and we’ve gone from a small illegal rave in a pub basement to a relatively well known club night having the absolute honour of being able to book and play with people that we genuinely think are the best DJs in the world. As far as low lights go, as with any promoter there have been some parties that just didn’t work – whether that’s financially, musically or in terms of the vibe in the venue. Luckily that hasn’t happened for quite a while now and actually the last 2 years have been pretty much amazing from start to finish. The loft parties are always a highlight – it’s such a unique space – and the warehouse sessions we did at the end of last year were incredible too as we got to work on a much larger scale than we ever have before. Musically there are too many highlights to mention – Ben UFO, Fred P, Ewan Pearson, Prosumer b2b Soundstream, all blew me away in their own way in 2013 alone. As well as having the opportunity to develop our own sound through the Make Me residency, as eel as playing as resident for Bloc since April last year on a more straight up techno, bass driven tip.
K/D: Make Me is the party you run and last year saw some significant presence built, can you outline and describe its success and motivation?
Rubin: The motivation today is the same as it ever was – to put on proper parties with the best crowds, venues, sound and music that we can lay our hands on. Our ‘success’ is little bit harder to put my finger on to be honest. We’ve had a wicked couple of years and definitely feel like we’re doing the right things, but I genuinely feel like we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible – particularly when I look at people like Fabric, the guys who used to run The End, the big labels in London like Hessle Audio, Metalheadz and especially the people who’ve walked this particular deep house path before us like Sud Electronic and Electric Minds. If we get anywhere near what they’ve achieved then I’ll start to think in terms of ‘success’. In the meantime we’ll be focused on the next run of parties and making plans for the back end of the year and hoping that it all doesn’t go to shit!
K/D: London is a seriously competitive location for Djs and parties to breath, exist and grow how is the scene evolving and how do you see it moving forward?
Rubin: You know what, I try not to pay too much attention to what other people are doing. We are focused on our own parties and making sure they work for us, our DJs and our crowd. The only evolution I’m interested in is where the music takes us next – that’s what it’s all about for me.
1. Sebbo – Watamu Beach (Moritz Von Oswald Rework) – Desolat
2. Asusu – Too Much Time Has Passed – Livity Sound
3. Simian Mobile Disco – Hustler (Shackleton Remix) – Wichita Recordings
4. Ricardo Villalobos – Dexter – Playhouse
5. Pearson Sound – Crimson (Beat Ritual Mix) – Pearson Sound
6. WK7 – Higher Power (Hardcore PCK Mix) – Power House
7. Peverelist – Salt Water – Livity Sound
8. Shackleton – Death Is Not Final – Skull Disco
9. Levon Vincent – Revs/Cost – Novel Sound
10. Innerspace Halflife – Dogstarr – Skudge White
11. Ricardo Villalobos – Sieso – Cadenza