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Ruffhouse - A Certain Sound


Ahead of One.Seventy, Organic recently caught up with Ruffhouse to talk about tempo, genre and "a certain sound".

Ruffhouse’s Nick Callaghan is the visioneer behind the UVB-76 record label and Drum & Bass come multi-tempo club night Abstractions in Bristol. His musical agenda has developed into a fine vein that supersedes tempo and BPM finding correlation in something altogether less defined. In his own words “a certain sound”.

“I think genre classification has become less and less important to us a record label and event. We have always pushed a certain sound that we feel people are really starting to understand and get behind now.

Over the last couple of years we have received a lot of interest and support from other music scenes, particularly the Techno scene which we are very happy about as we are very much into that music also, and take a lot of inspiration from it. When we launched UVB-76 we didn’t want to be seen purely as a Drum & Bass label but more a record label which pushes a certain sound and aesthetic. So with that we don’t feel tempo or BPM is really that relevant anymore.

We have tried to show this in the early stages of the label by releasing music such as ‘Mindgames’ by Mantra and more recently Pessimist’s ‘Paian’ ep which has 2 Techno cuts on it. Going forward you will see this more and more as the label develops."

On October 23rd Ruffhouse will be performing their first genre-ambigous set in London at One.Seventy. The night by design should create an open environment for artistic exploration without boundary. A kind of Sunday session that aims to explore less exposed nuances and potentials. Nick's own experiences as the promoter of Bristol event Abstractions would inform him more than most on the possibilities that multi-tempo artistry can offer.

"In terms of Abstractions, we see that event as an extension to UVB-76 where again we want to promote a certain sound and not a tempo. This last year we have been starting every event with Techno and then moving into 170 BPM which has worked very well. It’s great to see open minded people being receptive to music they wouldn’t have perhaps listened to much before coming across our label or event.”

For One.Seventy Ruffhouse will be performing an extended 90 minute set casting a wide net across the different sounds, textures and tempos they are currently working with. Nick continues:

“This last year we have been playing a lot of Techno like we mentioned earlier. This will be the first event outside Abstractions where we will play Techno as well as Drum & Bass in our set. We are doing a 90 minute set so expect a hybrid of both types of music being played on the evening. “

Just a cursory glance over UVB-76’s physical product immediately consolidates the feel of the music. The illustrated characters created by Toronto based artist James Hewitt offer the still to the moving music. This strong aesthetic has a real feel of guerrilla branding. A rebellious retort to more obvious means.

“We think all art is the same really, whether it be sound or visual. It’s all about aesthetic. The artwork we use for UVB-76 releases and event art for Abstractions really ties in with the sound of the music. We didn’t want to use a ‘logo’ for UVB-76 because we felt that people could relate to the label by just imagery alone which again has seemed to really work. As soon as you see a new release you know it’s UVB-76 straight away! It’s a powerful way to present our music to people.”

You can catch Ruffhouse performing at One.Seventy on 23rd October.

For more information about One.Seventy please click HERE