The big boss of Ruf Kutz is making his debut at one of the best places to party in the suburbs of the city this weekend, back to back with Mr Scruff for Beats for Beds, an international weekend event who raises funds for Shelter.
Given his historic career as a creator and player of sophisticated, inimitable and compelling synth-laden rhythms – from Balearica to techno, street soul and house to lo-fi – Simone Hindle’s take on of many modern clubs is surprising. “As beige and dying as going to the Trafford Center,” he told Finest on an equally boring Wednesday morning.
As a result of a “rapid commodification of nightlife,” the man better known as Ruf Dug may appear depressed, but he’s not beaten. Instead, he explains, radical, transformative and alternative alternative addresses are rallying in the shadows of the corporate club industry.
“That’s what brought me to this. My journey is that of squat evenings. I am an old anarchist at heart. So the idea of a queer space – and I’m not just talking about sexuality, but all the truly queer spaces where queer things can happen – these are my favorite places to live, ”he says. “’Underground’ is a word that has been co-opted, a bit like ‘warehouse’. And I’m much more interested in occupying these spaces.
A number of these places are already waiting to be found. And Ruf Dug, who has claimed residences from the legendary Welsh festival Gottwood and NTS Radio to the legendary Pikes in Ibiza, knows more than a few.
He played one earlier this month, taking his Ruf kutz label to Partisan Collective, and pasting a bunch of old BBC speakers he bought before locking them inside for Open Secret. The event saw him share a booth with Bugged Out! and Back to Basics hero James Holroyd, making the most of “probably the best sound system I’ve ever heard,” although, as he admits, there is some bias on that front.
The Carlton Club, in the leafy suburb of Whalley Range, is another. Home to revered monthly magazines such as Psychedelic DiscoTech on Friday, December 17, Ruf Dug rubs shoulders with another Manchester donation, Mr. Scruff, for a night back-to-back. The party is part of Shelter Me, a multi-site event and weekend live broadcast by Beats for Beds that also has dates in London, Leeds, Mexico and Canada, to name a few. some.
The aim is to raise awareness about homelessness and, in terms of UK dates, to raise money for the Shelter charity. Especially, even if you can’t attend donations can be made online and the entire event will be broadcast live on Mixcloud, opening with direct airs from Melbourne’s Revolver. It is arguably Australia’s most famous house and techno venue.
“The Carlton Club is one of my favorite places in the world,” said Ruf Dug, before admitting that he is much more familiar with the building as a bettor than as a DJ – having played only once in the past for a set that aired at mid-lock, without a crowd. “I was booked to play what should have been my first set there via Psychedelic DiscoTech, with Dennis Bovell, Steve Cobby from Fila Brazilia, Jimi Goodwin from Doves and Moodymanc. It was going to be great, my first time in a band since college, but it was canceled due to the pandemic.
“Shelter and Beats for Beds, all the movement, is just a great cause. Any charity is, by definition, but it’s local, it’s directly relevant, and it’s contemporary. It’s not about something halfway around the world, or generating funds for an abstract concept. It is happening now, at our doorstep. It seems relevant, ”he continues, before emphasizing how special it will be.
“It’s the first time that I’m on the same stage as Scruff, let alone playing with him. I’ve known him for decades, and he was an inspiration. Well, a huge inspiration. Actually, I just copied some of the things he does… We exchanged a few emails about this weekend, I think we’re pretty compatible musically. He brings all his gadgets and I was also immortalized in one of his doodles. I think this is going to be my new press stunt. I am honored, excited and terrified at the same time.
The event looks set to be one for the ages. As Ruff Dug explains, “It’s Mad Friday, there’s nowhere I’d rather be outside of bed, and it’ll probably be the only decent party in the world that night.” Nevertheless, the cause is serious. Hinting at the urgency, new figures from Shelter suggest there are around 8,000 people in our homeless city. This is eight times more than anywhere else in the north of England. And, between 2018 and 2019, sleep on the streets increased by 34%.
“I’m not proud to be British, I don’t think there is anything to be proud of. But, strangely, I’m proud to be from Manchester. I am very proud to be from Manchester. I define myself first as a Mancunien, ”replies Ruf Dug as the conversation turns to the growing disparity between huge luxury apartments and those trying to find a safe place to rest their heads in their shadows. “But the homelessness situation makes me very sad, we are better than that, it should not be like that.
“At the start of the lockdown Gary Neville told all the homeless that they could stay in his hotel, when everyone bought the lie we were all in it together. Even if it was based on bullshit, we had the impression of existing in an egalitarian society… But it didn’t last long, ”he continues. “Unfortunately, the responsibility ends with individuals. No one in power will be responsible because no one needs to. It’s up to everyone to do what they can. Just simple acts like buying someone a fucking Mars bar, or a cafe. The act of recognizing people. We are all humans, and it could be any of us.
The Shelter Me live stream runs Friday afternoon through Sunday evening – listen via Mixcloud
Dates of Beats for Beds in UK:
Friday December 17 – The Carlton Club, Manchester; 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Saturday December 18 – Werkhaus, London; 6:00 p.m. – 4:00 a.m.
Sunday December 19 – The Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds; 12 p.m. – 1 a.m.