Ruf Dug – Island LP – Music For Dreams

"perfect collection of tracks for summer listening"

In 2014 Ruf Dug was asked to put together an album by Kenneth Bager of legendary Balearic imprint Music For Dreams. In order to encapsulate the tropical spirit necessary he headed off to Guadeloupe in the French Caribbean, with a portable studio in his suitcase made up of two half-rack synthesizers, a couple of effects units, his laptop and a 4-track cassette recorder. Living in a rented villa, the next three months were spent watching the sun set and cutting tracks for the album. All tracks were written and recorded in Guadeloupe, with Nev Cottee beaming in vocals and guitar parts for a couple of the tracks direct from the heart of Mancunia.

Opening track ‘Tendacayou’ layers lightly echoing synths and string patterns with simple percussion, while the lead lines soar gracefully to conjure up sunrises over a sultry paradise. ‘Speedboat’ is much more driven, with rapid staccato synths and a down tempo drum groove it is perfect beach dancing music. ‘Dominica’ and ‘Mangrove’ are both deep and dubby with the latter venturing into haunting trip-hop, featuring samples of water flowing and strange steel pan like sounds. ‘Mosquito’ finishes off the first disc with a new twist on Zouk, the fast, rhythmic, carnival style of music originating from Guadeloupe.

‘Shoreline’ has the kind of gently building and flowing sounds typical of the Balearic sound, you can lose yourself in the sunny visions conjured up. ‘Rasta Beach’ has an irresistible slow skank to it, with its stripped back sounds guaranteed to make you move. Nev Cottee’s heart-rending vocals feature on ‘Le Rayon Vert’ a smooth slow jam that brings to mind an early tropical version of I Am Kloot. ‘Thank You Wally’ rounds things out with a delightful instrumental tribute to the renowned Wally Badarou.

Overall it is a perfect collection of tracks for summer listening, whether you are chilling on a beach or dancing until dawn make sure you take Ruf Dug with you.

BY Pete Edmonston