SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2021 Show | 8pm // Doors | 7pm Advanced: $29.50 / Day of Show: $35 (+fees) Aggie Theatre Aggie Theatre Presents Rusko w/ Special Guests Hello, world: Rusko kindly requests that you wake the fuck up. The Leeds-born DJ/producer who ascended with the original U.K. dubstep movement — and gave it one of its first and most enduring anthems, a bolt of foul-mouthed rave lightening called “Cockney Thug” — is here to tell you that music is not about labels and dance is no fad. And to prove it, he proudly presents “SONGS”: His gutsy, freewheeling, brilliant second album. “The sound of my early releases was very dub-influenced, and just good, fun, bouncy vibes,” he says. “The majority of dubstep at the moment I think is aggressive, and I don’t like angry music; I don’t want to be angry in a club. So I wanted to make something really happy, but still heavy.” “Happy and heavy” is a proper way to describe the vibe that has carried Rusko from the first moments of dubstep’s life to the biggest stages in the world; from a single, seminal bass wobble to a swath of sounds that can’t be capped in a few simple syllables. He might be one of the guys who started it all — but he’s sure as hell not going to leave it at that. A staple of the global electronic underground, Rusko has packed nightclubs, concert venues and festivals across the world, and not only dance-dedicated ones: From Electric Daisy Carnival and Ultra Music Festival, to Coachella and Lollapalooza; from Germany’s Melt! to Australia’s Good Vibrations. He created the majority of “O.M.G.!,” his hard-hitting debut artist album, on the road, cutting tracks by day, and testing them on living, breathing dance floors by night. But for the follow-up, he wanted to try a different strategy. “From January to late September 2011, I didn’t make a single track,” he says. “I spent all that time touring around the world, building up a massive swell of ideas inside me.” With the long tour done, the artist took two months completely off and ensconced himself in a tiny one-room studio in California’s Hollywood Hills, with no phone reception and spotty-at-best Internet access. The hermit style paid off. “I made all 14 songs in 8 weeks,” he says. “I didn’t try any out like before; I just stayed in the same headspace and vibe, and made the whole album in one go. You can really tell: Compared to ‘O.M.G.!,’ it sounds like one crazy Technicolor song!” There is indeed a rowdy kind of sprightliness throughout “SONGS,” which sets a wizard’s box of dance music charms to some of its most misunderstood: cracking, smacking breakbeats, and reverberant, sonic-boom bass. The rave piano vamp of first single “Somebody to Love,” the accelerated classic house of “Pressure,” the head-nodding reggae of “Skanker,” the epically trancey sweep of “Opium” and “Thunder,” even “Dirty Sexy,” a tongue-y but not so cheeky nugget of American-style R&B: They all express a different part of what makes Rusko pogo like a punk while he spins, and carry the energy and soul of his inimitable, genre-be-damned style. Back in 2007 — when “dubstep” was an idea known to a critical few — Rusko and DJ/producer Caspa lit the spark with a dubstep-dedicated mix for London nightclub Fabric’s influential compilation series Fabriclive.
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