Bristol's PLU have fast become a disco institution at Dalston Superstore, curating lineups that without fail transport us out of dreary London to a sunset beachside somewhere we'd rather be! For their latest instalment, they've recruited Red Bull Music Academy alumni, Ruf Kutz wunderkind and master of the wonky synthesizer, Glowing Palms. Having spent the year flitting between London, Manchester and festival dates as far afield as Perth, Western Australia, it's high time we welcomed him to Superstore for his lazer basement debut! We caught up to chat internet sleuthing, underrated mates and plans for Cult Culture.
Hi Glowing Palms! We are thrilled to have you join us soon for PLU's Cult Culture! You’ve had a pretty phenomenal 2016 so far - what have been a few of your highlights?
Hello ! I'm super hyped to join you guys too - Dalston Superstore is legendary and you guys throw some killer parties. I've got a lil stack of records especially put aside for this one!
Had a wicked 2016 - highlight's gotta be the Ruf Kutz stage at Gottwood. No set times / elbows out vibe. A really small stage but it was totally packed with a lot of people sticking with us for the whole night. Preston Brookes beat juggling Drexciya records and Kickin Pigeon playing slowed down jungle.
Aye - Ruffy's been a massive influence. We send demos to each other all the time and we're both super honest with each other which really helps. Got a mail from him the other day - "Why the fuck did you leave that synth till the end of the tune - it's the best bit sort it out" haha. Always great to have another perspective and sometimes making some changes brings out the best in a tune and other times you stand your ground 'cos you know it's how it should be.
You’ve been involved with Ruffy’s Video Lounge a fair bit – has video game music been a big influence for you?
Ruffy's video lounge is definitely his baby in that he's figured out all the technology and he owns an archive of the BBC's old broadcasting gear! I grew up on C64 music and the 8bit versions of classical music on Lemmings and stuff. I'm well into tunes that have that sound like early Zomby and the big tunes that used the SID station like Ayo Technology. Just made a remix for someone with a bit of that vibe actually!
You speak of yourself as more of an Internet music sleuth than a crate digger, what are some of your favourite sites or forums for discovering new music?
I'm well geeky with that stuff - I tend to just find these really good Youtube Channels - there's someone who's uploaded hundreds of super rare Chicago House and another one who's uploaded all the library music stuff. There's a guy who's got amazing Island stuff as well that's not on Discogs. That's kind of where you have to go these days since they closed down all the blogspots with the Megaupload and Zshare links. That was my main source of music before they got taken down - Italo and soundtrack blogspots and I'd download gigabites of the stuff and then buy the best bits on vinyl.
You were a student at the esteemed Red Bull Music Academy a few years ago, how did that experience shape you as a producer?
It was really early for me music-wise so I was quite overwhelmed at the time as most of the other students had come up through music production but I was always more of a DJ. It was a total eye opener and I absolutely loved the experience. I'd say the main take away points were that music is just something you do. You don't need to spend hours philosophising about it and trying to make a hit or spending weeks on a snare sound. Just throw something together whenever you can and in time there will be some magic in there even if you didn't know it at the time.
The other thing is sort of using music that's out there as a resource or inspiration - kinda like sampling but in a broader sense. Steve Spacek and Mark Pritchard made a tune out there where they got a reggae tune they liked and stuck a low pass filter on it so you had this lovely, deep bassline. They then wrote the tune from there. The final tune sounded nothing like the original reggae record but that's what kickstarted it. It kinda showed that you can use pretty much anything around you without having to start from scratch
We love all of the videos for your Ruf Kutz releases – who is the genius behind them?
Haha I made all my videos - again hours of trawling Youtube with the tune playing, going down some really weird rabbit holes until something looks right that I can rip and then chop up
Favourite track of the year?
Jagger Botchway Group - Moko Le Dzen (Ruf Dug Tight Disco Dub)
The Resident Advisor top 100 DJs poll has just regurgitated a very similar list to last year and the year before – if you could turn the spotlight onto some unsung artists, who would they be and why?
I don't follow these polls or really read much about music and DJs to be honest - I just like having a good time with my mates and people I've met along the way. Wet Play in Manchester the other night totally blew my mind... Randy Marsh, Metrodome, Sonofapizzaman, Ruf Dug, Swayward and Kickin Pigeon all absolutely throwing it down. STE SPANDEX full live set.... Now that's something to talk about. Always big love for Bradley Zero, Bell Towers, Miutante, Garth Be, Moxie, Anu, Mali, Chaos in the CBD, Preston Brookes, Hollick, Panoram, O Flynn, Tom Blip, Chris Airplays, Hampus Time, Enchante, Eclair Fifi, Crucial and Fresh and all the other people I should have mentioned but forgot.
Do you have any exciting plans in the pipeline for 2017?
Tunes!! I've got a record coming out early in the new year on Blip Discs and have some other stuff that's nearly ready that I'll send out to some people and see what happens.
In five words, what do you have in store for Cult Culture?
DISCO HEAT RAW SYNTHESISER POWER
Catch Glowing Palms this Friday 16 December at Cult Culture from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!