Ruskin & DVS1 - Chapter One (Blueprint)
So, we’re a little late to the party on this one as it saw its digital release a few days ago, the vinyl release, however, will not actually be released until December and that’s going to be a guaranteed, self-bought Christmas present for many a discerning DJ this year, I’m sure!
This marks the next in Blueprint’s 25th, yes twenty- f#!*#g – fifth birthday release series! I for one feel mega-old when I think back on how long I’ve been an avid fan of the label, it rarely disappoints. Other notable entries in the 25th birthday series are collaborations by label boss James Ruskin teaming up with both Truncate and my old friend Mr. Mark Broom.
Here, James teams up with yet another techno “bad-boy” DVS1, otherwise known as Zak Khutoretsky and yes, as I’m sure you’re aware, his sound and James’ are a winning combination – we wouldn’t be reviewing it otherwise!
Way back in 2016, when Blueprint was celebrating another milestone (20th) birthday – they released the seminal ‘Structures and Solutions’ compilation of original tracks from the label, a highlight of this compilation was the 1st track of this EP, entitled Page 1 – from which the second, third and fourth tracks (pages) stem. They aren’t essentially remixes, but as the titles suggest – a progression, the expansion of an ongoing narrative.
For those who didn’t pick it up first time around, Page 1 is a dissonant and sombre groove with swirling metallic bass, elastic lead synths and piercing accompaniments that get right inside the head of the listener. There are the obligatory thumping drums, minimal and all the more powerful for it. Driving, intense, and deeply unsettling – and this is just Page 1!
Page 2 grabs the baton and, quite literally, runs with it. Thunderous percussion with an industrial tinge is somehow overpowered by the monstrous synthetics whirling and evolving around the ever insistent drum-work, and, oh my, the filth on those hi-hats! This has a hint of the now legendary Waveform One LP about it, anyone who’s a fan of the deranged industrial funk that Mills pioneered on that LP will no doubt be on the same page with this. Fiercely dark and unrelenting.
Page 3 is a touch more down-tempo – just a touch, mind! The percussion here is a little more ‘rolling’, those dissonant vibes from Page 1 are back, quite literally pulling your head in multiple directions simultaneously. There are some dirty harmonics on this one, supplied by deeply filtered chord sequences – at once dreamy and uplifting and yet fighting with the metallic dissension. One of my preferred tracks on the release for sure – the continual contrast is distinctive and purposeful. A floor filler for some time to come methinks.
Rounding off the package in fine style, Page 4 has some extra added “Jack-Factor”, slamming Chi-Town styled beats underpin a further progression on the aforementioned narrative. The chillingly vicious hook will pull your brain out your nose and play havoc with it in front of your very face. This is not for the faint-of-heart. Spooky synths shimmer underneath the crunch of the beats giving this one an added sense of urgency guaranteed to haunt you long after you’ve got home from the club.
Do not miss this.
Reviewed by: The Hi-Tek Lo-Life
PS: If you happen to be in London on October 30th – make sure to get your respective arses down to the one and only Fabric for the official “25 Years of Blueprint” night, where you can catch the man himself, James Ruskin alongside the co-producer of this EP; DVS1, plus the one and only Regis, the Zenker brothers and many more.