Interview with Mr.Scruff
A lot of things have happened since a young Andy Carthy started answering to the name Mr Scruff – making a name for himself under the shadow Manchester’s mid 90s club scene. Not only has he released three critically acclaimed albums, including 2002′s monstrous ‘Keep It Unreal’, but with countless tours and club events he has cemented his ‘legendary’ DJ status.
Just this year he has toured Australia, New Zealand, Japan (twice), North America (twice), and the UK, as well as his residencies in Manchester and Brighton. This is a DJ that can sell out the 1600 capacity London Forum armed only with his records, some turntables and a few spare packets of teabags.
David: First off thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to meet with us and answer some questions for our readers.
Lets jump in with both feet and talk about your latest release ‘Keep it Solid Steel (Part 1)’, you’re renowned for putting out some of the sickest sets, and coming from Canada I know that it’s a must stop to checkout your residency – ‘Keep it Unreal’ – if we’re kicking in the UK. So how did this recording come to be, and since it’s part 1, where will you be taking us next?
Mr.Scruff: Ninja asked me to do a solid steel mix, but I did not think that I could fit everything one one cd, so I asked if I could do a series. Thankfully they agreed, and I set to work. I decided to represent my club night over the course of the series, with the mix progressing in the same way that my club night does, starting slow and building over the course of the night. As for the next cd, it will follow on logically from the first, increasing the tempo and covering several styles, but I have no idea what it will turn out like until all the tracks are cleared.
DG: What’s it like working with the Ninjas (ie: Ninjatune)?
Mr.S: Ninja tune are great to work with, as they are very enthusiastic, but also very reliable and experienced. They also allow me a lot of freedom, as illustrated by this mix series.
DG: With all the bizarre genres out there and loose definitions of each, how would you best describe the type of music you produce / spin?
Mr.S: I would say that the music I produce is cheeky, soulful and varied, coming from a beats perspective, and encompassing a wide range of influences. Spinning wise, If it’s good and soulful I will play it!
DG: What are your thoughts on the current state of the music industry (*cough* RIAA)?
Mr.S: There is a lot more music around than there has ever been, and a lot of it’s dreadful, but there are many small independents who are making great music, and making themselves heard. FM radio is the worst it has ever been.
DG: What are your top picks in the following categories: Album, Movie, Country you must visit?
Mr.S: Album: Sam Dees ‘the show must go on’ (atlantic)
Movie: forbidden planet
Country: I have been lucky enough to visit a lot of places, my favourites so far are New Zealand and Canada.
DG: Whenever someone drops Mr.Scruff into a conversation your artwork is always brought up. And with some of your past DVD release (checkout the review) you have put out a small collection of some fine work. Are you planning on doing more features, or perhaps putting together a plot driven piece directed to your music (think the Yellow Submarine, but good)? ;)
Mr.S: I am not considering doing something like that soon, as I think that my music videos & club visuals need a lot more work, but you never know I quite like yellow submarine, by the way…
DG: What have you learned in your years as a top DJ / Producer and what sort of suggestion(s) would you have for someone inspiring to follow your footsteps into the next decade?
Mr.S: I would say that is important to be yourself, and to reflect your personality and influences in your music/djing, rather than following the trends and rules of genre. Oh, and have fun!
DG: Thank you very much for your time in answering these questions. Is there anything you’d like to tell your fans before you go?
Mr.S: I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone for their support and feedback, and for proving that there is a widespread appreciation for good music of all kinds.
- Interview with Mr.Scruff
- by David Gluzman
- Published on October 1st, 2004
- Ninja Tune
More from David Gluzman:
Zen CD: A Retrospective
What have the ninja’s at Ninjatune been upto for the past decade or so? Since their conception by Jonathan More and Matt black (most know these guys as Coldcut) back in the early 1990′s, there has been a huge cult following and a reputation for finding some of most amazing talent available on the …
R4NT Radio January 2009
R4NT Radio Numero Undici, featuring: Joy Denalane, Cottonbelly, Rae & Christian, ISoul8, Swamburger, Lupe Fiasco, Thunderheist, Price Fatty, and the Outerlectuals.
The Paperless Endeavor
What’s an office without a forest of paper trails? What’s a purchase without a receipt? What’s a visit to the washroom without.. well um.. Actually let’s not go that far. I’m going paperless…
..I’m on this station to watch some athletes slobber all over themselves whilst in burning agony of their event..
R4NT Radio July 2007
R4NT Radio post Calgary Stampede Edition, featuring: Micatone, Jamiroquai, an unknown track, Shantel, LTJ Bukem, Wiley, The Heavy, and Mega Bass.
R4NT Radio August 2006
Round 3 of R4NT Radio. In an effort to makeup lost ground from July, we’ve got an extended program featuring: Lee Baby Simms, Phil Ranelin, Bonobo, Niko, Osunlade, Delinquent Habits, Richard Dorfmeister, Kerri Chandler, and Rubim De Toledo.
Other recent features:
Sónar 2010 – Barcelona, Spain
The festival attracts a lot of outsiders, but the Mediterranean, Spanish and more specifically Catalan nature of the people makes the festival what it is. Catalan people are passionate and this passion is infectious. The atmosphere is electric in Barcelona as a city and heightened by music and intoxicants at Sónar.
Summer Party Naval Styles at Seven RestoLounge
Oysters, like wine are affected by terroir and these Miyagi’s flavor profiles ranged with one showing a cleaner, almost tropical profile and the other being more salty, marine driven. As I was devouring the seemingly endless plates put in front of us, I sipped on a glass of fine sauvignon blanc.
R4NT Radio March 2010
R4NT Radio March 2010 um wow it’s been far too long since the last edition edition, featuring: Hector Hernandez, The Infesticons, Blockhead, Gramatik, Emika, Thunderheist, Parov Stelar, Eddy Meets Yannah, Anti-Pop Consortium, The Slew, Lighterthief, Andreya Triana, Parasyte Woman, Mathon, Venetian Snares, and Funki Porcini.
O Restaurant & Lounge revisited
Calgary has a diverse set of urban communities, most of which have the ubiquitous strip mall watering hole. In the South West community of Marda Loop, a reinvention of this paradigm has been established.
Predictions 2010.. and beyond!
So 2010 eh? Almost but not quite (no year zero they say) another decade? It seems like just yesterday that the world was waiting for Y2K. R4NT started publishing in March 2001, so we’re not quite 10 years old yet, but in internet years we are already a senior citizen.
No matter what, the reality of Nelson Mandela is something that deserves screen time. Should this film even remotely intrigue the masses to take interest in this figure, the world would likely benefit greatly from it.