Last monday 18th September, Curiosity made its musical return from summer holidays by publishing the very first album of its history : Our Place Among the Stars, composed by Chris Rusu. After his participation in « XXL », MRDIE’s EP, the American producer reveals a brand new opus which gives a glimpse of his artistic universe. Just like an ode about time’s flying, the eight pieces of this album prove to be successively powerful, melodic and devilishly effective, the whole resolutely made for dancefloors. Two weeks after its release, the artist evoked the key moments of his career and the creation of his last production.
CURIOSITY MUSIC : How did you start DJing?
CHRIS RUSU : I started on turntables and a mixer from an early age around 13. Even before digital dj’ing was introduced.
C.M. : In 2014 you signed your first release to Dubfire’s label SCI+TEC with some amazing support, how did that come about?
C.R. : I made some really great connections with Skoozbot (Minus) that helped me get in contact directly with Ali (Shirazinia, alias Dubfire, Editor's Note). From there, I sent him what I was feeling at the moment and he happened to be in the same mindset.
C.M. : Musically, who would you say has been a driving source of inspiration?
C.R. : For this release , Stephan Bodzin and Marc Romboy were major. They continue to inspire me to step out of my comfort zone with my normal Minimal and Techno sounds. They have made me think of music as more of a complete story inspired by emotions.
C.M. : What tracks or songs have had an impact on your life would definitely have to be included in your selection ?
C.R. : Almost all of : Gaiser, JPLS and Skoozbot’s music mostly from 2005-2008 .That’s when I was in love with expanding and contracting sounds that I do in almost all my music from Minimal/Techno to more melodic electronic music. Recently though Bodzin Powers Of Ten (Herzblut’s release, Editor’s note) changed everything for me as a producer and DJ.
C.M. : Is there any particular piece of studio gear or plugins you cannot do without?
C.R. : Moog Sub 37 is a must. I also really love the Arturia V Collection.
C.M. : How could you describe your trademark, the themes of your tracks and the atmosphere that represent your style?
C.R. : I think my ‘trademark’ is to take sounds and expand on them past the usual duration of time. I can build breaks and releases in the mix of the song using that as one of my weapons in my producing arsenal.
C.M. : What is Our place Among the Stars about ?
C.R. : Birth, life, death and a hopeful continuation of an afterlife and so on.
C.M. : Your wife Leah participated actively in this opus by lending her voice to the track Different Dimensions. How did you get into this project together?
C.R. : She is part of all my music I make. She fell in love with my sounds I was producing for the album and was singing over top of it ,so we decided to record it and it just seem to fit.
C.M. : Could you tell us more about electronic music that comes from your city of Madison, located in Wisconsin ?
C.R. : Musically it is difficult unless you live in a bigger city with a supportive community and a larger vision to push the music scene forward. We have people that book within their own circles in smaller cities and don’t branch out much which is stifling not only as a electronic music community but also as a Producer/DJ. We do have a few promoters that are willing to push special nights and bring in bigger artists, and rotate local DJ’s. I am fortunate to live 45 minutes from Milwaukee and 2 hours to Chicago those both bring in enough new talents to keep my ears happy. As far as an American goes it has its ups and downs just like anywhere else in the world. I think it’s unfortunate that the news usually pays attention to the bad in any country. We really have a good people here and people that strive to be open minded and peaceful people who want real positive change.
C.M. : What advices could you give to aspiring producers, DJs and even promoters?
C.R. : For producers I would say do the ‘hard work’. Show up to shows and support those you want to support you. When shows are over ,try to talk with that DJ / Producer and share your music with them. Ask for advices and be honest with your goals and vision for the music scene. Take criticism with a grain of salt and never let anyone tell you what you are doing isn’t good enough. Keep on making your sound, grow with it.
C.M. : How do you perceive the French scene, and more particularly the Parisian one?
C.R. : I feel that it is something I want to experience! I have seen Richie Hawtin play my music at clubs and festivals from there and it seems to make a connection to the people. I would love to one day check out your amazing scene.
C.M. : As a Dj , what would be your ultimate dream?
C.R. : My DJ dream is the same as my producing dream. I want people to feel what I felt when I made the songs I produced. I want people to feel my mix when I DJ and understand what I’m trying to say during the mix.
C.M. : Do you have a message for the French public?
C.R. : A message to you?? Live Long and Techno. :)
C.M. : Lastly is there any news you can share with us for 2017?
C.R. : I have a few remixes coming out this year on a few labels. Look for - The Dream Of Dreamers coming out later this summer on Dubfire’s label SCI+TEC!