Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Recommended music: 'Island' by Ruf Dug

Arriving perfectly in time for your summer holidays, 'Island' is the sound of beach, sea and sunshine encapsulated in vinyl. From the moment that 'Tendacayou' starts up you're immediately transported to a hazy, shimmering world of heat and light that evokes that feeling of the sun warming your bones as you escape the world.

Recorded in Guadeloupe over 12 weeks using a host of portable equipment, Ruf Dug's first album for the Music For Dreams label is perfect for whatever island you may be heading to this year, whether that's somewhere lonely and deserted, or somewhere more hedonistic like Ibiza. Influenced in part by Wally Badarou's work at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, there are also other lineages on display here, in particular on the first two tracks. 'Tendacayou' is very reminiscent of somvee of the ambient records that The Art of Noise made (particularly their cover of 'Robinson Crusoe'), while 'Speedboat' has more than a hint of John Carpenter. 'Mangrove Dub' also has that Art of Noise feel, while the album's stand-out track 'Le Rayon Vert' could easily have been included on any Cafe del Mar compilation. Steeped in Balearic sunrises it features the guest vocals of Nev Cottee, and is pretty much guaranteed to be included on any mixtapes I make for the rest of the year.

It's not entirely successful, with the noodling 'Mosquito' being the most disappointing track here, but overall it's a pretty great soundtrack for the summer.

'Islands' is out now on double vinyl, and you can stream the whole thing below. BTW, big shout to the team and Wax and Stamp for including this in their package this month - I doubt I'd have heard it otherwise.

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