We put the South London renaissance man in the hot seat.
Rustem Rustem, a DJ whose mix series is called ‘From Disco To House’, has an ethos that is exactly that! Playing original 70’s soul disco mixed with edits, remixes, 80’s soul, disco house, current new wave disco and everything else in between.
Up until 2016, Rustem Rustem was part of DJ and production duo Electronic Youth who’s biggest record was a cover of the Angie Stone classic, ‘Wish I Didn’t Miss You’. Along with his production partner Trevor King, EY travelled the world, held residencies in Ibiza and founded their successful label Sexy Trash Digital.
After a five year journey Rustem decided to stand down from the music industry for a short while, but Trevor continued to fly the flag for EY and the label Sexy Trash. Now he is making a triumphant return to music and we have the lowdown.
Learning a trade in the music scene before Electronic Youth, Rustem worked in vinyl distribution and as a head of A&R. Putting together releases for many house and techno labels across the world, all the while building his own labels and dropping a few cheeky white labels.We have had a close relationship with Rustem since DJing during the early days of Dorringtons (now known as Studio 338) and couldn’t wait to ask him about what he has in the pipeline. He has also been kind enough to record an exclusive WSH guest mix for us as part of his ‘From Disco To House’ series.
You’ve been heavily involved in the dance music industry for some time now, DJing, producing, promoting, running record labels and everything in between. Which cap do you feel most at home wearing?
First and full most I’m a DJ. I started DJing at 13 years old, starting running parties from 15 years old and I get most enjoyment out of DJing. Producing and creating music is an amazing feeling too. To create something from thin air and it give people an emotional response is an incredible feeling. But I also massively love running a label too, putting out music for myself and other artists, communicating with record stores and so on. I love it all!
You are best known as one half of Electronic Youth, what would you say was your biggest highlight under that name?
We had many highlights as EY. Two residencies in Ibiza, signed a single record deal to a major label, Pete Tong playing our track on Radio one, top ten records on Beatport and Traxsource, working with some incredible singer/songwriters. Just to name a few. But above all that working with Trev in the studio is always a lot of fun.
How does it feel moving from writing music as a duo to producing solo. Is it daunting not having someone to bounce off, or does it set you free creatively?
It’s different, exciting and frightening! Frightening in a positive way, one that makes me driven. Almost makes me want it more. Before when I’ve worked with people you share ideas, responsibility and mix agendas. Now as a solo artist it’s ALL ME…
You’ve been back in the studio recently with Trevor from Electronic Youth, can you tell us what this means for you as a team in future?
Trev still works as Electronic Youth, and as I just said I’m doing my solo stuff. But a few years ago when we were signed to a major label and we had our single forthcoming our management said we should write an album just in case the single blows up. The single didn’t do well, and we got dropped from the label. We moved on musically and shelved the album. So Trev and I decided to get back in the studio a re-work, remix and polish the album and put it under our new artist name MIXUS. Watch this space…
Tell us a bit about your new mix series ‘From Disco To House’. What prompted you to launch the idea?
I’ve always been a massive disco fan. So a couple years ago when I had to have a break from music I started listening to all types of music except dance music. I kept going back to disco. I started buying loads of it and really crate digging. As I was buying I realized the direct relationship between disco and house. The samples, energy, stories and vocals. I’ve never had the chance to play disco before and now starting again I can play what I like and tell my story in my mix series ‘From Disco To House’.
Recently you’ve been exploring your love for disco music. Is that a path you’d like to stay on musically?
YESSSSS! I really love disco and its relationship it has with the dance floor. I’ve got one track with K&K who features the amazing vocals from PowerDress forthcoming, Working with Trevor on a separate project of a remix of a classic house track, I’m writing a solo EP as well as another collaboration with the K&K boys, And some new MIXUS music too.
If you could eternally be stuck in one year’s music scene, which year would it be?
This is a really hard question for as I’m a fan of music in different times of history. But for me it would have to be late 70s early 80s. It was a time of the DIY ways, creativity was incredible, open minds and hearts, fashion and all that with new technology. It was the birth of some of the most important musical statements that we still look at today. punk, new wave, hip-hop, disco, house, garage and loads more…
And finally… Favourite superhero?
I don’t really care for superheroes. But if I had to choose one it would be Wonder Woman. She is a great heroin and beacon of strength for women and that’s the type of superhero I want my daughters to admire. Much better then all the macho male superheroes…
We Share House Podcast 009 – Mixed By Rustem Rustem
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