Podcast 832: Rubi
Immersive dance music from a rising name.
Podcast 832: Rubi
Immersive dance music from a rising name.
The life of Rubi, who has been dancing to electronic music ever since she turned 18, took a turn in 2013, when two friends approached her, wanting to organize events in bars. They mentioned that they liked her taste in music and suggested that she join them. Being a curious person, she immediately went for a “hell yes” approach, she says, and started learning the ropes while putting a collection together. She played her first gig on vinyl when she owned a total of 30 records, bringing literally all of them to the event.
“Since then, I’ve kept founding and joining new collectives, moving countries, and turning lots of my life upside down several times, but music and DJing have always remained an anchor in my life,” she tells XLR8R, from her current home in Berlin.
Today, Rubi is perhaps best known for co-founding Barcelona event series Kommuna and the vinyl-only label Kommuna Tapes, one of the Spanish city’s most respected imprints. But as a DJ she has been touring across Europe for years now, earning a reputation as a connoisseur of forgotten music, and in 2020 she joined the Rings of Neptune agency. She curates Rings of Neptune’s own Feedback Waves, a reissue label to give standout releases from the past their first appearance on vinyl, and on Refuge Worldwide she co-hosts the monthly show Musical Autobiographies, inviting fellow artists to share their life stories through 10 tracks which influenced their journey.
Irrespective of location or time, Rubi’s sets are a testament to her dedication to discovering hidden gems. For her XLR8R podcast, she melds ever-evolving rhythms, unconventional drum patterns, and immersive melodic elements, all taken from Bandcamp either for free or for a small fee. Press play for a late festive treat—a captivating journey through the uncharted territories of electronic music.
01. What have you been up to recently?
After quite a lot of gigging over the summer, I have been using the colder (and light-deprived!) months in Berlin to spend more time in the studio lately. Together with my studio partner, Ben Flock, we’ve been lucky enough to sublet a beautiful space for the winter from Baby Vulture and have been finalizing our first EP under our joint moniker, Flubi Doo. It was supposed to be our goal for last year but issues with our previous studio and both of us being out and about have delayed the project quite a bit. Now I’m excited that a new space and fewer distractions have helped us to get it together, and we’ll be in a position to put our first EP out into the world soon!
02. What have you been listening to?
I have been listening to a lot of ambient and downtempo music lately, preferably with a cup of nice tea in my hand and some candles to avoid winter blues. Based on my mood of the day, I’ll alternate between more soft and bubbly artists like Dub Tractor, ISAN, or Iso68, to more classic hip-hop or trip-hop tunes on labels like Jazz Fudge and G-Stoned, to very ambient music by Opiate or H. Takahashi. And yes, all of these are also categories in how I classify the downtempo music that I play out!
03. Where and when did you record this mix?
I put the selection together and recorded the mix over a couple of evenings in my living room. Since I also work full-time, it’s not always easy for me to find time and space for creative inspiration after an entire working day. Luckily, life around me has quieted down a bit recently, which has done wonders for finding musical inspiration.
04. How did you choose the tracks you’ve included?
I actually chose a concept I had in mind for a long time and have been wanting to put out into the world. This mix is comprised entirely of tracks that you can get on Bandcamp either for free or for a few Euros. I have been wanting to do this kind of mix to showcase just how much you can put together with a lot of dedication to digging, but with fewer access to resources.
While I love playing vinyl, and have a large collection at home, I also find vinyl-only culture too limiting sometimes, and too exclusive for many parts of the world. Next to my vinyl collection I have a stash of CDs at home, which especially for downtempo and IDM can really expand your musical availabilities, and I spend a lot of time looking through Bandcamp. There are a lot of great producers which put their music on this platform, and I like that most of the money you spend on there goes directly to supporting the artists. So for this mix, I decided to take the opportunity and showcase just how far you can get with a few Euros, a lot of time, and an account on Bandcamp.
05. What can the listener expect?
I’d say you can expect a bubbly and trippy journey through danceable electronic music at some 126BPM, with a little downtempo outro to softly send you back into the outside world. There’s loads of pads coming your way, a few vocals, some almost-nasty-but-I-love-them sounds and interesting rhythms, made some time between the mid-’90s and now!
06. How does it compare to what we might hear you play out live?
I’d say it’s actually quite similar to music I play out, and many of the tracks have been “turning in my bag” (a.k.a on my USB) for a while. My approach to dance music has always been on the slightly softer and immersive side, so I’d play this kind of music out at peak-hour-adjacent slots!
07. What’s next on your list?
A very exciting project actually! We’re currently in the final stages of getting ready to distribute the first release of Feedback Waves, a joint project with Cleymoore and Nies under the Rings of Neptune umbrella. It’s a reissue label to give standout releases from the past their first appearance on vinyl, and our first release will be the iconic Trill from Palomatic, a beautiful nine-track album originally released in 1995. I have excitedly been playing out the test pressings for some weeks now, and can’t wait to hold the final copies in our hands!
XLR8R Subscribers can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R subscriber, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. Weith “Sonic Clickbait” (Touched Music)
02. Esem “noulli et” (deFocus)
03. Selffish “Aftertears” (Lagunamuch Records)
03. Tony Rainwater “Shower of Blossoms” (Dance All Day Records)
04. Omega Forest “Larka Island Race” (Dance All Day Records)
05. Glen S “To Infinity and Beyond” (Haws)
06. Biodive “Centrific” (Inch by Inch)
07. Setrus “Wek Tepid” (Goddezz)
08. Too Smooth Christ “Forbidden Bubblegum” (Self-Released)
09. nihilist__ “The Habitat” (Self-Released)
10. Laars and Cosmic G “End Point” (Goddezz)
11. VICARI “Weekore” (Self-Released)
12. Mouldy Soul “Whine and Shine” (UK Glitch Hop)
13. EU “Fenn” (Self-Released)
14. Fields of Mist “Don’t Worry” (Infinite Pleasure)