A personal collection for after hours grooving
DJ, producer, cartoonist and tea drinker Mr Scruff is someone that wows the crowds with his genre crossing mixes, playing Soul, Funk, Hip Hop, Jazz, Reggae, Latin, African, Ska, Disco, House, Funk, Breaks, Soundtracks & loads more. As a producer he draws on these influences, with a large dose of cheek and good humour. In the early days of the late 80’s Mr Scruff and avid record collector took a part time job at Kwik Save and ploughed all his earnings into vinyl. His first break came in 1994, when he met Barney Doodlebug who gave Scruff his first Manchester gig in Dry Bar, and he also passed a demo tape to local label Rob's Records, which resulted in them releasing Mr Scruff’s first 12" single. Between 1995 and 1997, he released further singles for Rob's Records subsidiary Pleasure, as well as sides for Echo Drop, Grand Central & Cup of Tea. His work for Grand Central with Mark Rae inspired some 4 deck club performances, including friendly 'battles' with DJ Food, which introduced him to the Ninja Tune fold. The release of more of Scruff’s productions resulted in increased DJ sets, playing regularly at the Electric Chair & Fat City nights in Manchester, and with Tru Thoughts in Brighton, and a four year residency at Off-Centre in London, as well as guest spots around the country. Upon the release of Mr Scruff’s 'Keep it Unreal' album on Ninja Tunes, it kick-started his Manchester club night of the same name, borne of a desire to play exactly what he wanted all night. The only real criteria is that the music has to have soul! The past couple of years have seen plenty of new releases from Mr Scruff, including ‘Donkey Ride/Giant Pickle’ , 'Pickled Spider' (with Kirsty Almeida), 'Dub Is For Real' (a collaboration with Maddslinky) and a ‘Keep It Unreal’ 10th anniversary album on Ninja Tune. And now he is back with a most excellent Southport Weekender CD with DJ Spinna.
DMC checks out what happens at Mr Scruff towers when the curtains are drawn...
1. Sam Dees 'What's It Gonna Be'
"My favourite tune from one of the best soul albums ever."
2. Creation Rebel 'Starship Africa'
"Incredible and unique dub album, one of the first dub LPs I bought back in the '80's and still one of my favourites. Perfect for a late night listening session!"
3. Gregory Porter 'Water'
"Another incredible album that is on constant rotation in our house, if I had to pick one stand out it would be '1960 What'."
4. Cedric 'Im' Brooks 'Silent Force'
"From the ace LP 'United Africa', a slice of deep, spiritual jazz/reggae for the twilight hours."
5. Kelan Phil Cohran 'Theme From 'African Skies'
"Phil Cohran has been a mainstay of the chicago jazz scene for over 50 years, and this soundtrack, created for Chicago's Adler Planetarium, sounds like the Cinematic Orchestra in places, deep, meditative & hypnotic."
6. The Pimps Of Joytime 'Tea Time'
"To lighten the mood, and to remind me to get the kettle on, this lovely little song about tea always hits the spot."
7. Mike Westbrook 'Metropolis 9'
"Absolute bliss on vinyl, and the closest thing I have ever heard to a perfect tune."
8. Sun Ra 'Languidity'
"Probably Sun Ra's most accessible and funky LP, this still has an edge but works for late night head nod business, without scaring your guests."
9. The In Crowd 'Back A Yard'
"Unfeasibly cheery steppers reggae tune with an irresistible bassline."
10. Johnny Hammond 'Gears'
"A serious contender for one of the best albums ever. Only 6 tunes and not a duff track in sight!"
Southport Weekender Vol 9 CD mixed by Mr Scruff & DJ Spinna is out now on Miroma Music