We’re all used to the Rusko exclamation “Put ’em up put ’em up put ’em up!” when we see him at a live show, shouting at the crowd over the mic. Well now he wants us to lift him up, as he dropped the Lift Me Up EP on Skrillex’s OWSLA label today. Anticipation for the three-song release began just a couple weeks ago with some teaser hype and even a free download of the track “Take Off” back at the beginning of June.
I feel like there is some divide among Rusko fans. There are those who have been following the Brit since day one, when he was producing raw and grimy Dubstep tracks. Then there are fans of the newer-school Rusko who began producing lighter, happy-go-lucky Dubstep that some refer to as Brostep. While I like both sides of his work, I’ve found myself with a sense fondness in regard to his more recent stuff, especially with the Reggae-infused LP Songs that came out last year. Again, I like all sides of Rusko’s music but I also appreciate that he originally emerged with a unique sound and that he continues to evolve his sound to remain unique. Make sense?
Lift Me Up is strictly Drum & Bass (DnB) – all tracks clock in at 175bpm. Personally this doesn’t come as a surprise, as I learned Rusko would be moving in the DnB direction after I spoke with one of our now-mutual friends (shout out Speez!). The production value remains extremely high and the songs have a bit of flavor similar to the last two releases (which includes the Kapow EP). While “Lift Me Up” and “Murda Sound” are more aggressive tunes, they manage to incorporate melodic synths and vocal samples that allow the tracks to appeal to a wider range of people. “Starlight”, featuring Claes Rosen, is the ballad of the three tunes and reminds me a bit of something Netsky or Sub Focus would put out. My early favorite from the EP would be “Murda Sound” but that can change at any moment.
Overall, the Lift Me Up EP is a VERY solid release from Rusko and I’m very excited to see him play these tracks live at Wavefront Music Festival in Chicago this weekend. If you Boston folks reading this are around on the 5th, make sure to head to Ocean Club to see him spin. Tickets are still available.