For my fellow, naïve American folk, who have never heard of a “rusk”, it is a hard, dry biscuit or twice-baked bread. More importantly, the love for these rusk cookies were the inspiration DJ and producer, Chris Mercer, used to spawn his stage name, Rusko.
The chemical makeup of what makes Rusko a catapult performer and producer is quite simple. Just add some ruthless bass and tempo, and the end product will always be Dubstep dynamite. However, the formula he has been using in recent months to rock both festivals and venues alike, follows a different kind of musical blueprint than what we've come to expect from the DJ.
Having the privilege to chat with Rusko backstage before his set, he admits that he has switched gears from the main ingredient of his music, being Dubstep to Drum and Bass.
“For so long, I tried to record Drum and Bass tracks even while I had successful Dubstep tracks out. However, it didn't sound quite right yet. The genre is such a precious thing to me, I didn't want to try and make a half-assed attempt at recording anything that was sub par. Only recently did I nail it in the studio, making sure that it sounds proper and good,” Rusko says.
With the release of recent singles such as, “Lift Me Up” and “Starlight”, Rusko enthusiasts will definitely be able to recognize the progression from his earlier tracks. The new material has much more of a frenzied Jungle flavor, while his older tracks have more of a calculated cohesion.
“Back in 2005, people weren't familiar with Dubstep music and were very confused by it. Now, they know what it is and have figured out how to dance to it. As an artist, it’s more fun to challenge the audience with music they haven’t heard yet. I love the reaction of, ‘Oh my god, I don’t know what this is but I’m totally down to get into it!,’ I love surprising my fans with something new and different,” Rusko confesses.
Nevertheless, Rusko has mastered the art of being able to slowly transition his audiences to grow musically alongside him. Instead of shying away from change, Rusko bravely burrows through it. As a result of his artistic growth, Rusko has managed to navigate the map of musical success, with an audience more than happy to follow.