[Playlist] Rusko’s Current Inspirations
[Playlist] Rusko’s Current Inspirations Photo by DGTLconcepts

Responsible for putting dubstep on the global map in 2007 with his now-iconic FabricLive.37 release alongside Caspa, the one and only Rusko emerged as an early pack leader for the new breed of international dubstep artists, and today remains a revered figure within the genre. Known best for his quirky, UK wobble-clad production style exemplified in signature tracks like “Woo Boost,” “Mr Chips,” “Jahova,” and “Hammertime,” Rusko continues to solidify his legacy a decade later with the same unquenchable amounts of energy, power and personality.

The original Cockney Thug fully rejuvenated his career back in 2015 with the aid of longtime musical partner and friend Caspa, as they found themselves joining forces once again in the studio during a fateful visit back home to the UK. The results from that well-documented collaborative return resulted in the creation of an album’s worth of new production material quickly followed by their first ever billed B2B show with Bassrush in the fall of 2015. Since then, Rusko has reappeared with a vengeance and is shining brighter than ever before as he navigates through the global dubstep community that has morphed greatly since he first helped shape it a decade ago.

To get a sense of the tracks that inspire and fuel Rusko in today’s scene, we were caught up with the living legend as he prepares to link up with Datsik and his Ninja Nation tour this Saturday night in Los Angeles. Check his exclusively curated playlist below, followed by his commentary on each of the 14 tracks.

Rusko ft. Dangerous, Simskai & Frakture “Walalangleng”
“Brand spanking new one from me, always a highlight of the DJ set and—drum roll—coming out on my new EP this spring.”

Sir Spyro ft. Capo Lee & D Double E “Mud” (JD Reid Remix)
“Everything is indeed ‘mud’ with this dirty capo tune, given the classic grime refix by JD Reid.”

Dark0 “HYLI”
“Dark0’s new record on XL has blown my mind, but this classic from a few years back is a sweet midpoint between traditional 2-step and the future grime Dark0 is well known for.”

Loom “Tokyo Cleanse”
“I absolutely love the sonics and the space on this track; it really feels like a Japanese urban landscape would sound.”

Dexplicit ft. Chip, Swiss, Black the Ripper, Flowdan, Rocks Foe, Durrty Goodz “Link Up Season”
“‘How many guests?’ asks no one after hearing some of the ‘Topper Top’ names in the scene go hard on this super wonky beat. Hype, hype, hype! Goodz and Flowdan rock my fave bars here.”

Spooky & Boylan “Low Rider”
“Two producers making big moves here in the UK team up for a low-slung number that sits between US and UK hip-hop styles perfectly…and the bassline melody is sick.”

Iglew “Regalia”
“Probably my favorite in the playlist. I wish there was more Iglew tracks out there. Pure 100% future grime; space darkness and more space. Hypnotic.”

“Been chatting to P Money online about getting a collab done and it excites me very much, especially when I remember tracks like this; aggressive yet very intelligent flows for the discerning roadman.”

Swifta Beater “Choir Gang VIP”
“Just about every UK MC has a track with that ‘Swifta Productions’ sample underneath. This dog gets everywhere! This is just for when you rolling up somewhere in the whip and you wannabe a bad man.”

President T “King of Grime”
“Super uplifting chords with a super different vocal style here. Pres. T is one of those love or hate guys and I love him! A Manchester accent always stands out too in a world of allllllllll London twang.”

DBM “Halo”
“Boxed London boys’ cheeky collaboration. This is a lovely uplifting jam with nods to garage in the way. Spa vibes.”

Raye “I, U, Us” (Murlo Remix)
“Could have chosen any Murlo track but this recent remix has been in my Top 10 most played tracks on my phone for a couple months now! Amazing melodies but still North Pole atmosphere.”

Wiley “Step 10” (Produced by Dullah Beats)
“Really wanted to put a Dullah Beats track on here and then I remembered that on Wiley’s ‘Steps’ mixtape he used one for a track! Taking the hype from 10 to 11.”

Deadboy “Sad Sniper”
“I can’t wait for new Deadboy releases. Sound design and vibe creation are second to none and this is a perfect example of how sometimes the gaps are what make the groove; pitch black and icy cold.”