Chewy Rubs immersed in an eclectic mix of music. He learned to mix rather than learning to drive, wisely buying his first 1200’s instead of a car. He passed his test with flying colors and first graced the wheels of steel in his hometown of Hereford at the legendary ‘Naughty But Nice’ during the mid-nineties. Having moved to Glasgow and then onto London he continued his musical education by working in a central London vinyl emporium where the endless supply of fresh vinyl, back catalogues and being encircled by renowned independent shops like fat Cat, Black Market, Sista Ray and Phonica meant he could continuously indulge his passion for rare, limited edition and imported wax. Production was a natural next step and after mastering Ableton and with the help of Soundcloud, his influences gelled into the Chewy Rubs sound. A steady tranche of killer edits followed and support has come from Greg Wilson, Tiger & Woods, Derek Kaye, Danny Krivit, Fingerman & Yam Who? along with a growing global fan base across social media by those who just love to Disco.
Chewy Rubs continues to deliver a steady stream of new edits. His new tracks are always eagerly anticipated by DJ’s and fans via social media and on key labels. 2018 is looking strong with his new label, original productions and new website releasing high quality downloads, exclusive vinyl and other merchandise in the near future.
We had the chance to talk with Chewy Rubs as he recently released his latest EP ‘Stripped Feather’ on Fall From Grace Records.
Electronic Groove: Hi Chewy, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. You started djing in the 90’s. What can you tell us about those initial days and your local scene?
Chewy Rubs: Thanks for having me! A pleasure to be here! I grew up in a small town in Herefordshire called Leominster on the Welsh border. The early 90’s was all about house, techno, breaks, hardcore and raving for me… Couldn’t get enough of Cowboy, Guerrilla, Junior Boys Own, Strictly Rhythm, Fresh Fruit, Cleveland City, Stress Records, Suburban Base, Moving Shadow Records, R&S, among many others. None of them was available locally so my mates and I had to travel between London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Cheltenham to get my hands on hottest tracks… Some of which I’m still looking for now! Not many clubs around but the free party vibe was pretty amazing, to be honest.
All my mates mixed, had a love for music or just wanted a good time. Then we started doing our own parties in a friend’s barn in the middle of nowhere… Started small, then went crazy…. Sometimes it would coincide with the legendary night in Hereford called ‘Naughty but Nice’. The promoter would somehow persuade DJ’s like Jeremy Healey, Jon Dasilva and the Luv Dup Brothers to grace the decks after the club so you can imagine the numbers at times got a bit out of hand but never any trouble, just people wanting a good time and a place to get off their heads. The largest I remember was a local party involving the Nottingham crew D.I.Y, enlightening me to the bouncy sound of Pez, Digs & Woosh and Emma. The party had roadblocks on every leading road by 5 am and made The Guardian on Sunday! Due to Criminal Justice bill things quietened down as you can imagine but managed to get gigs in local pubs/bars and was lucky enough to play upstairs at ‘Naughty but Nice’ later in the 90’s with Mark Thomas banging out Nu Skool Breaks and D&B. Then I moved to Glasgow where I was introduced to Fat Cat Records and continued my long obsession with Detroit, buying anything from artists like Jeff Mills, Axis and Purpose Maker, UR, Robert Hood and Dave Clarke, also was educated in hip hop and rap by The Operators.
Just a small snippet of the huge influence the decade had on me musically…Blessed to have felt a part of it! My favorite memory of the 90’s has to be jumping the fence at Glastonbury 95 only to stumble into Orbital rocking out ‘Impact’ live…A seminal moment for me!
Electronic Groove: Do you have any special track from back in the day that you currently play or you would like to remix?
Chewy Rubs: Tough question, Although Chewy Rub’s edits are of past favorites, to get my hands on the parts for X-press 2 ‘Say What’ would be a lot of fun. It’s definitely one of the holy grails that shouldn’t be touched and is a timeless masterpiece, but that never stopped me in the past. Original always in the bag!
Electronic Groove: We recently heard your latest EP, ‘Spitting Feathers’. What can you tell us about the inspiration behind it?
Chewy Rubs: I have a large passion for the tougher, deep and darker vibe and wanted to start sharing some of my own productions that aren’t just cut n’ paste edits. Hopefully, all reflecting my influence from house, techno and disco over the last decade or two.
Electronic Groove: Where it was recorded and what kind of gear did you use?
Chewy Rubs: All of my work is recorded in my little room out back and done on a Mac Book Pro. My preferred program to work on is Ableton, due to ease and its simplicity. Other than that I have a nice pair of monitors, Midi controller, a mic and a quality pair of cans. Surely you don’t want me to share my plug-in list.
Have to say a huge thanks to Mik Rowlatt, Joel Xavier, Steve Tarvell, Dave Gardner and Glenn Morrison for the use of their knowledge and studio swagger in the development of this record…I seemed to have turned this into the Oscar’s 😉
Electronic Groove: How does this EP compare in terms of personal achievement to past ones?
Chewy Rubs: All my past releases have mostly been edits and remixes of other people’s music, so it’s really exciting to finally release tracks that have come from me and hopefully have a bit of originality.
“My favorite memory of the 90’s has to be jumping the fence at Glastonbury 95 only to stumble into Orbital rocking out ‘Impact’ live”
Electronic Groove: Your recently EG Podcast is packed with soul and bouncy grooves. Can you name any artists that inspired you to define your sound?
Chewy Rubs: Too many Influences and idols to name here but to name a few I would certainly say Jeff Mills, Marley Marl, Todd Terry, Moodyman, Freddy Fresh, Martin Buttrich, Claude Von Stroke, Lindstrom, Prins Thomas, Johnny D and more recently Oliver $, Waze & Odyssey, Session Victim and The Revenge.
Got my father to thanks for the soul.
Electronic Groove: Is remixing as exciting as developing a new production from scratch?
Chewy Rubs: It’s all exciting and a fresh canvas to be honest but have to admit it’s always nice to get fresh beats and samples from other producers to remix. The possibilities are endless. Tend not to listen to the original version if possible, and then see what I can come up with without a reference…That’s exciting! Have to say you never lose the personal sentiment and attachment to your own productions though.
Electronic Groove: What other music do you like to listen when chilling and unwinding?
Chewy Rubs: I love to relax to early roots, dub and ska. Always makes me smile and shuffle. It would be my choice if I got stuck on an island for sure. Jazz, funk or soul depending on the mood but my ears are full of disco, house and techno. I could relax to Joey Beltram’s ‘Energy Flash’.
Chewy Rubs’ ‘Striped Feather’ is already available. Grab your copy here.
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