Rico Tubbs - Musical Buffet
Finnish DJ/producer Rico Tubbs pumped all the sounds he finds hot right now – such as electro, hip hop and Baltimore – into his debut album Knuckle Sandwich. Now he’s bringing the results to Good Vibrations. Words by 3D’s Cyclone.
The idea of a Finn putting his twist on Baltimore club music would be absurd if it weren’t for Rico Tubbs. But, yes, the eccentric DJ/producer – real name – has done just that with his debut album, Knuckle Sandwich.
“It reflects everything I like in club music: hip hop, breaks, nu-rave, electro, indie-dance, Bmore, fidget house, bassline, disco, old school rave...,” Pentti says. “I think there’s almost everything I like in there except metal and jazz.”
It transpires that, thanks to the internet, ‘Bmore’ is big news in Finland. At any rate, Pentti is thrilled by the reaction to Knuckle Sandwich. He’ll now follow with a remix album, again on Atomic Hooligan’s Menu Music. “[Knuckle Sandwich] came together more as an accident than something [that was] planned,” he confesses. “I just happened to come up with more tracks than my label could release as singles. I think the ‘artist’ album as a format for dance music is obsolete, so I had no special goals with it. My only aim was just to try to get together a solid bunch of club tracks so it wouldn’t end up like most ‘artist’ albums – with experimental tracks and only a few dancefloor tunes. So far the response has been great – [it’s been] much better than I expected, as it sounds quite raw and covers a lot of genres, which some purists may not like. The diverse DJ support has really surprised me as well. I think I heard Gangsters play in three different tents at the Glade festival – in one of them it was being played at +20 pitch in some breakcore or gabba noise set!”
Hailing from Tampere, Pentti has been active in the Finnish scene since the mid-’90s. He started what was purportedly the country’s first breakbeat label (Pyssy). Pentti is also in the outfit Skillsters, who dropped the earliest Finnish hip hop LP in 2000. And then he was involved in the big beat Bomfunk MCs – although after their global crossover hit Freestyler.
“All the band members are now pursuing their solo projects so, while the band exists, it’s not active,” he says. “I did really enjoy touring and playing with a full seven-piece live band. It was something different from the DJing I normally do. I also learned how the mainstream music industry works, how big record companies and radio [stations] bribe each other, and [I realised] that I never want to work with major labels.”
Pentti also DJs as Infekto, a further complication. He identifies Rico Tubbs with “straight-up club music,” while Infekto leans towards broken beat. Today Pentti distances himself from new school breaks. He doesn’t stay still. “My tastes change all the time. I’ve always been interested in the new – be it trip hop and jungle in the early ’90s, big beat, breaks, speed garage, filter house [and] nu-jazz later, and indie, electro, dubstep and Bmore now. I’m just addicted to hearing new music and trying different things in my production.”
WHO: Rico Tubbs
WHAT: Plays Good Vibrations, Centennial Parklands
WHEN: Saturday 14 February