Little bit of hip-hop,
little bit of darkwave, whole lotta avant-garde.
Ruffin’s debut EP, Crash Course, hit the BLURT mail slot this weekend
and we’ve been spinning it nonstop ever since. Joy Division goes hip-hop? Just
maybe… So we were doubly chuffed to get the video for key track “I’m Creative” today.
Check it out:
the deal from Ruffin’s label, Stones Throw; the EP arrives in stores later this
month. He’s got a full-length in the works for 2012.
“In high school,” Vex
Ruffin recalls, “my favorites were The Cure and DMX.” It’s clear the
self-taught LA musician plays by nobody’s rules but his own. In fact, it’s easy
to picture Vex alternately brooding to ’80s New Wave goth and bobbing his head
to Ruff Ryders radio rap in his formative years. His lo-fi beatscapes,
punctuated by moody vocals, combine a Pretty
In Pink-era pop sensibility with a healthy dose of raw noise.
Maybe that’s what grabbed
Stones Throw label owner Peanut Butter Wolf when Vex’s demo arrived in the
mail. “It was kind of a fluke that I listened,” Wolf admits. “I called the
number on the CD, and Vex thought I was his friend playing a practical joke.”
But Wolf was dead serious, and Vex is the first and only artist signed to
Stones Throw on the strength of an unsolicited demo. Meanwhile, the artist also
known as Beastmaster emerges from his bedroom occasionally to electrify crowds
at Southern California venues like The Smell,
ground zero for LA’s avant-garde music scene.