RÜFÜS / Atlas

A few days ago, a band we recently interviewed (read that here), on no more than a whim, released their debut studio album ‘Atlas’.  I’m talking about Australian indie dance outfit RÜFÜS. We were handed an opportunity to speak to these guys by 9PR, and after doing a little research, soon realised it’d be very much more than worthwhile, considering their huge international following, despite the fact we hadn’t already stumbled across them at all. The interview came back and they seemed like great guys that had the whole world in their hands (bit like god and that) as well as already having experienced some incredible things in their relatively short career. All this being said it was, as it should be, the music that really grabbed our attention. After growing a rather out of character affection for single ‘Desert Night’, even as far as sending it to the brains behind one of Lincoln’s favourite club nights, Above Below, to see whether he could use it in his set. Which of course after just one listen, he did, and has done ever since. Naturally this led to an interest in hearing the rest of the album, and on the 25th of April, it was released in the UK. Equally as natural, I’ve sat down to get some writing done, so I can ram it down all your throats too.

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With an open mind, considering dance music really isn’t my thing, I embarked on the odyssey that is ‘Atlas’, and what the fuck, I’m now a dance music fan. Well, let’s not go too mental, I’m a RÜFÜS fan anyway. With thirteen tracks on offer, it became a chore on the first listen to find one I didn’t love. This happens so infrequently as well. Kicking things off with ‘Sundream’, a song I half expected to be an intro track, probably instrumental, but was actually a steadily building electronic synth fest. Beginning gently and driving into a gorgeous chorus with falsetto vocals and a driving drum beat. How could this album progress to get much better? I’ll tell you if you hang on. Second song, ‘Take Me’ is an instant favourite and was actually the first single release from the album. With overtones of Klaxons and Friendly Fires but with a much fresher edge and some smoky, sexy vocals it almost becomes the more up-tempo brother of ‘Desert Night’ and makes me wish I’d had this played at Above below instead. Luckily I’ll be able to play it myself at our collaborative bank holiday special this Sunday, ‘Decadance’ at Quo Vadis, in Lincoln… little bit of self promotion there. But you better believe with an opportunity to play anything electro this is definitely going to be happening as it’s one of those tracks you can listen to over and over and over again, and after you do, I don’t care if you live in a monastery, you’ll want to be in town, wiggling the night away. Another suspected peak, but as before, continuing on to third track ‘Tonight’ and especially forth track ‘Modest Life’, they are all as catchy as each other, and the lyrics and vocal delivery keep you on full attention, and only make the yearning for the weekend that much greater.

‘Rendezvous’ is the first sign of things steadying the tempo down, and with the track listing in front of me I can see why. But to be honest, it just picks up again, and is consistent as the first half of the album has been, making it look like sixth track and second single, the aforementioned ‘Desert Night’ might actually be the most down tempo track of the whole thing. Not bad considering, as I said, it’s been moving dance floors full of people for a good few months now. I could go on and on about ‘Desert Night’ but I think I’ve already eluded quite sufficiently to the fact I can’t get enough of it, so my suggestion at this time is to just get on and listen to it yourself. Also check the video, because that’s an absolute mind blower as well, in all the strangest of ways.

Following this comes an instrumental interlude entitled ‘Simplicity is Bliss’, and it becomes one of the few times I’ve ever been quite glad to see an instrumental show up. Sometimes they can be classed as filler, but it’s an amazingly well produced, three-minute masterpiece, with the tempo ascending throughout, and the simplicity they mention in the track title disappearing entirely as it becomes more technical and spell binding. It is also a very welcome addition to the LP, and perfectly placed.

From there it carries on consistently, and still entirely filler-less with each track impressing in its own way. I could go on forever and analyse every little bit of every track, but this review would end up being very long. So in my opinion, you ought to check it out for yourself. If you’re a house music fan, or a dance music fan, you’ll love it. If you’re an electronica fan, you’ll love it. If you’re none of the above, a lot like me, you’ll become enlightened, and what an amazing feeling, denouncing the hatred you’ve always had of the monotonous and repetitive, emotionless and thoughtless impression you get from dance music. I guess that’s why RÜFÜS have become so huge in Australia, because they’re just that good at what they do, and I for one, want to be at the front of the campaign that get’s them noticed in the UK a lot more. It looks like a bright future, for a great band, and what a start it’s been.

Atlas is available to purchase NOW.

Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)

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