Rufftrax Vol.4 is the latest instalment of Ruffhouse, a Munich label dedicated to bringing you an eclectic taste of club tracks from across the globe. The team behind it take their time to release the best they can offer, with each volume taking a year to curate.
There are a couple of usual suspects who are welcomed back on this new record: Koala, Lowquid, Yonkers Tale and Mignon, as well as label leader Top Shotta. There’s also a host of new faces including Desto, Filter Dread and L-Vis 1990, who debuts on the label with a percussive tech banger.
Under Top Shotta’s guidance, the label has evolved to become one of the most forward-thinking smaller curators. For those unaware of the brand, this release should tell all you need to know about their abstract, exploratory and borderless club sounds. Every volume of Rufftrax has formed a community and supported up and coming artists as well as focusing on Munich locals like Schlachthofbronx, and Sturmmaske.
To celebrate the launch of the new compilation record, we had a chat with the producers who let us in on how they made each track.
1. Koala – Base
I’ve had this melody recorded for some months, I just haven’t had a chance to finish the track. Finally had the right mindset, so I recorded some more synths, added some noise and drums, and after a few tweaks, it was emotional enough for clearing the dancefloors. – Koala
2. Lowquid – The Fall
This was an experiment I tried, after drawing a connection between some rhythms in Durban and NY Ballroom music that I was listening to at the time. I wanted the beat to evolve throughout the song, but also added a pretty simple melody to keep the overall theme like a cold horror movie or something. – Lowquid
3. Lyeform – Eyes of the Zodiac
I made this track in 2016 when I was travelling in Colombia. I was limited to just my laptop so hand programmed the synth lines and percussion, which is different from my normal hardware/hands-on production style. This resulted in a lot of playfulness with the synth and drums interacting and falling out of time with each other. – Lyeform
4. Desto – Flicker Blade
The melody stem for Flicker Blade is from 2016 when I was heavily touring with a side project and didn’t have time to finish anything, so when Shotta asked for a track I went through a bunch of these loops, had a beer and made the rest of the track in an hour. I wanted it to sound like a cross between a panic attack and a semantic translation of car alarms in the night. The wails in the background are from a Soma Lyra-8 which is a beautiful piece of chaos. – Desto
5. Yonkers Tale – Clone A31
I produced this track to fit seamlessly into the compilation and I managed to finish it in about 2-3 short studio sessions. In order to get it done properly, I chopped some vocals and gave the drums a very mechanical groove so it can be a longstanding Future Schranz classic. – Yonkers Tale
6. Circuit 900 – Yabao
Yabao started off as a rough UK Funky-inspired drum track, but over time it naturally morphed into this darker synth-laden version. – Circuit 900
7. L-Vis 1990 – Untitled 5 4 Track
I wrote this track back in 2015 when i was living in NYC. It was part of series of club tracks i didn’t up releasing because I shifted my focus to vocal production and my mixtape 12 Thousand Nights. I’ll be clearing out the vaults and dropping the rest of the tunes from that series later this year. – L-Vis 1990
8. Cabasa & Lack – Untitled
This is the very first track we collabed on. We surprisingly finished it super quick even though we’d never worked together before. We never found the right name for it though. – Cabasa
9. Mignon – Wasted DNA feat. Moldy
The track is based in dance music, yet expresses the confusing and chaotic nature of youth with Asian instruments and skewed rap styles. – Mignon
10. Sturmmaske – Egal [Yonkers Tale & Top Shotta Remix]
I know Sturmmaske from way back and was positively surprised when he dropped his debut effort last year, so it was an obvious step to remix one of his tracks together with Yonkers Tale. In contrast to the original we set the emphasis on the drums, used just some strings on the main theme and turned the hook into a siren frenzy. The workflow was good and we managed to finish that one in just one studio session and had another one for the mixdown. – Top Shotta
11. Yonkers Tale & Top Shotta – Power Supply 24 V
Yonkers and I worked on some drum patterns on one of our very productive studio sessions we had last summer then all of a sudden my phone rang and I went outside to talk some stuff out with the person who called me and came back around 20 mins later. Meanwhile, he layed down some serious basslines on the drums and we eventually just did some tweaks here and there and finished one of our best tracks up to now. – Top Shotta
12. Tymotica – Galaxies of Dust [Schlachthofbronx Remix]
We got our hands on the original a while ago and managed to build this thing, mainly for using it in our live sets. then it slowly got a life of itself, built a momentum, lots of ID requests – and we even had to fight off another, pretty high profile label who wanted the tune for an original release as well. It obviously belongs to the ruffhouse gang, though. Munich family! – Schlachthofbronx
13. Filter Dread – Micro Bionics
Inspired by a warehouse rave in Brighton, I went back to the studio with the intent of causing as much intricate confusion as possible. I selected an unknown jungle break and ran it through a Yamaha pitch distorter. I set the track to a Techno template and zoomed in on the matrix, which gave me 64 beats in each bar. Then I programmed the track from top 2 bottom and shaped some ambient pads into the mix. – Filter Dread
Limited edition CDs are out now, whilst digital copies are available March 15.
Buy it here.