Kettering-based beatsmith Dan Haug, aka Ruckus Roboticus, concocts a fusion of hip-hop, electronic music and funk that has him in league with heavies like Kid Koala and Cut Chemist. When he’s not winning the award for “Best DJ Mix” from Rock Star Games, Scion and Solid Steel Radio, or gaining support from national and international radio (NPR, BBC Radio 1, WFMU, KCRW), the prolific crate digger is occasionally gigging around town. In fact, he’ll be the headlining act at this year’s Cyclops Festival on September 15 at John Bryan Center in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Ghettoblaster caught up with Haug while he prepared for the event for a little Q&A about the happenings in Ruckus land. Here’s what he told us…
It has been a big year so far in the Ruckus camp. How was the Bootsy Collins show?
It was amazing! It was like I got to be a “rockstar” for a day… I had a dressing room backstage, and was mingling with Bootsy’s band. He and his band put on such a good show. It was also a good learning experience. No matter what you do, there are some audience members that don’t like the opening act! Lesson learned.
How do you describe your sound to people who haven’t heard you?
I make audio collages. I throw a little bit of everything into the mix … but it’s mostly funk, hip-hop and electronic music And they usually end up on dance-ier side of things. When I perform live, I try to recreate the collages as a one-man-band – playing samples, scratches, and loops.
Have people been responding as you anticipated to “Take Me To A Disco.”
To be honest, I wasn’t sure how people would respond!
Did the video for that end up in rotation at MTVu?
It did end up in rotation on MTVu. It wasn’t easy though … It was selected to be in a contest to win air time – and because of a lot of hard work from my supporters and everyone involved in the video – we won!
How much closer to being done with your next full-length are you?
I would say it’s about two thirds complete. It’s getting there.
You performed at the premiere Cyclops Festival, correct? How did you get involved with the organizers?
Yes, that’s correct. I met Justin Galvin a while ago, my wife and him were coworkers briefly … and we kept in touch ever since. We both are passionate about music, and the arts.
What is it about a festival performance that is contrary or complimentary to how you perform and your sound?
Festivals can be tough as a performer because there is not much time to setup and sound-check between acts. But on the other hand, it can be nice to perform outdoors, in the open air. I’m used to playing small bars and clubs, which can be crowded and congested. It’s nice to be out in the open, and there should be plenty of room for people to dance!
Do you have anything special planned for your performance at the event?
I’m still figuring it all out – but I hope to perform some of my new, unreleased songs. I have a two-hour time slot – so I think I will probably do my one-man-band performance and then do some deejaying to end my set.
What does the rest of 2012 have in-store for Ruckus Roboticus?
I’m frantically trying to finish my album, and I’m also releasing another single from it – called “Thank God It’s Funky” featuring vocals from Spanky Wilson. Speaking of which, I’m having a record release and music video premiere party September 20 at One Eyed Jack’s in Dayton, Ohio for that song.