Canadian bassist, producer and engineer Curtis Ruptash is as talented as he is benevolent, and trust us he's very benevolent. His vast discography stretches back to the late 80s and has seen him make up part of several bands and projects including Peabody & Sherman, BassKase, Frostback and Light Industry.
Perhaps the most notable project was in partnership with his friend Brian Schultze under the guise of Guerilla Welfare. First operating during the late 80s, the duo released three albums before calling it a day, but their unique sound, mastered through multi-media techniques, would not be lost forever. Thanks to Portland's Musique Plastique imprint, some of the band's best tracks were reissued on a compilation called The Nature Of Human Nature last year - a release which they explored in depth for us at Ransom Note.
Here he eases us into the new week with a mix of dubwise, ambient and experimental musings, which is entirely made up of his own productions...
Please introduce yourself... Who are you, where are you, what are you?
Curtis Ruptash here. Hanging out by my lonesome in my studio, the Wayback Machine. I’m a Canadian producer/bassist based in Chicago.
Tell us about the Monday mixtape you’ve put together for us.
To me, Mondays about reflecting on what’s happened and looking ahead to where to go next. This mixtape draws from my catalog of releases (under several banner heads) between 1986 to the present and beyond, including two RN-exclusive tracks slotted for release in 2020.
If it were to be drawn what would it look like?
A Snakes and Ladders board game – slips, trips and happy leg-ups.
If it were a food what would it be?
Goat curry – spicy, lean, a bit gristly with the occasional sharp bone.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
The mix is a bit of a fever dream – hit the sauna and turn out the lights!
What should we be wearing?
Def not a parka… fig leaf?
Where was it recorded?
I assembled and tweezed the mix here in Chicago at The Wayback Machine.
Are you on the same wavelength as the boomtown rats or do you actually like Mondays?
I think of Mondays as Wednesday’s Friday. So, all good!
Who got you hooked on electronic music?
Kraftwerk baited the hook, King Tubby, Einstürzende Neubauten and Eno had me bite down hard, and contemporary artists like Afrikan Sciences, Flying Lotus and Hieroglyphic Being keep me gnawing away.
Who would you say are your biggest influences and what are you hoping to achieve with your music?
Whoa – well… “studio as instrument” heavyweights (KT, Lee Scratch Perry, Eno), jazz greats (Miles, Coltrane), improvisational artists (Fred Firth, Art Ensemble of Chicago, John Zorn) and “non-Western” music (afrobeat, juju, gamelan, classical Indian, et al). I just hope to string some ideas together than like each other.
What were your original aspirations as musicians and how do you think you're shaping up?
Mainly, as a desperate attempt to get noticed by women. My wife says it’s still not working for me…
What was the first electronic record you heard and how did it make you feel?
Kraftwerk’s Autobahn. I was a bass player in a rock band and I felt like I may have chosen the wrong instrument/genre.
How does your brain work when making music? How does it work when you aren’t?
When I’m working on music, the neurons are firing away and my brain just let them ricochet around until the dents on my skull form an interesting pattern. When not working on music, it’s banging out the dents to make a fresh canvas.
What were the first and last records you bought?
First record I bought was the second Steppenwolf record (I wuz a rocker…). Most recent was “Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun” by the fantastic Chicago artist, Ben Lamar Gay.
What are you obsessed with at the moment?
Heavy into pickling stuff (other than just my mind).
If you could travel in time...where in time would you go? Why?
I’d got back to last Thursday and figure out where I left my keys. Cuz it’s cold outside.
Some self help questions for a Monday...
Am I excited to dive into the challenges that I have lined up for the week?
Mixed bag. The weather is looking like crap, so indoor challenges – yes. Outdoor – not so much.
Am I looking forward to engaging with the people I am meeting or working with?
Yes - mainly because I’ve made it a practice to only work with people I enjoy being around.
Am I going to my dream job?
I’m self employed – great job, lousy boss…
Am I being compensated fairly for the value I bring to my job?
Intrinsically – yes! Extrinsically – not so much. Same ol’, same ol’.
Do I feel energised, rested, and confident?
Maybe?! I’m not sure what those states really feel like anymore…
If you were trapped on a desert island with one other person, who would you choose? How long would it be before you eat them?
No one specific comes to mind. With the right preparation, I’d line up someone who eats a lot of smoky and spicy foods. Prefer them pre-seasoned! Probably give it about 20 minutes before I’d tuck in.
Your doctor says you need more exercise....what do you take up for exercise?
Pint-to-mouth arm curls
What's your answer to everything?
Anything else we need to discuss?
We really need to talk about those shoes of yours…
BassKase – Ich Bin Ein Berliner [Unreleased (RN exclusive preview)]
Peabody & Sherman – Plane Track [PS I Love You 2019]
Guerilla Welfare – Thought Breeds Fear [Guerilla Welfare 1986]
BassKase – Once Upon A Time In The Midwest [Once Upon A Time In The Midwest 2019]
Peabody & Sherman – Lonesome Cowboy [Dub Workshop Vol. 1 2007]
BassKase – Was It Toronto? [Was It Toronto? 2019]
Marrow Thieves – Bringer Of Wasps [Marrow Thieves 2019]
Guerilla Welfare / Mary Howes – Rock-A-Bye [Evidence I Was Here 1991]
Sahaja – Seven Reasons (Peabody and Sherman Remix) [PS I Love You 2019]
BassKase – Chicago August (Alice Version) [Once Upon A Time In The Midwest 2019]
Guerilla Welfare – Atom Bomb [Guerilla Welfare 1986]
Peabody & Sherman – Something Else For Now [PS I Love You 2019]
BassKase – Don’t Ask How [Unreleased (RN exclusive preview)]
BassKase – Elevator Music [Was It Toronto? 2019]
Saru – The Trap (Peabody & Sherman Remix) [The Trap EP 2007]
Guerilla Welfare – So, Today [Rhesus Pieces 1988]
Enjoy this article? Want more?
You can support Ransom Note and independent journalism through our Patreon campaign now.
Become a friend of Ransom Note