S Ruston—jackin’, pumpin’, voguey, UK, ravey, some fast, some slow—she knows what you need and she’ll give it to you good. Having cut her teeth on the Bristol scene over 15 years ago, she started organising secret warehouse parties in London and playing at seminal bass music events such as DJ Pinch’s Subloaded and Dubloaded, while consistently threw it down at major UK festivals like Glastonbury, Glade, Shambala, Ashton Court and Bloc, under the alias Ghettozoid and with female booty bass collective Octopussy. She made it SXSW representing “UK Urban” with her band Bubbz & the Black Notez in 2010, before relocating to Berlin where she has divided her time between the decks and the studio. She founded the label One4Ho, focusing on 140 Bpm driven music with female led creative input, and has released as a producer and vocalist on Fabric’s Houndstooth imprint. In 2012 S Ruston served as Zebra Katz’s DJ on his first European tour, and continues to make occasional appearances at his gigs. She’s also worked closely with artists Linards Kulless and Ursula Hutchinson on music videos and VJ/DJ collaborations.
As a resident of femme-forward collective Lecken, she’s been making a name for herself on the city’s queer sex-positive party scene, serving it up at TrashEra, Riot, Hot Topic, Whole Festival, Pornceptual, Warning and more. With a new release on TrashEra Music, and with her reputation quickly spreading beyond Berlin, S Ruston guarantees a sweaty dance floor and an impeccable selection wherever she goes.
Please introduce yourself... Who are you, where are you and what are you?
‘I have a name, they call me Sophie’ I had that epiphany one birthday a few years back on a dance floor in Berlin. I have believed this to be true ever since. I would resign myself to being a human although I’ve spent many years trying to be some kind of a robot/replicant/strange being. I live in Berlin.
Where was the mix recorded?
I literally got given less than 2 days to make this (thanks guys!) - so in my studio/ cave at home using Ableton and Push 2
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
I’m always very happy to hear of my mixes being played at house parties, parties in general, whilst friends are exercising or getting ready to go out or generally for motivational situations.
What should we be wearing?
Hahahaha so many answers to this one, ummm functional clothing? Whatever feels right? Awkward massive shoulder pads? I dunno - massive shoes. No actually I know - A GOOD PAIR OF SOCKS, if it’s the one thing you do today, get those right.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
When CDJ’s and Ableton weren’t invented, I used to invite people for a house party to record my mixes so I could create a vibe in the room and get a decent take. Recently I’ve been really happy to upload some recorded mixes - and if there’s crowd noise then that’s absolutely my fave - pure vibes. There’s a couple of my sets at Lecken up on my SoundCloud and they give me goose bumps still, the memories of those nights are so strong, they take me right back to my happy place. Generally I like to keep things switched up so a mix of live recordings on vinyl and CDJ or something a bit more constructed on Ableton suits me fine.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Ooooof I’m not very good at picking favourites - Usually the newest in my collection - this time that would be Glaskin, Zero B (I’ve been re digging into my oldskool CD collection and also swapping oldskool tracks with mates) and I’m playing something from The Prodigy every set - No Good (Start the Dance) is just so right on so many levels. Most of the tracks in this mix I dropped at Else a few days ago, I wanted to encapsulate the same awesome energy from the party.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
Diplo’s Fabric mix was a game changer for me back in the day, I think my best pal Lizzie and I listened to that mix whilst getting ready every weekend (when we lived in Bristol) for at least a year!!! There’s a classic Daft Punk Essential Mix from the 90’s that’s gotta be in there too and a Speed Garage mix by Serious Danger on a CD that came with Ministry Magazine that I bought in 98. Still rocking those from time to time.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Hmmmm would probably have to be Mr C because I’m a MASSIVE The Shamen fan, I challenge any one of you to a ‘Shamen off’ any time. Randall - that would be sick, but would probably leave me feeling quite insecure haha.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
My bezzer mate Lizzie lent me some belt drives that had little mice that lived inside and kept things turning, then a mate at uni lent me his Technics SL1200’s for a while. Various Vestax mixers - think I bought a Vestax Scratch mixer in the end, oh and my mate Thinking had the sickest (I think Gemini) mixer that had EQ kill switches and was painted green - omg I loved that thing. Right now I only have Rekord Box at home and I’m resorting to hanging out at lots of mates places and having jam sessions and just tightening my skills up on the job - I think I finalllllllllllly know what all of the buttons on a CDJ mean now wahooooooooooo!
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
I have a folder called ‘Emotional Ending’ which I just LOVE - if I can make peoples faces melt at the end then I’m a happy DJ. HOWEVER back in the Octopussy (a female Booty Bass Collective I started) days I used to always make a themed intro track which was so much fun and set the scene. Recently I made an opening track with my pal ZFK and it was so perfect for setting the scene (You can hear that on my Lecken Closing set mix on SoundCloud btw)
What were the first and last records you bought?
First record I ever bought was The Streets ‘Has it Come to This’ I played the Stanton Warriors Remix. Last record I bought was - oh actually I bought a shit ton from HHV oooops (I blame KILLA) - wanted to get some DnB and bass in for my Wax Treatment set and got a bit carried away with Krust, Pinch, Alix Perez, Die, Goldie etc etc. And I bought The prodigy, The Fat of the Land for someone very special <3.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
Ewwww for some reason the first thing that jumped into my mind was an ash tray??? Fuck, I hope not, ummmmm a bag of Salt n Vinegar crisps, some Jaffa cakes and a mug of hot Ribena (all the things I miss in Berlin, if anyone fancies posting me those then please do)
If it was an animal what would it be?
First thing that jumped into my mind was a crocodile - I’m okay with that.
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Oh that has to be Aphex Twin - Window Licker. That was my weapon back in the Bristol days when people would mix directly out of my set and/or see that I was really getting the party pumping and wanting to jump on 30+ mins early - hahah take that you A Holes.
Upcoming in the world of...
I guess you mean me (looks over shoulder) ummmmm yeah I gotta write a couple of tracks for a vinyl release EEEEEEEK, and I’m finding it hard to factor in the time. Currently listening to self help audio books about time scheduling and in the process probably wasting more time but Oh well........ Yep and I just became a resident at Wilde Renate which makes me super happy and I have lots of ideas I’m buzzing about and discussing with my family there.
Anything else we need to discuss? Yeah I’ll leave you all with a quote:
‘Family, warlike virility, modesty — all the traditional moral values are intended to keep the genders in their assigned role. Men as soldiers for the state, women as the slaves of men. In the end, we are all enslaved, our sexualities confiscated, policed and normalized. There is always a social class which has an interest in maintaining things as they are...’ - Virginie Despentes
Follow Sophie on Soundcloud HERE.