Born Christopher Mercer in Leeds, England, Rusko’s musically curious family life led him inevitably to a degree in music production from the Leeds College of Music. After being enlightened to the world of Dubstep by way of a Leeds scene event known as Subdub, Rusko relocated to London, hooked up with the Sub Soldiers label and went from observing the scene to guiding it.
In 2006, Rusko debuted as a producer on the track “SNES Dub,” and the following year he released the Babylon: Volume 1 EP and FabricLive.37, a collaboration with his Sub Soldiers labelmate Caspa.
Both releases featured Rusko’s massive club hit “Cockney Thug,” a slamming and raw reimagining of Dubstep infused with positive vibrations and punctuated with dialogue from Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
With his profile exponentially raised, Rusko became a prominent artist in his own right while continuing to hone his production and remix skills; he worked behind the board on M.I.A.’s 2010 album Maya and has remixed Adele, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Kelis, among many others. Rusko signed with Diplo’s Mad Decent label for his 2010 debut album, O.M.G.!, which was both praised and criticized for its elemental Dubstep redesign. He split with the label after they approved a stream of his 2012 sophomore album, Songs, without his consent. Rusko subsequently announced he would be giving his music away — his new EP, the raw and raucous Kapow, is available at ruskoonfire.com — and he’s also joined Skrillex’s Electro/House/Dubstep/whatever collective OWSLA.Get ready to get sweaty; Rusko’s dance virus is tough to shake.
RUSKO performs Wednesday, Oct. 30 at Bogart's in Corryville. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.