Ilija Rudman presents Andre Espeut ‘Tears To Sound’
featuring Ron Trent Mix
Vinyl and Digital
Release Date 2nd February 2018
Over the last decade and a half, Ilija Rudman has been responsible for many high quality releases, delivering distinctly warm, sun-kissed, analogue-rich material on labels including Bearfunk, Instruments Of Rapture, Compost , 20/20 Vision, Electric Minds, Is It Balearic Recordings, Rong Music , Classic Music Company and of course, his own Red Music imprint.
Even so, the Croatian has rarely made anything quite as deep and sensual as the material showcased on this first full EP for NuNorthern Soul. Top billing must go to the “Aquapella” version of “Tears To Sound”, a spellbinding acapella cut that puts the enchanting vocals of storied soul man
Andre Espeut front and centre.
When Rudman sent the track to old friend Phil Cooper, the NuNorthern Soul boss thought it sounded like something he’d hear from US deep house legend Ron Trent. So, he approached the Prescription co-founder to see if he fancied remixing it. As you might expect, the results are astonishingly good.
Rich in rising and falling new age melodies, darting synthesizer motifs, languid piano flourishes and heavy analogue bass, Trent’s wonderfully ultra-deep interpretation naturally gives pride of place to Espeut’s seductive vocal. Even by the Chicagoan’s infamously high standards, his epic mix is incredibly special.
Ilija’s been leading force on the underground Disco and House scene for the past 15 years, in both production as well as a clever and eclectic disc-jockey. Bringing together his love for pure analog sound without compromises and boogie, his Disco maxi singles indeed do sound like a blast from the Prelude, West End or late Salsoul past.
In the studio, he collaborated with some of the following top-notch artists: Random Factor (Carl Finlow), Greg Wilson, Faze Action, Chaz Jankel, L.S.B., The Revenge, Escort Band, Leroy Burgess, Mark E, Spirit Catcher, Rhythm Based Lovers, Stevie Kotey (Chicken Lips), Tim Fuller, Boyd H. Jarvis, Ignition The Band, The Brand New Heavies, Charles Webster (Presence), Arnold Jarvis, Robert Owens, Don Carlos to name a few.
Ilija’s discography runs deep, with more than 70 releases around the globe on various labels such as Rong Music, Bear Funk, 2020 Vision, Electric Minds, Jisco Music / UTS, Instruments Of Rapture, Red Music Records, Compost Record, Wolf Music, Tirk, Love Is War Music, KAT Records, ISM, Azuli, Defected / Classic Music Company.
After The Reveal released on Bearfunk Records – 2011, Ilija’s first album, 2016 was exciting year as his 2nd studio album True Colours was released 02.03.2015 via U.K. label – Is It Balearic Recordings home of Prins Thomas, Todd Terje, Don Carlos etc…
After running Red Music for 10 years, Ilija launched Imogen Recordings in 2015 – where artists : Charles Webster (Presence), Ilan Kabiljo, Robert Owens, Darshan Jesrani, Dos Palos or The Brand New Heavies have or are collaborating with Ilija on original music, aimed for audience with very sophisticated sense of quality.
Q&As With Ilija Rudman (Classic Music Company , Electric Minds , Bear Funk, Nu Northern Soul)
Q1, Hello Ilija and welcome to a Q&As with Eclectics. Some of our collective have been aware of you and your music for some time now. It appears that you first came to our attention back in around 2003 with your label “Red Music Records”, is the label still going or are their any plans to release music via the label in the future?
Hello , thanks for having me for this conversation and aswell for the kind words . As you said I started putting out records early 2000 , on other labels and in the same time I started developing my own label. Red Music was my passion and lasted for 10 years and 19 vinyl releases . All the artists I collaborated or signed were my true heroes and it was a true pleasure and miracle to do that at that time, for me . Label was doing really nice , but at one point I went developing my other goals ( as building a studio , etc. ) to complete the full circle I had in my mind . Altough when I remember Red Music, I have a bliss moment to re-release some stuff or reborn it again .
Q2, So your homeland of Croatia is a pretty happening place over recent times. Has Croatia always had a thriving music scene?
Over the last decade things started to develop in that direction , first it was small amount of Venues and Festivals , for example The Garden Festival in Petrcane was a place where many others got their ideas about beauty and freedom in Croatia to do such things as Summer Parties – Festivals, etc . The coast was not explored in that way and turism was completely different . These days you can easely say it is becoming another party destination worldwide known . But , Croatia always have had strong music scene, cities as Zagreb,Split were delivering amazing parties and top quality Dj’s were always coming here.
Q3, Do you hold a residency in Croatia? What’s your thoughts on resident DJs, any that really stick in your mind and why?
Yes, I do – Once per month I play IMOGEN Recordings Label Nights . Imogen is a new label I run with my parner from 2015 . We gained a strong roster of artists that collaborated with me on original music, such as Charles Webster, Robert Owens , Darshan Jesrani , Dos Palos ( Faze Action ) , The Brand New Heavies . We do this residency in old factory – KATRAN Kompleks in Zagreb and invite guests who are related to the Label and policy of the music . So far we did guest bookings – Kai Alce , Don Carlos , Charles Webster , Pete Herbert . I think holding a residency is a big obligation and an honour . Resident Dj’s can shape a whole generation of a certain City . It is very important to take that seriously.
Q4, Some DJs are know for doing particular slots, Day time slot, Sunset Slot, Evening warm up, headline act, Warm down, would you say you had a favourite slot to play, if so why do you think that might be?
I was touring a lot from 2006-2010 – clubs and festivals , and what experience told me I actually don’t have any particular slots that I would call favourite . Sometimes love to start things up , sometimes love to bang the night on, sometimes love to play outdoor when sun is coming out , sometimes All Night . As long there is variety things are interesting and they ask for challenge . That is where I feel good .
Q5, Would you say you where a music producer or a DJ first? And why?
For me things started in the same time . I started to collect and spin records 1999 and in the same time I was struggling with first machine drums and synths . So it was growing as one from beginning .
Q6, You’ve produced wonderful music for some top labels over the years. How has this panned out for you? Do you produce music with particular labels in mind?
Thank you again for the nice words . For me it was all about that as you asked in question . I always had desire to release music on the labels I loved or played or admired . It was a strong desire to learn the process of sound creation and songwriting . Really long path to achive the results that are good enough to offer to Those labels . After all , I have had all the luck and ended up on those Legendary labels . Still today, I sometimes stop and think, for who I would love to make another Ep . It works for me as it is a challenge and that is what brings fire to the table .
Q7, Although your musical ideas and styles vary, there always seems to be a distinct Ilija Rudman feel to a lot of your releases. Do you have a few go to pieces of hardware in your studio that you always use for your productions?
Yes, that way of signature can be heard on lot of my releases . Sure, I do . I really love my Mixer who is a heart of the studio MCI 542 D and allow me to do what I imagined . There is Sampler Emu EMAX and EMU II I use for 15 years . Those are the Working horses . I love Ursa Major Stargate Reverb and a few synths I really need to create a sound signature I want – Prophet V and Oberheim OBX-a . But, those I mentioned are just some kind of favourites, there is a lot more of equipment I use and admire .
Q8, So you got the amazing Ron Trent in on remix duties for your most recent e.p due for release on NuNorthern Soul Records. How did this collaboration come about, have you done any work with Ron previously?
I did couple of tracks I offered to my old friend Phil Cooper . That was instant love on the first sight . He signed those tunes and asked me about the remix idea . A day after he revealed that actually Ron Trent is that remixer and that he love this and would love to get involved . I never spoke to Ron previously or ever worked with him before. So, would say that Phil who run NuNorhtern Soul got a special ear and he did rotation and connected us all for this release.
Q9, You released your first full length on Steve Kotey’s wonderfully eclectic and always interesting Bear Funk records, a leading light in what came to be known as Nu Disco. How did this collaboration come about?
There was a strong connection with Bearfunk and me . I was a huge fan of the label. They were for years my favourite platform . Released for them an Ep before the Album . Stevie Kotey ( Chicken Lips ) who back than ran the label was asking that for some time, if a would be up for the idea to do my first Album for them . It was a year and a half period of writing and producing and the final result was great as for me and as for them as a label . The Reveal still stands as wanted album and a prelude to NuDisco , what they call it now.
Q10, Thanks for taking the time for a Q&A with Eclectics Ilija. Just one last question, if there was onepiece of music you wished you had written what would it have been and Why?
Many thanks again for having me and regarding one piece of music – I could not extract only one I would love I did . Amount of the music I love and respect in that way , is too big , to be stripped down to one ☺