Q. So how old are you then?
A. Old enough to remember when most of the classic Disco music was first released – young enough to still appreciate it!!
Q. So why RetroRuss?
A. Well the name came from staff of the pub I play – they wanted to create a stage name for me and as the music was ‘retro’ to them, I became RetroRuss!
Q. What’s your favourite all time record.
A. Easy. Runaway Love –by Linda Clifford
Q. OK, and your second favourite?
A. I have two – Running Away – Roy Ayres and Feed The Flame – Lorraine Johnson
Q. What other genre of music do you like?
A. I like all music, although I do find Buddhist chanting a bit challenging on the ear
Q. What even Punk, Garage and House?
A. I like all types of house music (new Disco), I like rap (the wayward son of funk), Garage. I do find bashment and grime quite difficult to get into but I think that’s a generation thing. Being of a certain age I have teenage children. Their music of choice is Punk, New Metal etc. I can forgive them not getting down and boogieing to soul and funk but supporting Arsenal! Never!
Q. Talking of generation do you mix the music like all good DJ’s?
A. Yes and No. I think that the music should be played more or less at the tempo it was created by the artist. Mixing (in the UK) only really took off in the early 80’s. I play Disco Soul & Funk from the 70’s when mixing was less prevalent and consequently play a lot of the tunes from the beginning till more or less the end. I prefer to segue the music but hey if I can mix I will but not to the extent that the track is played ‘too slow’ or ‘too fast’.
Q. With all your vinyl do you have strong arms?
A. er, yes!
Q. When you play live do you take requests?
A. Of course!
Q. Would you play a Bee Gees track?
A. Mmm, possibly.
Q. What about Abba?
A. I’d pack up and go home immediately
Q. So you have your cheesy limits then!
A. Of course! Naturally I would play to a crowd – most people’s appreciation of Disco & 70’s dance music is limited to tracks like I Will Survive and Boogie Wonderland…my passion is to educate them and show them there was more to the music then just those tracks. If, however it looks like all they want is cheese then it’s there to be had.
Q. Which is the one track that is guaranteed to get the most stubborn and uninterested crowd up on their feet.
A. Last Night A DJ Saved My Life – what else?
Q. In your short career as a DJ what was your best moment?
A. Hey I’m not that short! We organised a Party – Let’s Get It Together, I got on the decks at midnight and my second tune was Jingo by Candido. Within 2 minutes about 250 people were doing a sort of Disco line dancing number….absolutely brilliant!
Q…and your worse?
A. Mmm, that would be when I was playing my monthly session at The Royal Oak pub and one of my needles gave up the ghost. I had a spare but it was at home so I put on a segued record – by El Coco went home, picked it up, got back and replaced the needle by the time the record had ended! I was a bit flustered!
Q. (From AJ) Love the website! Anyways what do you prefer – playing on the radio or live gigs?
A. Thanks AJ. Good question! I suppose the ‘intimacy’ of playing live, is better, in that you have to the right tune to follow the previous track, especially if you want to keep the ‘vibe’ going and the people dancing. With radio you don’t have that, however you can ‘experiment’ more and play stuff that you would not necessarily play live but has a certain groove that works and keeps the listeners interested.
Frequently Asked Questions
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