Let's Talk: Rebuke

Letterkenny-born DJ, producer and remixer Rebūke has had one of the most impressive starts to a career we’ve seen, just a few years since releasing his first track he’s released on Hot Creations, Dirtybird and Drumcode.

And, despite 2020 being one of the worst years in living memory for most people, he has made moves this year that even the most successful would aspire to.

Debuting on Radio 1’s Essential Mix, returning to Drumcode for the second time and getting the nod from Armada Music to try his hand at an official remix for Human Resource’s iconic Dominator, Rebuke is the silver lining we all need this year.

We had a brief chat with the Irish talent to discuss his new Obscurity EP, how he approached his edit of Dominator, how he’s managed to consistently produce hits and what we can expect top hear from him soon. Get the full discussion below.

Let’s talk about your new Obscurity EP for Drumcode, what’s the main inspiration behind this one?

Obscurity is the state of being unknown or difficult to understand, which sums up 2020 in one word, so I felt like it would be a good name for the EP. Most of the tracks were written in lockdown asides from Livewire. I wanted an EP I can look back on in a few years time and go “yeah I did that one during lockdown!”.

It’s your second time on Drumcode in a year, you must be developing a good relationship with Adam and the team?

They are wicked! I get a real family vibe from Drumcode, which is really important for me. Adam really took me on board and I send him almost everything I make, and the whole team are easy to work with and only have the music in mind, which is what I love the most about the label.

From ‘Along Came Polly’, to ‘The Pipe’, to ‘Rattle’, you’ve had one success after another, do you know a track is going to blow up when you’re making it or does it come completely as a surprise?

Not really – I mean you get a sense of how much people are into the tracks from playing them at gigs and seeing people talk about them online with the viral videos and all, but you never really know for sure, especially nowadays.

My music is solely focused towards the dance floor (I’ve not even put out a single with any vocal on it yet), so when you have no dancefloor to test the tracks on or to share with the crowd, it’s a bit harder to make them connect with a wider audience. I’ve heard tracks when I’ve been out that I couldn’t wait to get home to find the name of, to then realise they were in my Inflyte inbox 2 months ago haha. Sometimes it takes hearing tracks in a live environment to really get the feel of what the artist was trying to go for.

You recently dropped a remix for Human Resource’s classic Dominator, how did that come about?

I’ve been playing mashups I’ve made of ‘Dominator’ for over a year, and I often include a lot of ‘90s rave tracks in my sets, it’s a bit of a theme now – so when Armada offered me the opportunity to remix it officially, I jumped at the chance. I ended up doing two different versions, one with the signature Rebūke sound and another that’s a bit more loopier and heads down type of vibe.

And how did you approach the project? Did you feel any pressure considering how iconic the original is?

Yeah. I know there’s so many remixes of the track out there already and I didn’t want to be just “another” remix, so I spent a lot of time refining it and getting it to where it’s at now.

We also heard rumours that you’ve been collaborating with Camelphat and Alan Fitzpatrick, when can we expect to hear those tracks?

Yup! My collaboration with Alan comes out November on his We Are The Brave label including an Ilario Alicante remix. We did the track well over a year ago and have been playing it out loads to which it’s received a great reaction, so we know it’s a bomb! As for the Camelphat collab, that’ll probably be next year.

You put together an Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1 last month, that must have had you buzzing?

Big time! It’s a bucket list thing for me, a real accolade. I grew up listening to Tongy and his Essential Mix so to hear him announce my name on the mix made the hairs on my back stand! Myself and a few close friends threw a party in my studio to listen and I’ve been recovering from it since haha.

Despite the Rebūke project being just a few years old, you’ve already released tracks on Saved, Dirtybird, Hot Creations and of course Drumcode, are there any labels you hope to one day release with that you haven’t had the chance yet?

Good question. I don’t think so, I feel so blessed to be releasing music constantly on all my favourite labels – if you had of told me two years ago I’d be releasing music on Hot Creations, Drumcode and Dirtybird I would have said ‘get real’, but it is real and I feel very thankful for it. I think the only other label I’d love to put something out on some day is Cocoon. Actually, Sven Vāth put ‘Jumpship’ on his ‘The Sound Of The Season’ compilation last year, does that count?

And lastly, with lockdown somewhat easing around the world, how much are you looking forward to playing to a crowd again?

More than words can describe.

Rebūke’s Obscurity EP is out now on Drumcode.