Alex Ruder advises that DJs champion new and underrepresented voices.
Alex Ruder advises that DJs champion "new and underrepresented voices." Erin Johnston

DJ ALEX RUDER (aka DJ D'Nelski; KEXP, Hush Hush Records)

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Current top 5 tracks:

Advance, "Take Me to the Top" (X-Energy)
"Discovered this 1982 tune by Italian disco/boogie duo Advance on the sweet compilation Disco Wonderland, presented/curated by Andy Smith, the former Portishead collaborator and deep-digging DJ. Big fan of his The Document series, too; always quality selections on everything he touches, and he unearths a lot of groovy gems on Disco Wonderland."

CÉCI, "IF" (self-released)
"CÉCI is a London-based Danish sound designer, electronic producer, and vocalist exploring an intersection of ethereal R&B and experimental electronic production. Kid Smpl sent me some of her early demos back in late 2016 and I've been hypnotized by her sound ever since. Those early demos led to a 4-track RMX collection that came out on my independent label Hush Hush Records last year, and her new songs just keep getting better and better. Her fourth and latest original offering, 'IF,' came with a mesmerizing video, too."

DJ NHK Guy, "BOOT UP" (self-released)
"It's hard for me to think of anybody tackling the tangents of juke/footwork in a more exciting and adventurous way than DJ NHK Guy (aka Seattle/Fukuoka electronic producer Jesse Lopez). His 2017 album At Your Door was a fave LP from last year, and he followed that up with a bunch of rad bootleg remixes for EDITS. I frequently go back to this flip of Ella Mai's R&B jam "Boo'd Up" off the latter, but this new remix of K-pop group Red Velvet is also great."

Knapsack, "Spill" (Z Tapes)
"I've been geeking out to the steady output from Slovakian lo-fi bedroom-pop label Z Tapes since stumbling upon them last year. They're dropping new releases basically every week and their quality control is super-impressive. This new album from Chicago's Knapsack is a recent standout; his sound takes me back to my college days of getting lost in the music of DNTEL, múm, Bola, and other artists in that imaginative melodic/IDM world of the early 2000s."

Sax G, "League Of Shadows (feat. Conway the Machine)" (self-released)
"Seattle's Sax G is one of the city's finest and his upcoming album Tomorrow's New Villain is going to showcase new levels to his talents as a producer, rapper, and collaborator. This early offering featuring Buffalo's Conway the Machine gives a glimpse into Sax's unique production style, beginning with a pillowy soul-sample beat before veering into a psychedelic zone that reminds me of Madlib. Be on the lookout for the album dropping early next month—so many jewels on there."

Crew/label affiliations: "KEXP, Hush Hush, CUSTOMS pka DIAL UP (RIP)."

Styles played: "Lots of styles :) I spin a bit of everything when I host variety mixes on KEXP. Expansions on KEXP is a wide spectrum of electronic beats + underground rhythms: juke/footwork, instrumental hiphop, boogie, disco, house, techno, ambient, and more. Hush Hush is focused on sharing cinematic, introspective, mysterious, beautiful sounds. CUSTOMS / DIAL UP provided an opportunity for me to spin Jersey club and other experimental club cuts at high volumes alongside a bunch of friends. Shout out to DJ Hojo for leading that journey."

Events organized: "I curate the lineup for KEXP's 1-hour guest DJ mix show Midnight in a Perfect World, which airs every Friday night at midnight. Does coordinating music releases count as events? I do that frequently with my indie label Hush Hush. Just released a six-track EP from Seattle musician Trevor Ransom titled Spring that came out digitally Friday February 23 and is coming out soon on cassette."

DJing philosophy: "Share the sounds that move you. Track selection over everything else. Be a platform for new and underrepresented voices."

Format: "CDJs or XDJs."

Worst request: "The worst requests are the ones delivered in shitty ways."

Upcoming events: "Filling-in for DJ Riz on his Monday night KEXP show this Monday, February 26, 9 pm-1 am. Hosting Expansions on KEXP Sunday, March 25, 9 pm-12 am. Lots of sounds coming from Hush Hush in 2018."