The name James Ruskin is so interwoven into the fabric of British techno that you almost take him for granted. Like so many producers of his era, his early forays into production were informed by a passion for hip-hop and electro, and he launched the Blueprint label with Richard Polson (RIP) in 1996, arguably when UK techno was at its peak of popularity.
Since relaunching after a brief hiatus in 2009, Blueprint has re-established itself as a torchbearer for immaculately produced techno, serving as a showcase for a brace of Ruskin/Broom hook-ups, Ruskin in solo mode and a 12″ from Valmay. Perhaps most eye catching has been Ruskin’s O/V/R project with Sandwell District don Karl O’Connor, the fruits of which first appeared in 2009 but really gained attention last year thanks to a sumptuous clear vinyl pressing. “Post Traumatic Son” has subsequently been remixed by some techno VIP’s, namely Robert Hood, Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock and DVS1.
Although he’s seen two generations of techno producers choosing to cloak themselves in anonymity, Ruskin has never hidden behind anything. That’s no to say he’s totally breaking type; the black t-shirt and no-frills shaved head combo he’s running in his latest press pic couldn’t really be more techno. Juno Plus scribe and TEA blogger James Manning fired some questions through to Mr Ruskin ahead of this weekend’s Blueprint showcase at London’s Cable, which features performances from Surgeon, Luke Slater, O/V/R and of course the head honcho.