5 Questions with Rags #39 - The Russ Liquid Test

In the build-up to Shambhala this past year, there was no act I was more excited to check out than the Russ Liquid Test. For about as long as I've been into electronic Russ Liquid's name has been a mark of quality – groovy, funky quality. The idea of seeing his musical vision through the prism of a live act at Shambhala, one of the great venues on Earth to see live music, had my ear-pussy soaked with anticipation. The power trio – Liquid, guitarist Andrew Block and drummer Nick Mercadel – battled through early sound problems (With some timely help from Miss Erica Dee) and delivered one of my favourite sets of the weekend. Even better, soon after I arrived home from the Farm, still abuzz with all the great music, the trio released their first official single, “FNK FWD” (feat. Steve Swatkins), a wonderful glitchy dose of bright, lively funk. It's a perfect night-starter or pick-me-up on a shitty day. Even luckier than getting this into my eyes, I managed to meet up with the Russ Liquid Test at Shambhala to get them down with the 5 Questions, in which we discuss Stevie Wonder, the beautiful tragedy that is Mardis Gras and the some of the guys' most positive school memories.

Keep abreast of things Russ Liquid over on the ol' Facebook and Twitter.

And, more importantly, keep up on the musical happenings over on Soundcloud.


1. Do you remember the first album you bought with your own money?

Andrew Block: Doggystyle. Actually, I bought two at the same time. Doggystyle and Aerosmith Get A Grip.

And which one do you listen to more today?

AB: Doggystyle. At the time though, Aerosmith, actually.

Russ Liquid: The Beatles The White Album.

Favourite track?

RL: Oh man, there's so many of them. I like “Savoy Truffle.”

Nick Mercadel: It was a Stevie Wonder record. I don't know which one it was but I know my first purchase was a Stevie Wonder record in an actual brick & mortar store.

Read More

My Shambhala 2015 Wishlist - Part 1

My first Shambhala was in 2013 and it couldn’t have been a more positive experience musically. I went into it completely unaware, “Open heart and open mind” was the motto, and definitely found the entry point into the world of DJs there. In that time I’ve become a pretty big fan, though my heart still lies elsewhere. So, you, expert EDM person, might find my wishes and tastes rudimentary and lacking in things like DnB and aggressive dubstep and whatever the hell else y’all kids listen to these days. I’m like Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon (TOFTS) and just want tasty hip-hop and funk-heavy grooves. Some of these are realistic wishes and some of them are just completely Shambs-dreaming. Whatever. It’s a fun exercise either way.

The Polish Ambassador

Ideal Stage: The Grove

How perfect would the Polish Ambassador, “the World’s Funkiest Diplomat,” be for the Grove? His masterpiece record from last year, Pushing Through the Pavement, is taylor-made for the hippie, world-beat loving audience of the Grove. It’s laid-back, groovy hip-hop weirdness at its finest and all those tribal drumbeats would sound too fine blasting out of those lovely PK speakers (As most things do, admittedly). Sometimes I think the good homey PA is too laid back for a some of my EDM-loving friends, but he’d fit perfectly here and provide me with enough tasty funks to appease me if for some reason Opiuo doesn’t make the trip. I can’t stress how good of a fit this is. The Ambassador’s Permaculture Tour campaign is a fucking fascinating inspiration and makes me happy that someone with a voice is trying so hard to fuse his love of and care for the Earth with his hip-hop art. That’s a Victory.

Read More