After one listen to the latest Rudi Zygadlo single, the obvious node of comparison is Beirut with Beatz. But the Glasgow-based composer has always achieved a balance between the sacral and the secular, notably name-dropping a church steeple spied from his window as a chief early inspiration. Folk and Frank Zappa have always figured as prominently as anything emanating from the Warp (Records) zone. It’s comforting to see him finally earning Best New Music recognition from a place like Pitchfork, because he’s been consistently one of the best beatmakers since before the bros started stepping and before James Blake picked up the mic and started bashing said steps.
If you’re just paying mind now, check this interview from January 2010, where Rudi explains his early influences, the Glasgow scene, and how he hooked up with Planet Mu, who are dropping the “Melpomene” single next month. The titular inspiration refers to the Greek muse of singing, who later became known as the muse of tragedy. Clearly, the Greeks were prophetic in both charting the heavens and the narrative arcs of rock biographies.