For over 25 years the name Up, Bustle & Out has been synonymous with music, sound experimentation, exotic places and - last, but not least - a very specific mindset. The formation from Bristol are representatives of the first Ninja Tune generation, alongside DJ Food, 9 Lazy 9 and The Herbal iser. Up, Bustle and Out released their first singles on the label of Coldcut DJs Black and More and became a key act on the label's first compilations.
The sound of the band, which comprises DJs Rupert Mould aka Senor Roddy and David "D" Fell aka Clandestine Ein, guitarist Senor Cuffy, beat representative Dave Cridge and percussionist and singer Eugenia Knight, is shaped by the period in which turn-tablism and sample collages became the new jazz. The band presented their unique take on this direction on albums like their debut release The Breeze was Mellow (As the Guns Cooled in the Cellar) (1995) and titles like Aqui no ma (1995): breakbeats of rare funk records, cuts and scratches from the turntable, which back then were still The driving force underpinning club music, garnished with samples and Senior Cuffy's guitar. A preference for double bass and Latin American rhythms, was obvious from the start, running through the band's work like a leitmotif.
But soon this frame became too narrow for the quintet, and Up, Bustle and Out started broadening their horizon geographically as well as musically. Up until then, they had sampled Bossa Nova and Cuban rhythms; now, though, Up, Bustle and Out left their comfort zone and travelled to Havana, Cuba, to pick up the music at its source. The Master Sessions (1999) was the result of a collaboration of Cuban flutist and orchestra leader Edward Egües. This colab defined the direction for the band's
next projects, which from that point on focused on travel and studio productions with local musicians. On Urban Evacuation (2003), the only album for Unique Records, they paid tribute to the British-Jamaican sound system culture of their hometown with massive basses, subtle dubs and hungry deejays on the microphone, withtablas and Andalusian guitars added to the mix.
This was followed by Mexican Sessions (2006), spiced with a good portion of Cumbia vibes;
in cooperation with Turkish singer Sevval Sam, they explored Istanbul's Secrets (2007). It has been a fantastic journey, spanning a quarter of a century and three continents; this ride is now being told in time-lapse on their latest release, Almanac. Field recordings and historic radio jingles add a dash of local colour. Harnessing the power of disjointed jazz funk sample collages, elaborate productions in Havana's venerable recording studios, and travel snapshots of the digital age, on ten albums, numerous singles, versions, and compilations, Up, Bustle And Out tell a fascinating story - with an open ear for the signals of globalization, hearts that beat stridently on the left, and always a step ahead of their time.