Thursday, 23 October 2014


I heard Phil Jupitus talking about his love of Two-Tone on the radio this morning.  I love it when you hear someone talking with real passion about something they really love.

Of the wonderful music played in the half-hour, 'Ghost Town' by The Specials really stuck in my head.  There are wonderful riffs in there, so I took one, worked on a version on the harmonica and built up a kinda ska loop to play it over.  The tune and video really resonate with me and my youth, and I had a blast (literally!) working out a harmonica version that is more my style.

I'm having so much fun with harmonicas and looping at the mo, it just makes me HAPPY!  I'm not sure if I'm calling it Hip Harp or Harp Hop (let me know which you prefer...), but it is so enjoyable to make.  More soon!

Oh, and in contrast to the happiness, here's a moody rude boy to back up the two-tone vibe!

Sunday, 19 October 2014


Continuing on from last week's funky jazz, I've been digging back into my musical past again, and hit upon my university days (1993-1996) and Mo' Wax, Ninja Tune and Straight No Chaser

I was hooked on the Mo' Wax label, and have a lot of the early releases on vinyl (I need a turntable again...), as well as some later stuff on CD.  I storyboarded an animated video for my favourite UNKLE track whilst studying animation at Uni.  I was lucky to have a very supportive animation tutor, and was allowed to call Mo' Wax to ask about using the track on a video.  I was very lucky to speak to James Lavelle himself (Mo' Wax and UNKLE founder), and talked for ages about animation, video and music.  He was really supportive and into the idea, and I was thrilled to have talked to one of my inspirations. I never got around to making the video, but I still have the storyboards... one day maybe.

Anyhow, yesterday, I started messing around (technical term) with harmonicas, my looper and amp, then effects on the PC to create some phunky (sic) hip harmonica hop, inspired by the Mo' Wax sound, hip hop, trip hop, drum 'n' bass, all that 90s goodness.  I had a blast making some tracks yesterday, and put together some groovy loops and rhythms this morning, inspired by Peshay.  I also made some nice scratchy pencil crayon graphics, which I'll make a cool video with soon.  I made a little trailer/teaser for the new tunes too...

Yesterday, I also read some really great words from Steve Lawson, bassist extraordinary, musical genius, social media guru and musical educator.  He's another big inspiration.  There were lots of other musical matters discussed by him yesterday, but one that stood out for me was that you should have fun making your music, and enjoy it.  I'm having a blast!

Saturday, 11 October 2014


I started a new music project last week, completely different from Ruke.  As much as I love the music I create for Ruke, I need a break from the heavy stuff.  I've written before about how Ruke helps me with my depression and allows me to express the myriad thoughts and feelings that rush around in my head. 

I'm working hard, studying counselling and a personal development course, as well as running our art and design business.  Life is busy and hard at times, but very rewarding, as I'm working and living the way I want too. 

So, this new music project...  I love music in many forms, metal, indie, jazz, funk, electro, folk, country and tons more.  There's not many forms I don't like, I think life's too short to just enjoy one thing, embrace creativity in all it's many forms.  I loved electronic music with a passion in the 80s.  When 'Rockit' by Herbie Hancock came out, I loved it straight away.  My step-father did too, but then, he'd loved Herbie for years.  He had a fantastic music collection, with lots of 70s soul, funk and jazz.  Weather Report, Santana, and of course, Herbie Hancock. 

I've been listening to lots of Herbie's music from the 70s lately. It's amazing.  I knew he was cool, I mean, he played with Miles Davis...  After checking his website, I found that Herbie is a Buddhist.  Me too...  Herbie is just so cool, like it's effortless. And he's so well respected by people of so many walks of life and musical styles.  I'm glad I've reconnected with him and his music.

I'm working on some instrumental harmonica music based around two of Herbie's albums from the 70s, 'Head Hunters' and 'Secrets'. ( I remember Head Hunters being one of my step-father's favourites.)  Using these albums as starting points, I've worked up some harmonica riffs and am building them into full tracks with overdubs, loops and effects.  There's three tracks left to lay out in basic form yet, like sketches, then I can start building them up and really having fun with them.  I'm also learning to play tons better too.
Going back to the start of this post, I need a break from the heavy stuff, and these tracks are bright, funky, and most importantly, HAPPY.  I love the positivity and energy in Herbie's (and his band's) music, and I'm trying to channel that into what I'm making.  It's really good fun, and I'm really enjoying creating something so bright and positive.

I could have set up yet another blog for this project, but there's more than enough sites out there already.  I think I'll be making this more of a general music blog, not just Ruke.  I want to talk about how music makes me feel, all of it.  I'd like to share some of the music I enjoy, and find new sounds too.  If you hear anything you like you think others should know about, let me know, I'd be happy to share it. 

Friday, 12 September 2014


'Triad of Despair' is out on Bandcamp now, as a pay-what-you-want download. 

As I'm sure I've said already over the last few weeks, I'm really proud of these songs.  It's taken the best part of three months from writing them to finally recording them in a way in which I was happy with them. They've been performed live, reworked and rewritten over that time until I had them set in stone and be able to play them consistently. 

I worked hard on my sound, both vocally and as a ukulele player, and feel like I've taken big strides forwards as a writer and performer.  The subject matter is one that is close to my heart, that of mental health, particularly stress, anxiety and depression.  When I recorded what became the final versions of the songs, I was in a rage, full of anger and tears, and stormed out of my home, ukulele in hand.  I hid in the trees nearby and played my heart out, recording my anger, frustration and upset.  The sounds around became a vital part of that short span of time, and once I had played and recorded 'Triad', all that anger and upset was gone, replaced with pride and positivity.  

Music has incredible healing powers, whether you're listening to it or playing it.  It's one of my favourite forms of therapy.  I hope the words resonate with you out there if you feel isolated, alone, trapped, hurt or lost.

Thanks for listening, Morgan.

Sunday, 7 September 2014


The new RUKE video is live. Watch, enjoy and share...

I'm really pleased with how this has come out, as I spent a long time storyboarding, making masks, filming, editing and creating graphics.  It's feels like I've upped my game with creativity lately...

Thanks for the support.

Thursday, 4 September 2014


I'm shaking, dripping with sweat and breathing hard.  Adrenaline is coursing through my veins.
I've not been running a marathon, I've been filming a video for my new ep 'Triad of Despair'.  Walking around in woodland wearing a mask and carrying a shovel.  Digging holes in the soil then filling them in.  Yeah, I think it's pretty crazy too.  If anyone had seen me digging in the woods, I'd have probably been arrested.  Wearing a mask, they'd lock me up and throw away the key. 

I'll start editing over the weekend, I hope my vision works...

Thursday, 28 August 2014


How freaking cool is this? Beautiful customised pedals with a doom Sunn O))) vibe. Liberated from  

More custom loveliness here...