In his inaugural album “Shift,” Berlin-based producer David Ruoff, known as R U OFF, presents a bass-heavy musical perspective reminiscent of a Dune-inspired apocalypse. Melancholic trap, monumental golden era boom-bap, and soulful breakbeats converge to depict a dystopian vision of the future, where amidst the darkness, a glimmer of light persists.
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This sound has been meticulously crafted by the unassuming and soft-spoken Bavarian-born producer throughout his career.
He has served as a producer for some of the biggest names in hip-hop, earning writing credits alongside the production duo David X Eli for artists such as Metro Boomin, Drake, Travis Scott, Mac Miller, Future, and 21 Savage, among others.
In his debut solo album, R U OFF adopts a music-first approach to manifest this vision, blending lo-fi hip-hop textures with contemporary, soulful electronic elements influenced by the UK and Berlin. The result is a portrayal of the wounded pulse of a planet in recovery, mirroring the psychological parallels within the musician’s mindset.
At the core of Shift is a sense of openness – not only toward the future but to effortlessly cross the borders of genres and combine musical elements based on emotion, not category.
In this regard, “Jordan” featuring Honduran-Canadian vocalist Daniela Andrade and Atlanta’s Swavay sets the bar high, with the lush, ASMR-inducing Spanish vocals hypnotizing over trap R&B and sub-bass, through which Swavay swiftly rhymes in triplets about love lost – and eventually regained.
While the BPMs on Shift are mostly low, the sonic space is immense, creating a stoned, analog, sci-fi groove that drives through the final tracks at a pace between mid-2000s post-dubstep ( e.g. “Years” feat. Kyson) and hip-hop minimalism. Shift is nothing if not transportive. Between Atlanta and Berlin, L.A. and London; a dark past and less dark future.
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Artwork: Creative idea by Wanja Ruoff; picture by Joe Mania; Edit & Animation by Bildergut Image Processing Mix by Francesco Donadello
Master by Mike Bozzi
Publisher: Universal Music GmbH Label: R U OFF#
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