WHO ARE THESE GUYS?
Thomas & Eric
RECENT PROFILE ON RESIDENT ADVISOR
Eric D and Thomas met at a party (where else?) in LA, through a mutual friend working at a clothing and disco unit called Sarcastic. Random chance and coincidence soon found the two of them together on the other side of the continent, pumping beats into the heart of New York City's underground scene. Despite NYC commercialism staring them in the eyes and singing it sweet siren song, Eric and Thomas, with good mates and cheap drinks in hand, kept their feet firmly planted in the fertile underground and sauntered on with a laugh. A friend's acquisition of a Chinese Rub N Tug massage-palace-cum-loft-space sparked a series of raucous parties where rooms were torn down, both literally and figuratively, as 300-400 people shuffled to their wild disco mashups. It seems only natural that out of the seedy, risqué, hell-bent indulgence, Rub N Tug was born. Next up were their lock-ins on the rammed disco floors of Passerby, now notoriously and fondly recalled as Campfire, where house music poured out of sweaty speakers 'til the after-after-hours.
"We're into having a party. Music and having a drink and a good time. Our friends and family in New York all kind of gathered about us when we started to play jams. The first Rub N Tug night was a loft jam at the AsFour Siver Cage – a crazy night with 40 cases of champagne on the fire escape, fights broke out while we scratched records. At one point T played the keyboard with his bare ass. You know that kind of party. That's how it started; may it continue as it began." – Rub N Tug
Shortly after their first mix CD for aNYthing clothing company came a boisterous compilation from Eskimo called Campfire, a stylish capturing of their debauched nights/mornings at Passerby, and Rub N Tug found they’d quickly transformed from NYC scene-sters to globetrotting party starters. Remixes flowed out like tequila shots, sharp and burning, and they were soon queuing everyone from !!! to Coldplay to Beastie Boys to Roxy Music to Zero 7.
“I like the pop stuff but you’ve got to be into it. The reason that we took the Zero7 tune is because it was so bloody good.” –Thom, Rub N Tug
from iD magazine, 8.2004: "rub it, tug it, watch it grow. New York nightlife,
as we all know, is in the doldrums. Giulliani shut the whole shop down.
Light up a Lucky Strike and you'll find yourself at the wrong end of
a 911 call. Fortuitously, nobody told Thomas Nicholas Allen Bullock
and Eric Z Duncan. Their Rub n Tug moonlighting aliases are doing some
heavy shift work in re-locating the vibe that shaped the city in the
first place. Their parties are already the toast of the town. "They
feel like a hot bath in a dark room. Volcanic." Howdy, boys. We're
already feeling your flavour. "When I was about nine, my teacher
asked me to bring in my record player and a couple of 45's so we could
have a disco in the classroom. I played Another One Bites The Dust and
The Bitch is Back. I got really into it and jumped about like crazy.
It's surprising how little we change," says Thomas. Partial fans
of the superclubbing experience their immediate surrounds have dictated
a more back to basics approach. "Club life has died here, but in
return heads have found their place in dive bars and lofts. In these
joints it's even more lawless than before which is, of course, pleasant.
It suits us and in turn we've developed a sound that suits it." The
sound in question is a call to dancefloor arms. The boys aren't afraid
of a cross-fader or indeed crossing genre. Old Italo house rarities shuffle
shoulders against lean post-funk workouts. Electro Led Zep oddities are
thrown down against acid rock. The glitterball has regained consciousness
in their hands. In the grand Ming tradition, Rub n Tug are extending
their delightful ventures in NYC nightlife to the mixing desk. First
up, their banging rerub of !!!'s Hello? Is This Thing On? Next a mix
CD that fuses their signature eclecticism to an unfettered understanding
of what moves the ass. In the meanwhile, they'll continue to derange
the nightlife that the world once looked to, until it does so all over
again." –Paul Flynn
(OUR PREVIOUS BIO, UPDATED)
Thomas and Eric D. They started out using Rub-N-Tug as the
name of their now-legendary NYC based after-hours parties and
it eventually stuck as the name for the duo. Their first
mix cd was released
as a promo item for the aNYthing clothing company. Since
then, they have released a second
mix cd for aNYthing called "Better
with A Spoonful of Leather", as well as a mix
cd for Fabric of London.
Rub-N-Tug have toured Japan three times and DJed all over the world in such distant locations
as Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Austria and
After the initial Rub-N-Tug parties they did a night called
Campfire which was held at Gavin Brown's Passerby gallery/bar, located
in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. The party's unique brand of craziness spawned its own
compilation for Eskimo records.
In addition to their
DJing, Rub-N-Tug are in-demand producers who have remixes for
Zero 7, Minimal Compact, !!!, Beastie Boys, Material, LCD Soundsystem, Out Hud, Sly Mongoose,
David Gilmour Girls, Roxy Music, and Coldplay under their belt. There is talk of a Rub N Tug album of original tracks in the works.
Thomas is formerly
of both the UK Tonka Soundsystem crew and the SF based Wicked crew.
That was a while ago though, and these days he's a busy lad – in addition to duties with Rub-N-Tug, he is one half of Map
of Africa (a project rock band with DJ
Harvey), and is
the guy behind "barnyard punk" band Bobbie
Marie. He puts out tracks under the Welcome Stranger name, and on DJ Garth's Grayhound label as Mirror Boys, has done his own Otterman
Empire series of edits, and has collaborated with Eddie Ruscha (son of famed pop artist Ed Ruscha, and mastermind behind Future Pigeon and Secret Circuits) as Laughing Light of Plenty and Food of the Gods for the highly sought-after Whatever We Want records. Somewhere along the line there he recorded downtempo tracks as Mammal and even had his
hands in the origins of downtown electro- damage band A.R.E. Weapons.
Eric has done tracks with DJ Spun & Olivier Spencer under the
name How & Why?. He has done tracks & remixes with Olivier (of House of House fame) for DFA records as Still Going. He has also released an extensive series of re-edits under the name Dr. Dunks for the Japanese C.O.M.B.i. and Keep It Cheap labels as well as another promo cd for aNYthing called "How We Do in NYC". He likes chili cheese fries from Tommy's. A LOT.
Rub-N-Tug played in Los Angeles April 2006, here are some photos of what
SO WHAT DOES IT ALL SOUND LIKE?
this link to listen to their recent 2010 mix for Resident Advisor.
this link to listen to a mix on the Red Bull Music Academy site.
this link to listen to Rub N Tug on Beats In Space radio.
this link to listen to Rub N Tug live at MoMA's PS1 in NYC from 2006.
this link to check out a bunch of different clips of Rub N Tug in action all over the place on YouTube (including some of the previous LA appearances).
· Short interview on Resident Advisor
· Interview with Thomas of Rub-N-Tug from 2008
language interview with the duo over at Jet Set records.
· page for their Fabric 30 mix.
email for booking or other inquiries