If you want to arrive with a bang, you can’t do much better than Rebūke. A project forged in the white-hot atmospheres of the Irish underground music scene has ushered in the biggest breakout star of the last two years – and one of the most exciting new artists around.
Rebūke is a DJ and producer creating something new and genuinely exciting. A soundclash of techno, house and rave records from the early ‘90s creates that elusive thing – a sound of his own. An ever present in the Beatport Top 10, he’s established his own ERĀ Music parties, kicking off with a sold-out Autumn 2019 Tour of UK and Ireland across nine cities and selling out District 8 in Dublin – reflecting his huge popularity and the fan base he has gathered around him.
His third and most accomplished EP to date on Adam Beyer’s mighty Drumcode is the ‘Wasp EP’. It follows the success of ‘Obscurity’ (2020) and the ‘Rattle’ EP (2019). These three Eps have seen his sound subtly evolve over the last year and have followed both his previous singles into the Beatport Top 10, with Rattle topping the techno charts to boot. Supported heavily by Adam himself, Carl Cox and Pete Tong, the Wasp EP marks a subtle and exciting shift towards a more cinematic sound while still keeping the head twisting sonics that instantly identify a Rebūke track.
His first collaboration with Alan Fitzpatrick, the relentless ‘Ultimate Distortion was another top 10 hit in late 2020, following Obscurity and a typically quirky, catchy return to Dirtybird with the Dial Tone EP in late June. Another huge hit was his remake of Human Resource’s ‘Dominator’ in the late summer.
‘Along Came Polly’ was the game changer. A turbo charged rattlesnake of a track that sounded like nothing else, it signed to Hot Creations and rocketed to the top of the Beatport charts, staying there for a month - including 9 weeks at the top of the tech house charts. It was also 2018’s final Essential New Tune for Pete Tong on BBC Radio 1. His follow up ‘Jump Ship’ was snapped up by Claude Vonstroke for Dirtybird and featured ‘The Pipe’ Radio 1 Dance Chart for two weeks and another top 5 on Beatport – widening his fanbase still further and was lauded by everyone from Dubfire to Diplo, Sven Väth to Fisher. As a result, Danny Howard named him as one of three Future Fire BBC Radio 1 stars for 2019.
He’s been an ever-present on Radio 1 playlists ever since, gaining constant rotation from the likes of Pete Tong, Annie Mac, Danny Howard, Mistajam and Monki – not to mention nailing two Mini Mixes at the request of Annie Mac in April 2019 and May 2020, respectively. He’s also appeared live for Radio 1 at both the Rave Lounge in London and Radio 1’s Weekender in Ibiza. August 2020 saw him deliver a blistering Essential Mix debut.
On the remix front his version of Xpansions ‘Move Your Body’ on Shadow Child’s Food Music was playlisted across the board on Radio 1 and charted highly on Beatport. Other notable reworks include D: Mob’s ‘We Call It Acieed’ and ‘Inside’ from Better Lost Than Stupid, (aka Martin Buttrich, Davide Squillace and Matthias Tanzmann), head twisting take on Fatboy Slim and Eats Everything’s ‘All The Ladies’ and two brilliant re-rubs of Human Resource’s 1991 classic ‘Dominator’.
Describing his sound is pretty easy for Rebūke. “I love house, techno, and old rave records. I’ve got an obsession with the Italian, Belgian and UK records from the early ‘90s and I try to bring that into my productions. It’s really about capturing the dirt and energy of that time and fusing it with modern house and techno. That’s definitely what appeals to me.”
His DJ career has exploded along similar lines. Already a headline star in his native Ireland he’s put in roof shaking performances at the likes of Techworks (Cork), BD Festival (Wicklow), Life Festival (Westmeath) and a legendary performance at Electric Picnic in Stradbally, which was captured on film in a recent documentary. Sold out headline club appearances at D8 in Dublin, Shine in Belfast and JikaJika! in Derry have cemented him as one of the most popular names in the country.
Further afield he’s playing constantly to a global audience. Warehouse Project (Manchester), Paradise at DC10 (Ibiza), Tomorrowland (Belgium), Annie Mac’s Lost and Found Festival (Malta), Hideout (Croatia), fabric (London), Sound (Los Angeles) and Output (Brooklyn) are among the many venues he’s turned upside down. A sold-out New Year tour of Australia and New Zealand, his second of the year, preceded a debut tour of South America in January 2020.
And the name Rebūke? “Well its a play on words on my real name which I really liked,” says the man himself. “But it also means ‘to intend to correct a fault’ which appealed to me too because I was getting bored with all the same old tracks I was hearing all the time. I thought it was time to do something about that...” he laughs. It’s fair to say Rebūke is doing something about it...