Review ·

The best thing about solo DJ albums is that gives us, the listeners, fans and club rats, our best opportunity to really get inside the head of the mysterious character forcing our bodies to move. These DJs are usually only spotted in the wild, spinning behind the artist they produce for or elevated above the dance floor to the point that we only see a focused outline of a head nodding in rhythm. It’s hard to carve out the personality of the person from these encounters. So, when asked why we like a particular DJ, it’s difficult to say anything but, “Because their beats for (artist name) were sick.”


On the debut album from Christopher Mercer, a.k.a. Rusko, the DJ gives us many more reasons than that. O.M.G.!’s first track, “Woo Boost,” is standard heavy-bass-laden dubstep, but from there he takes us through a 14-track span that moves from disco to house, from dance-pop to techno. “Hold On,” featuring the Dirty Projector’s Amber Coffman, is the album’s runaway single, with its speedy beat and soaring vocals. While a far cry from Rusko’s work with Santigold and M.I.A., the song shows the DJ’s ability to craft radio-friendly pop, shirking dubstep and favoring a quick and relentless drum 'n' bass tempo.


This sonic shift is the album’s biggest strength and tallest hurdle. Unlike most DJ albums, this is a collection of very distinct songs that doesn’t work well from front to back; tempos change, new sounds come and go mid-song, and beats fall in different places. O.M.G.! requires multiple spins to appreciate Rusko’s risky experimentalism, which finds us listeners caught between the familiar (the Basement Jaxx sounding “Feels So Real”) and the unknown (the choppy futuristic “Oy,” featuring Crookers). It’s a strong solo debut from a producer continuing to bring his own interpretation to dubstep, and from the look of O.M.G.!, he’s not stopping there. Rusko’s intentions are now clear.


  • Woo Boost
  • Hold On feat. Amber Coffman
  • Rubadub Shakedown feat. Rod Azlan
  • Dial My Number
  • Du U Wanna Have A Party
  • Kumon Kumon
  • Scareware feat. Redlight
  • Raver's Special
  • Feels So Real feat. Ben Westbeech
  • You're On My Mind Baby
  • Got Da Groove feat. Gucci Mane
  • Oy feat. Crookers
  • My Mouth
  • District Line

Rusko has made a name for himself in the dubstep world by introducing a focus on mid-range wobble over sub-bass tremor. O.M.G. is only his first full-length, despite his presence on the scene for several years. For the album Rusko has broadened his sound to include other electro styles like disco, house, and garage. He has also included a puzzling array of guests, including Amber Coffman of the Dirty Projectors, Italian dance duo Crookers, and Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane.

Ambarchi/O'Rourke/Haino - Tima Formosa The New Pornographers Together

i thought he killed it with woo boost, kumon kumon, too

/site_media/uploads/images/users/longjohn/wing-of-a-roller-smalljpg.jpg longjohn

your whole review becomes void when you describe 'hold on' as having 'a quick and relentless drum 'n' bass tempo'
almost as bad as rusko himself saying the album contains 'reggae and deep reggae tracks'


...drum n bass tempo? you should be aware that you're talking about somewhere around 180bpm, give or take the style. something this album has NONE of, because its dubstep, not dnb.

also, solo albums aren't what gives us a chance to get inside the artist's head, the mixes do. that's why they make them. it's their ability to control a crowd and mix on the fly to keep everyone moving. I normally don't fly off the handle commenting on articles, but you sir, have NO business writing about any electronic music whatsoever.


"Rusko’s risky experimentalism"
- nuff said at this point for me. from the weird intro confusing djs with producers to lines like "a 14-track span that moves from disco to house, from dance-pop to techno" that are just plain wrong to annoying pseudo-intellectualism like "This sonic shift is the album’s biggest strength and tallest hurdle".
Poor review, poor album.

best thing rusko has done to date is this:


i would have to agree with derek. get your genres straight, son!


new album sucks a pair of sweaty nuts not goin to the show in ashville

and whats this crap about him working with britny spears on the next album


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