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The Ruffcats are one of Gemany's hardest working live bands. When it comes to heavy funk and progressive soul stylings, there ain't no competition for the 8 piece group from Berlin.
The Ruffcats are best known as the studio and backing band of German soul shouter Flo Mega, with whom they have played over 250 gigs over the last two years.
After providing the backbone for an impressive line-up of singers from Bajka to Jaguar Wright to Ladi6 it is now time for the Ruffcats to enter the spotlight as the main act with their first album ?The Essence Vol.1?. Citing influences from hip-hop, soul, psych and jazz to Sa Ra Creative Partners, Dilla, Manfred Krug, Can and UK future bass, The Ruffcats aim to play new grooves in an analogue way. And that's excatly what they do on ?The Essence Vol.1?.
The funny thing is that the album happened partly by accident. In late January the Ruffcats entered the legendary Lovelite studios in Berlin with little more in mind than taping some jam sessions. In the end they stayed for four days and recorded a full album on the spot. During the sessions Lovelite owner Jochen Ströh, became somewhat of an additional band member, working his trusty analogue 8-track recorder in ways that caused the band to go right back into the recording room and finish the job. Ströh recently recorded and produced Ebo Taylor's latest album for Strut Records and has hosted bands and musicians like the Whitefield Brothers, Tony Allen and Blitz the Ambassador at his studio.
The 11 raw jams on ?The Essence Vol. 1? display a band paying hommage to the past whilst pushing their own boundaries to create something fresh and exciting. The musical spectrum covers raw funk, afro-beat, jazz, psych and latin played with a 2012 hip-hop state of mind.
The Ruffcats Story
Conducted by bandleader Uwe Breunig after turning away from his former job as the drummer for some of Germany's biggest reggae acts, The Ruffcats started out no more than himself, bass player Joh Weisberger and the idea of a forward-thinking new band concept. The current line-up consists of eight musicians deriving from places as diverse as Columbia, Hungary and Würzburg, all of who have moved to Berlin to pursuit a life in music, and eventually got together after playing Flomega's first major tour in March 2011.
Uwe coincidently ran into Flomega at an art exhibtition in Berlin (where else), after listening to him sing on a demo laying around in The Ruffcats' former rehearsal room. Just a couple of sessions later, ?Pay Me Right? Flomega and The Ruffcats' first 12? single saw the light of day on MPM and The Ruffcats continued to stick with Flo on his inevitable way to stardom.
However, The Ruffcats have proven their ablity to adapt to vocalists of different genres on several occasions. Between 2008 and 2011 they have entertained a house band residency in Berlin's legendary Bohannon Club, supporting gigs and tours by the likes of Stacy Epps, Bajka, Jaguar Wright, Mic Donet (of Voice Of Germany - fame), or Ladi6 ? who was so impressed by the band's blind understanding that she quit rehearsals and entered the stage to a fully improvised show.