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D/R/U/G/S (UK)

D/R/U/G/S are free. The project of one Callum Wright, D/R/U/G/S craft some of the most euphoric, radical new music around . Made with the freeform attitude of synth visionary Oneohtrix Point Never, the fuck-you braggadocio of the Wu-Tang Clan, the cast-iron integrity of punk and the headlong desperate rush of rave, it’s untamed music for the moment.

22-year-old Callum spent his early years in “London council estate shitholes”, in his words, and moved to Manchester in his teens. Coming from a musical family (father, uncle, great uncle and granddad all worked as jobbing musicians), it was in his blood to make music. He’s been playing guitar since he was 15, but he only went over to electronic music a year or so ago, informed by the open-ended emotionality of Dan Lopatin, Clint Mansell and Tim Hecker.

Early tracks found their way onto the blogs and soon were being written about by Q, NME, The Fader, Dummy and XLR8R and played by Rob da Bank and Steve Lamacq on radio. This attention sent him on the road, and since starting out he has played around the UK and Europe, going down a storm at In The City festival, where he was given the title Most Buzzed About Act for the entire three-day event. No wonder – gigs, which see Callum pack his MPC unit full of samples to recreate his brave, warm synth music live, are closer to raves – a glorious journey into total freedom, total power, total moment. Along the way, he’s found himself standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a new group of brave DIY electronic artists that include Gold Panda, Teengirl Fantasy, Becoming Real, Dam Mantle, Hype Williams and Blondes. All this with, up until very recently, no publicist, no manager, no releases and no booking agent – as Callum says, “I’m not just going to let any joker handle my shit”.

This uncompromising attitude and bracing imagination brought him into contact with new Moshi Moshi imprint Tender Age, who will be releasing D/R/U/G/S’s first 12”, a three-song EP that cements Callum’s place as one of the UK’s most exciting new musicians. This is, first and foremost, dance music, but listen in and you can hear it’s made with the guts, impatience and imagination of the best British DIY music, from psyche rock to punk to rave to grime. These are grab-life-and-run tracks, sincere, furious and alive, endless and true. On email, Callum said of his process: “I write new music every day. If I’m in the mood to just write I’ll record all kinds of sounds. I know how I want my tracks to feel but I don’t know how to get there. No one does really. That struggle is what you hear, that’s the music.” It’s never going to stop, trust me.