Dr Rubberfunk

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Biography

  • Simon Ward began DJing as Dr Rubberfunk in 1992, and released his debut 12" single in 2001. 4 solo albums later, Simon has recently produced Izo FitzRoy’s debut album ‘Skyline’ and is currently working on a fifth Dr Rubberfunk LP.
    “The Doctor will see you now…” 2008 was the year that Dr. Rubberfunk joined the Jalapeno family and brought his live drumming, funk breaking, irrepressible good time vibe to the j-funk party. Prior to that he had been the archetypal artist in control of his own destiny setting up his own GPS recordings and successfully self releasing his first two albums, his debut ‘The First Cut’ and his second album ‘My Life At 33’ . ‘The First Cut’ was a record from an earlier era, with lots of cut up samples in the mix. Many people would have been nervous about putting out an album like this without a heavyweight legal team behind them, but as Rubberfunk shared a management company with Fatboy Slim they had seen it all before, and urged him to drop the album as it was without compromise. This album and the tour that followed earned him a worldwide reputation not only as a top producer but also as an innovative and exciting DJ. One of the nicest guys in the music business, he used the connections he made traveling the world to work with a host of hot talent on his second album – a real progression from the first with fantastic songs and sublime production. Since ‘The First Cut’ he had been pursued by the boss of Jalapeno Records who knew Rubberfunk’s sound perfectly encapsulated what the label was all about. After a few years of running a label alongside being an artist the Doctor decided it was time to concentrate on the music and signed up to the J-Funk revolution. The first fruits of this partnership dropped in Spring 2008 in the form of the ‘Sunset Breakup EP’ – a cracking 4 tracker that rounded up 2 dancefloor friendly B-Boy tracks (originally produced at the behest of the Rock Steady Crew!) alongside the midtempo balearic groove of the title track and the sizzling soul of ‘Part Of Me’, a brand new collaboration with Dutch soulstress Sitzka. From these early writing sessions with Sitzka, nowadays an established member of the Jalapeno family, ‘Hot Stone’ began to take shape. Working tirelessly with a talented collection of musicians, the Rubberfunk studios began to yield a steady flow of songs, and another solid J-Fam hookup with John Turrell on the blue-eyed-soul of ‘Northern Comfort’. A summer afternoon tea & biscuits break, listening to tunes and album ideas in the Rubberfunk record library, led to one of those ‘wouldn’t it be great if…’ type conversations; ‘wouldn’t it be great if we could get Roachford on vocals’, and a few quick emails later ‘Trouble Woman’ was born. A cautionary tale and a lesson in low slung soul all in one. Further Jalapeno friends appear in the shape of vocalist Philippo, who’s previously recorded with D’Stephanie, and is featured here on ‘Rising Steps’ – bringing sweet harmonies to some dirty drums, exotic percussion and floating keys. The vocal tracks are rounded out with 3 more stunning performances from Sitzka, showcasing her talents in a variety of styles, from the rolling jazz piano hip hop of ‘It’s Not Clear’, the mellow acoustic guitar beats of ‘Get Away’ to the intense gutsy funk of ‘You’re No Good’. Horns on ‘You’re No Good’ (along with ‘Northern Comfort’ and ‘Trouble Woman’) come courtesy of a transatlantic hook-up; Todd Simon, hornsman for The Breakestra, Connie Price & The Keystones and Mayer Hawthorne, amongst others, drops the perfect brass accompaniment to the Rubberfunk sound. Remaining instrumental tracks on ‘Hot Stone’ roll from Blue Note style soul jazz to fuzz heavy psych funk, all in the inimitable Rubberfunk style, completing a beautifully crafted album of songs and sounds, moods and melodies – a stone cold aural massage! Dr Rubberfunk is a lynchpin of a growing group of DJ’s and producers pushing an eclectic brand of funky music - at the moment named only by the label that pulls them all together - “Jalapeno” Funk. From the tru-funk of Dr Rubberfunk and Soopasoul to the breakbeat and electronic soul of Kraak & Smaak, and everywhere in between, it’s a sound being pushed by the likes of The Big Chill at their festival and their London venues, creating a home in the UK for a worldwide scene. You can regularly catch Dr Rubberfunk DJ’ing or performing at these Jalapeno Sound System nights as well as his various London DJ residencies and guest slots around the globe. For more info contact [email protected]
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    Selected discography

    Discography 2001 - Dr Rubberfunk - 'Harry The Guitar' - Southern Fried Records 2003 - Dr Rubberfunk - 'The First Cut' 2LP / CD - GPS Recordings 2005 - Dr Rubberfunk - 'The First Cut Special Edition' CD - Swamp Records (Japan) 2006 - Dr Rubberfunk - 'My Life At 33' CD - GPS Recording 2010 - Dr Rubberfunk - 'Hot Stone' LP/CD - Jalapeno Records 2012 - Olympic Cyclone Band - 'Season's Greetings' - Jalapeno Records 2015 - Olympic Cyclone Band - 'Breakbeat 45's' - Pedigree Cuts 2017 - Izo FitzRoy - 'Skyline' - Jalapeno Records 2020 - Dr Rubberfunk - 'My Life At 45' - Jalapeno Records Remixography 2000 - SpaceChannel 5 - 'Mexican Flyer' - Tommy Boy Silver Records (UK) 2003 - Nelli Rees - 'Struggle Dance' - Zone 7 (UK) 2003 - Lithium Project - 'The Document' - Hydrogen Dukebox (UK) 2004 - The Fort Knox Five - 'The Brazilian Hipster' - Fort Knox Recordings (US) 2004 - Spooky Monkey - 'Drifter' - Bastard Jazz Recordings (US) 2004 - Mauracher - 'Waiting' - Fabrique Records (Austria) 2005 - Skalpel - 'Break In' - Ninja Tune (UK) 2005 - Malente - 'I Sell Marijuana' - Unique Records (Germany) 2005 - Dutch Rhythm Combo - 'Venom' feat. Joe Dukie - Pulver Records (Germany) 2005 - Steady Diggin Workshop - 'Our Road' - Carbon Imprints (UK) 2005 - Lost Idol - 'Chip Funk' - Cookshop (UK) 2005 - Stereo MC's - 'Paradise' - Graffiti Records (UK) 2005 - Bobby Hebb - 'That's All I Wanna Know' - Tuition (Germany) 2005 - Mr.Comic Store - 'Grandfather's Permanent Wave' - Chateaudisc (Japan) 2006 - Baker Brothers - 'Walk Into My World' - Peddler Records (UK) 2006 - DJ Dren - 'Chality Schoolin' - Delic Records (Japan) 2006 - Wicked Lester - 'Honey' - Bigfoot Records (Canada) 2007 - Madness - 'Sorry' - Lucky Seven Records (UK) 2007 - Parker - 'Sugar Coated' - Leisure (UK) 2007 - Mombassa - 'Massai' - Sonorama (Germany) 2007 - Ikon - 'Breaking' - Jalapeno (UK) 2007 - Protassov - 'Fine Times' - Switchstance (Germany) 2008 - Lopez - 'Donde' - Keep Up! (UK) 2008 - K Bonus - 'Play With It' - Innvision Records (Austria) 2008 - D' Stephanie - 'Nasty' - Jalapeno (UK) 2009 - Tombee - 'Godfathers' - Jack To Phono (UK) 2009 - Drawbar - 'Broken & Battered' - Counterpoint (UK) 2010 - Bajka - 'The Vanishing' - ChinChin (Germany) 2010 - Pacifika - 'Chocolate' - Six Degrees Records (USA) 2011 - Bahama Soul Club - 'Bossa Corcovado' - Buyu Records (Germany) 2011 - DJ Love Ft. Special Ed - 'Something Like This' - Air Recordings (UK) 2011 - The Beekeepers - 'Queen Bee' - Jalapeno (UK) 2011 - De Rigueur - 'Live At Bar Rhumba' - Eighth Dimension (US) 2012 - Second Sky - 'Sundowner' - Rhythm & Culture Recordings (US) 2013 - Mr. Confuse - 'Do You Realise' - Legere Recordings (Germany) 2014 - The Blockheads - 'Express Yourself' - Blockhead (UK) 2015 - Renegade Brass Band - 'The Shakedown' - Nah'm Sayin' Records (UK) 2019 - Smoove & Turrell - 'Flames To Feed' - Jalapeno Records (UK) 2019 - Aldo Vanucci - 'Get A Hold On This' - Jalapeno Records (UK) 2020 - FSQ - 'Dancefloor Democracy' - P-Vine (Japan) 2020 - Smoove & Turrell - 'Never Wanted You More' - Jalapeno Records (UK) 2022 - Smudge AllStars - 'B-Side' - Pegdoll Records (UK)