We’ll let Vex Ruffin tell the story …
I was born in Los Angeles and lived in the valley for a few years before moving to the Philippines when I was 10. After 5 years I moved back to California, this time to Chino Hills – I’ve been there ever since.
Without any musicians or artists in my family I didn’t have a musical foundation – it was something I had to create on my own. Like most people in their twenties I was lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do until 2004 when I purchased the cheapest instrument I could find: a Boss 303 sampler. With no formal training and just a DIY mentality, I got to work.
I started off making hip-hop because that’s what I grew up around. Even when I started adding punk rock, post punk, new wave, and weirdo pop to my music, everything was still made with a hip hop mentality. To me there is something good in every genre and I believe that one of my strengths is being able to pick and absorb sounds and save them subconsciously. The skills I lacked as a formal musician I made up with my ears and taste.
Each song I create is made differently each time. Sometimes I come up with the hook first and save it on my phone. Other times I’ll make a beat and will play around with vocals until it feels right. Recording is very therapeutic for me and I think that’s why there’s so much repetitiveness in my lyrics – its my meditation. I think there are two Vex Ruffins in each song: there’s one asking for help and one that’s helping the other one.
I recorded Conveyor in my apartment with my SP404 and a laptop. The album still has the Vex Ruffin sound but includes more sounds pulsing in out, similar to dub. I also pulled influences from what I was listening to at the time: Death Comet Crew, house, psych rock, breaks, jazz, noise and electro.
Conveyor is about being stuck in a continuous loop and its about whats inside of us that tries to break us free. While recording Conveyor I was working the graveyard shift and not getting enough sleep. Looking back, my life was in flux. I was having an internal struggle, going back and forth in my mind. In order to cope I made Conveyor.
Includes download code.
1. Intro 00:45
2. 3 AM 03:39
3. The World 02:59
4. The Balance feat. Fab 5 Freddy 03:22
5. The Calling 03:45
6. Own Lane 03:17
7. Head Hurts 00:35
8. Front 02:53
9. Off Track 03:00
10. Let You Down 04:20
11. Goes Through 03:12
12. Conveyor 05:59
Stones Throw STH2379