Rui Da Silva, 33, has long been recognized as one of Portugal’ most precious exports. Initiating his industry onslaught in 1992, Rui’ debut record was experimental to say the least. Rui admits, “I was into things like Japan, David Sylvia, Brian Eno and Sonic Youth. The first record I did was some experiences I recorded when I bought some equipment. I had a bass and an amplifier and I sold them and bought a drum machine and sampler…we pressed a couple of copies”.
From those humble beginnings tinkering with electronics, Rui formed a new label, ‘Kaos Records’. Rui’ innovative and quality sounds elevated Kaos to the pinnacle of the house movement, while securing him a licensing to the late ‘Tribal Records’ and more recently to ‘Twisted Records’ (USA). Rui’ success with Kaos ensured global exposure and provided him with the confidence to develop the ‘Underground Sound of Lisbon’ with close friend, DJ Vibe. Through USL’ underground classics, including ‘So Get Up’, ‘Dance With Me’, and ‘Are You Looking For Me’, in addition to numerous compilations and remix’, Rui filled a void in a country better known for its port and sandy beaches. Disgruntled with a local club scene that was becoming more of a distraction than an inspiration, he left Portugal in 1999 to immerse himself in London’ booming music industry. Rui believed that this was “where things are happening, where more people are exposed to my music”.
London, needless to say, was smitten with the newcomer, and Rui quickly established a considerable following and a high level of exposure, ultimately enabling him to set up a new label, ‘Kismet Records’. Kismet has just six releases to their credit but has already garnered praise from the notoriously competitive dance industry, securing Rui a deal with Arista and a spot in DJ boxes from Bristol to Buenos Aires. The underground nature of Kismet, partnered with Rui’ many contacts, set a firm grounding for their first release, ‘The Lights’ (USL), as well as Rui’ collaborative releases with long time friend, Chris Coco, as CocoDaSilva. Gaining support from the industry icons, including Danny Tenaglia, Sasha and John Digweed, Kismet’ success was further fuelled with their fourth release, ‘Touch Me’, shooting up the UK charts to number one.
Cassandra pleaded us to touch her in the morning and last thing at night, and djs and dance music lovers alike, could not keep their hands off. In fact, Oakenfold played ‘Touch Me’ five times in one sitting at ‘Pacha’, while test pressings were caned by Deep Dish, Steve Lawler, and self confessed Kismet fan, Danny Tenaglia. Rui described Kismet’ fourth release as an “Ibiza late-night record” but clearly it transcended the crowded clubs of UK’ favourite holiday retreat, evolving into this year’ dance anthem. The soulful vocal, trance chords, and deep house groove of ‘Touch Me’ even earned Rui an award for ‘best single’ in Muzik Magazine Dance Awards 2001, as well as a nomination for ‘best break through artist’ at this year’ Dance Star Awards.
Rui is philosophical about the future, suggesting “we’re probably at the beginning of a new stage in music when the majors are starting to look into dance music as the next big thing and not manufactured boy bands anymore…they’re trying to search for talent again, for people who can actually develop careers”. Rui will continue to challenge himself and this insatiable market with his follow up to Four Elements, ‘Fire’, due for release early next year, as well as CocodaSilva’ new cut, ‘@ Night’, expected to be on the shelves in early December. If you can’t wait that long to get your mits on a new Kismet release, keep your eye out for Double 99’ remix of ‘Touch Me’.