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Spookey Ruben

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Alternative singer/songwriter and experimental filmmaker Spookey Ruben makes melodic, lo-fi, new wave-influenced pop music. Born Alan Deil in Ottawa, Ontario, Ruben spent much of his youth in Germany and other European countries, where his father worked as an engineer for the European Space Agency. By his teens, Ruben's long hair and love of speed metal had earned him the nickname Spookey. He formed several heavy metal bands before enrolling in film school at Toronto's York University. During this time, Ruben developed an interest in four-track recording at his home. Eventually, these recordings caught the attention of TVT Records, which released Ruben's debut album, Modes of Transportation, Vol. 1, in 1995. Several more albums appeared on TVT, including the split single/live album Wendy McDonald - Live in Japan (1997) and What's a Boy to Do? (1999). Ruben's next two albums, 2001's Bed and 2002's Breakfast, were repackaged as Bed and Breakfast for a 2006 release on Hi-Hat/Zomba. In 2003, Ruben released Alone at the Zoo, featuring co-production from Tortoise's John McEntire. Several EPs followed, including 2006's Ausfahrt Walsrode, 2009's Mechanical Royalty, and 2010's Shackleton. As a filmmaker, Ruben directed a series of shorts for Canada's Exclaim! network in 2008. Titled Spookey Ruben's Dizzy Playground, the shorts featured appearances from a handful of other musicians, including Ariel Pink, Feist, Melissa Auf der Maur, and others. In 2012, Ruben returned with the full-length album Welsh Rarebits. ~ Matt Collar

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