Ruark recently had the pleasure of chatting with Jo Whiley, a kindred spirit to Ruark when it comes to quality sound. Jo, a household name for many, is known best for her presenting role on BBC Radio 2 and for donning a pair of hunters at Glasto every year. She also happens to be a Ruark fan; in fact, she has one of our very own R4s within her home.
Jo’s Broadcasting Career
Jo, who hails from Northampton began her radio broadcasting career after university with BBC Radio Sussex. Her first network broadcasting role was as a presenter for WPFM, Radio 4’s youth culture, and music show. Jo then moved over to TV on channel 4s ‘The Word’ giving the British public their very first taste of Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine. Jo then joined Radio 1 in 1993 and subsequently became a co-presenter of The Evening Session with Steve Lamacq. It was around this time that she became a regular at Glastonbury with Steve.
Jo’s time at BBC radio 1 allowed her to take on a number of roles including her namesake “The Jo Whiley Show”, a weekend show and the coveted Live Lounge presenter slot. After leaving BBC radio 1, Jo continued to dominate the airwaves, co-hosting BBC Radio 2’s Live in Hyde Park as well as regular TV coverage such as Glastonbury.
At Home with Joe
As a music veteran Jo has seen many acts come and go and to converse with such a broadcasting legend is an honor. Jo kindly answered some of our questions from her stunning home in Northampton which she shares with her husband and four kids. Here’s what she had to say;
How would you describe your home’s style?
“It’s a party house! Low on gloom and big on comfort. Lots of large windows and bright comfy velvet sofas”
What’s the one item your home couldn’t do without…aside from your R4, of course!
“The Glitter Ball”
Which is your favorite room in your house?
“The kitchen. Its where we all hang out and chat and eat and dance and watch TV. It’s been the scene of many parties – Mr and Mrs, Limbo and Bird on a Perch (kind of an adult version of musical chairs)”
Would you describe yourself as a bit of a gadget geek?
“No! But I do like my music delivered simply and aesthetically which is where Ruark comes in”
And finally…what are your top 5 tracks to listen to on your Ruark?
The world of interior design is awash with Sea Green this autumn, whether it’s feature walls, soft furnishings or even tech accessories it’s this season’s must-have trend. The colour is emotive and instantly soothing, which is no surprise considering the connotations with the ocean. It transports us from the gloomy autumn weather to visions of far-flung tropical locations. Sea green lends both personality and peacefulness to any space it encompasses.
The Ruark R1 Sea Green
The Ruark R1 in its stunning sea green shell, is inspired by the blues and deep-sea corals found deep within our planet’s most wondrous oceans. Its styling and body is something we know interior design enthusiasts will adore. And its evocative quality will transport many back to memories of holidays in the fresh ocean air. With its aesthetics going much further than its bold looks, like every Ruark product we have carefully and lovingly designed it for peak performance, ensuring that both sound quality and style are second to none.
Small But Powerful
Our Sea Green R1 is the third generation of our powerful and versatile R1 range, mixing both design and technology in a bold body. Its small but powerful shape is filled with essentials including DAB, DAB+ and radio technology ensuring its future proof no matter how life changes. It also features an acoustically stunning Bluetooth receiver, meaning you can instantly change up your sound, be it classical or house from any room via a Bluetooth connected device. Or, simply have it as your bedside companion for late night listening and early nights. A dual alarm system, switchable auxiliary input, stereo headphone output and USB charge port complete the R1s impressive features roster. And with its definitive RotoDial atop this distinctive and bold little box, it’s certainly going to turn a few heads next time you entertain.
The Sea Green R1 demonstrates our desire to develop and evolve as a provider of design-focused technology for the home. For us as a brand, we believe that good industrial design never needs change, which is reflected in the R1s cubist body. But what is fresh is our approach to colour, style, and substance in each of our products.
Our beautiful and powerful Sea Green R1 is available exclusively at handpicked luxury retailers including Harrods, Selfridges and John Lewis. You can also avail of its stunning acoustics during a stay at The Savoy and the Marriott Park Lane hotels where our R1 is the radio of choice.
Discover the Ruark Audio R1 today - available online in Rich Walnet Vaneer, Soft Black Lacquer and Soft White Laquer.
Ruark recently showcased two R7 audio systems at London’s Harrods, but not any old R7s. These were limited edition R7 audio systems transformed by artist Pure Evil!
Pure Evil The Artist
Pure Evil or as he’s better known, Charles Uzzell Edwards, is a 43-year-old graffiti artist and London gallery owner. The artist who hails from South Wales attributes his passion for art to his father, Welsh painter John Uzzell Edwards. His father’s work in the cubist and minimalist styles has clearly been an influence for Charles, as the themes are reflected in his own work.
The artist draws further inspiration from the physical and cultural landscape of 90s America, a time which he spent in California working to establish himself in San Francisco, as a designer for clothing label Anarchic. It was here that he produced countless t-shirts with his unique style, which became synonymous with the 90s rave culture. From this, he turned his passion to music, becoming involved in the musical fabric of San Francisco as an electronic recording artist for Pete Namlook’s ambient electric music label, FAX, recording “Octopus” & “Dada” under the pseudonym Drum Machine Circle.
Street art, of course, proved to be Pure Evil’s most important artistic discovery during his 10 years in the US. Inspired by the initial influences of Twist and Reminisce, with a dose of skate culture, Pure Evil graced freeways with “Dump Bush” slogans and tagged gun stores as “Murderers”. However, there was one image he couldn’t fulfil with graffiti, the pull of London town.
On his return to London, the artist began an association with the people involved in Banksy’s “Santa’s Ghetto” and started creating prints for its walls. After being denied re-entry to the US he set up shop in a small shed in the Black Mountains of Wales. After this period of isolation and soul searching he moved back to London and prepared for his first Pure Evil exhibition in 2006. The success of which enabled him to open the Pure Evil Gallery in Shoreditch in late 2007 and the Department Store Gallery.
Ruark × Pure Evil Project
We believe this collaboration is an integral element of the evolving music scene, which sees artists, musicians, and manufacturers communicating in a unique dialogue that’s intrinsically linked with design. We see the shift in interior design moving away from the mass-produced and towards uniquely crafted authentic pieces of art within the home. Gone are the days of functionality over form, now a new era of substance and style is emerging. Our collaboration with Pure Evil has allowed us to showcase our products in a new light and to get involved in pop culture.
As part of this project, Pure Evil customised four R7 audio systems in his unique style. Ranging from Elvis to the Queen, the first of these pieces featured at the prestigious Saatchi Gallery as part of the artists “Teenage kicks” exhibition. They then went on sale at Harrods in a unique pop-up retaliating for £4,500 each. This collaboration demonstrates Ruark’s ongoing commitment to progressive design as well as exceptional sound.
Ruark recently had the pleasure of providing one of our Walnut R2 streaming music systems to long-time friend and fan Lucy Gough, as part of her Warehouse Home project for London’s Design Festival. Lucy is of course known for her design aesthetics skills as an interior designer based in London. She has worked with a range of publications including Livingetc and the Sunday Times Style. Her designs have allowed her to work with a range of industries from editorial to commercial and clients including Habitat, Marks & Spencer’s and Heals to name but a few. Added to that, she’s a huge fan of our products, in fact, she owns several Ruark systems!
The Warehouse Home Apartment Project
In her most recent project, the Warehouse Home Apartment based in the heart of London’s fashionable Shoreditch, she was tasked with crafting a stunning industrial interior for this year’s London design festival. The brief was to fill the space with upcoming trends and original designs – from vintage furniture to modern lighting – to unique pieces, such as our very own R2 streaming music system.
The project is a collaboration with Lucy and Warehouse Home magazine, opening its doors every day for the duration of the festival, with the whole project featuring in Warehouse Home publication.
London Design Festival at a Glance
The festival itself is both a cultural and commercial event, showcasing the wares of many of the greatest & hottest designers, artists and stylists from the UK and further afield. It is awash with installations, talks, and seminars which include product launches, private views and not forgetting parties.
For us, showcasing our product in such a landmark event only reinforces our stance on the importance of design and materials. As a British brand, the festival is a testament to the British design industry and a chance to see what creativity and inspirations we can take to enhance our beloved product range.
If there are two things that pair well together, it’s great design and quality sound. Furthermore, couple those things with a Negroni and some grilled veal and you’ve got the makings of a great night. Ruark recently partnered with At Six in Sweden. A design focused hotel which gives us all kinds of feels. With its striking interiors crafted by Universal Design Studio, art curated by Sune Nordgren and rooms big enough to host even the most debaucherous parties in, It’s the kind of ambient space that whips the cultured, musical and fashionable types into a frenzy.
More so, what makes this hotel unique is its emphasis on sound, which can be experienced in its highlight, the listening lounge. A social living room, that focuses on sound and music quality rather than volume. Throughout its development, the design team kept the end goal front of mind. This was to gather together world-class collectors and international DJs to collaborate and produce experiences like no other. With the listening lounge offering the perfect environment for everything linked to sound, whether that be music lectures, record releases, live podcasts, album sessions or inspirational talks.
As a music centric company, Ruark were delighted to be invited to be involved with At Six recently, by supplying 463 R2 sound systems for each of the hotel’s bedrooms. As we pride ourselves on the quality of our products and in their build and sound power, we hope that those guests visiting At Six truly enjoy the sound of a radio built by a family of music loving crafters.
The R2 itself is our 3rd generation model embodying our core principles, in a timeless and compact manner. While the latest R2 remains true to its roots, it has completely transformed, so virtually everything about it is new. The R2 now incorporates streaming technology, and support for Spotify Connect.