PLUMP DJS Big and bouncy

Back in the late 90s, there was a time where breakbeat was the big sound in the clubs, and spearheading the charge was the UKs Plump DJs. The era-defining production and DJ duo blazed a trail around the world that many would follow. Pioneers of the party breaks sound, they were one of the acts that really crossed the sound over into the mainstream. After taking a break for some time, recent years have seen the Plumps burst into action again, with a spate of new productions and tours. ALFRED GORMAN chats to half of the Plump DJs, Lee Rous, ahead of their appearance at Earthcore next Sunday, December 3 at Mulberry on Swan.

I’ve been a fan for so many years that I interviewed you way back in 2003 so it’s good to see you guys active again lately, producing and touring. You’ve been very kind to Perth, coming all the way out here over the years, often for Breakfest. Your set last year was brilliant, you absolutely rocked it. You’re heading down our way again soon, this time for Earthcore out at Mulberry on Swan…

Massive thanks for digging our sound for so long. We are incredibly excited about any chance to visit Perth, this time round we are hoping to play to a new audience, in an attempt to turn more people into Plumpers. Breakfest 2017 has an incredible line up this year. We were fortunate enough to play last year – the production, organisation and venue are second to none. Earthcore has a very different following, so we are looking forward to the adventure very much.

I saw online some promo for the Punks Music ‘The Beat Down festival in Brixtonthat was just last weekend. What was that like and how big was it? That looked amazing [The lineup included Stanton Warriors, Krafty Kuts, Plump DJs, Marten Horger, Deekline, The Freestylers and Rennie Pilgrim]. It’s a most incredible, epic, old-school breaks lineup, I almost wanted to hop on a plane over. I guess it’s a bit hard to bring a line up that big downunder, but you are playing with The Freestylers at Earthcore

Yes The Freestylers and us go way back. We are all close friends of well over 20 years. We would not be here today if it were not for their music, that has always been an inspiration. The Beat Down Party was nothing short of a smash – with only four weeks promotion we sold out the venue and put all ourselves back on the map in London. We have already had offers to do the more Beat Down events in Brighton, Bristol, Amsterdam, the US and Canada. We would love to tour that event in Australia.

Where are you guys based these days?

Still based in Andy’s studio in Soho, London, working every week on new dance-floor focused experiments. Enjoying every second of it, the ups and the downs. The challenges of life are there to be overcome.

Having just been through the European Summer – what have you guys been up to of late? What were some of the highlights of this year for you?

It’s been another wondrous year of Plumping, with great results from our recent records through Punks Music. Releasing our LDN Selection compilation and many singles. Our Yes Yes release and remixes are gathering millions of plays. We performed at 13 festivals and three times that many club shows. Also, we have been enjoying our special alternative DiscoFunk sets at more intimate venues.

You’ve always mashed up styles and sounds a bit, but always had that big breaky bounce and bass. Genres change so much. House has evolved. There’s bass music, trap and dubstep. Do you still consider your style breakbeat?

We make dance music that is being reviewed in the Breaks and Bass-music sections of DJ and music blogs and mags.

Who are some of your favourite up-coming breakbeat producers?

There are loads of great breaks and bass producers out there that we are digging at the moment. Hybrid Theory, Mafia Kiss, Taiki Nulight, Marten Horger. Our old friends the Stanton Warriors are making some incredible new music too. We have stopped releasing on our Grand Hotel label for the moment to concentrate on the music of ours on the Stanton Warriors’ Punks label in London.

You guys have any new tracks yourself coming out? Or a new album even? You guys kinda pioneered the breaks album, but albums seem to have become less relevant…

Yes we are concentrating on singles and DJing at the moment. We’re championing a new record called Keep a Focus! This is gonna be released on Punks music for the tour. We have lined up many new singles on this platform for next year.

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