Plump DJs Interview: The lowdown

We quizzed one of the pioneering breaks duos on the genre and its past and future, plus their own productions and 2015 highlights.

Becca Frankland

Last updated: 4th Dec 2015.
Originally published: 3rd Dec 2015

Image: Plump DJs

The feat of shaping a genre is an impressive one, and over the course of their career the Plump DJs have influenced dance music immensely. Often hard to summarise, their sound stretches from bass to breakbeat to house, and when it can't be labelled it's simply 'Plump music'.

The duo consisting of Andy Gardner and Lee Rous have become legends in their field, using their innovative production style and skilful delivery they have established themselves as favourites with dance music fans across the globe, regularly touring across Canada, the USA and Europe. 

We caught up with the pair ahead of their headline gig at the last ever Lowdown event at Soundcontrol in Manchester to talk about the milestone gig, the breakbeat genre and partying on the moon. 

You guys are playing at Lowdown's last ever event. What have been your experiences of playing in Manchester (listen to their set from last year above)?

Manchester is and always has been one of the best places to play on our yearly world tour. The Lowdown crowd in particular show serous gusto and just don't stop.

Will you adjust your set for the milestone event? Maybe a few more classics?

We have remastered all our records from the vinyl era and have amassed an album of our best bits from the past 15 years. Our set will include a few new breakbeat and bass motivated cuts from us, but for the most part will be a celebration of our most popular releases. 

As pioneers of breaks, how have you seen the genre and the scene develop over the years?

Things have changed immensely over since we started making breakbeat and putting on parties in London in the late nineties. We have been lucky enough to be a part of a scene that grew and flourished, and unfortunately had to witness its decline in more recent years.

We have come full circle in that time, our passionate desire to create and develop has lead us to be making some proper breakbeat again recently. Folks will be able to get a taster of some of these new experiments on the night and on our new album. 

Where do you see breakbeat going in the future?

Lowdown in many respects is one of the cornerstones of the breaks scene in the world today, and we will be sad to say goodbye to their legendary parties. Safe to say that we will continue making music and DJing, and the new pioneers of the breaks scene will fly their flag for the future.

With the emergence of (pro breaks) bass music genre, which is gaining support world wide, and many other genres being inspired again by the  breakbeat athstetic, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

With other premiere breaks/bass acts continuing to up their game like the Stanton Warriors, Kraftykuts and Askillz  there is much to be happy about. Things are definitely shifting our way and there are some seriously cool mutha fuckers joining in this time round. 

Your music is famously hard to pigeon hole, but how would you describe it to anyone who hasn't listened to your productions or sets?

We would say that we are break beat artists. We grew up on hip hop soul and funk, went out raving to house music in the early nineties, then became famous for making breakbeat in noughties. This was basically our musical history all rolled up into one genre.

We have in more recent years experimented with making electro bass music and are keen dance music fans. We love to experiment and challenge the dance floor, however on Saturday we will be doing everything for you, just for you and nobody else but you, the party. 

We're approaching the end of the year, so the obligatory question is, what have been your 2015 highlights when it comes to gigs, tracks and general stand out moments?

We have been working on our new album and singles this year, and we also had a busy festival season, the highlights being Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Beat Herder and Wickerman.

We also released singles that won critical acclaim, and returned to making some breakbeat again which made us feel kind of warm inside. We toured Canada, Europe, The Middle East and all over the UK, doing what we love for another year... how lucky are we! 

After spending so much time in XOYO, what do you think of their residency series? Do you still have a good relationship with the club?

Yes the club has gone from strength to strength, with some fantastic programming. We have a great relationship with the venue, however they are prioritising house and more subtle genres now to our knowledge. That means we are not right for their venue.

We have had some great gigs at Brixton's Jamm over the past year, it's a proper dark disco, with sweat dripping from the walls and a decent sound system. It's relaxed and happy for us, and we pull a decent crowd. If it's to ya, good for ya!

Last up, we can give you the power to create your ultimate plump party with any artist from past or present. Who would make up the line up and where would it take place?

Honestly we are not allowed to answer this question publicly yet as we are planning a party on the moon next summer and we are looking at the line up as we speak.

Like this? Try Stanton Warriors Interview: All basses covered

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