before he was professor x, he was charles…before he was magneto, he was….
…oh oops, wrong movie.
So back in the day, I used to DJ under a different name - the incredibly hard to read “fr33st4t3“.
yup, leet. read “freestate”, and yeah I actually did start using it before the mau5 took leet spelling into the mainstream.
I used this alias from when I started out playing deep house (!), and it took me from there to classic prog, breaks, trance, and back to prog again…
Perhaps a bit of nostalgia has hit me, as I’ve dug up a mix from that time that’s got some serious tunage…some of these tracks are old faves of mine.
A bit different than the sheen and hyped production of modern tracks, but they definitely pump.
See what you think for a ride with a different sound…we go through waves of prog, trance and even some boshed UP breaks tunes in here…
Hey! It’s finally Friday again here at the Beatery (where it’s always Friday at least once a week!) and we have another tasty sampler of five fresh tracks for your ear holes. We got your Electro House. We got your Tropical Bass. We got your Dubstep! We got you covered, is what I am saying.
1. Meat Katie & D Ramirez ft. Odissi - Stop the Revolution
2. Illikon - Circus Jack
3. Vaski - Jelly (Nostalgia remix)
4. Heavyfeet ft MC Mad Rush - Vs Up (Rack n Ruin remix)
5. FS - Touch O’ Klass
Here on the Beatery we tend to heap praise on whatever subject we cover, so this may take a slightly different tone than we’re used to. I don’t think I need to defend my fanaticism of the Plump DJs. In my write-up for their nomination for our first So You Think You Can Bump, a contest in which they took home the silver*, I referred to my praise as “verbal fellatio”, a term of questionable taste that I’m only making worse by repeating here. But something’s been bugging me recently and I wanted to run it by you guys. See what you think. Start a little conversation.
Back when the Plump DJs appeared on the scene, they introduced a sound that perfect balanced nu skool and funky breakbeat. They brought the rather thin-sounding funky breaks of the 90s into the 21st century by beefing up the bottom end so the sound could hang with heavy nu skool production, which was the preferred flavor of breaks at the time**. I loved them for this. As a fan of funky music in any form, it was the discovery the Plump DJs that pulled me from house music into breaks. Here’s a couple cuts from their first album; the ones that really won me over.
Electronauts - Bumper (Plump DJs Remix)
Flash forward 11 years or so, and what do we have now? After a decade of unrivaled dominance on top of the breakbeat scene the Plumps have parted ways with the successful funky breaks label Finger Lickin’ Records*** and started their own label,Grand Hotel. And as expected their music has changed as well but, at least through my ears, not for the better. While the Plumps’ sound has certainly evolved over their career, they’ve always retained and celebrated their funky roots, whether it be in tech funk (Contact 00), squelchy nuskool (Get Kinky) or just good ol’ electro (The Rub Off.) But now, it’s gone. Here are samples of their last three releases. Apologies for the inconsistency with the soundcloud clips; it’s because I haven’t bought the tracks.
Maximillian - Don’t Let Go (Plump DJs Remix)
A harder sound for sure, but they’ve replaced the funk with… rave? Is this the sound of now? I lament the resurgence of rave aesthetics in electronic music we’ve seen over the last several years, and now it’s claimed my favorite producers. The Plumps’ trademark walking electro basslines have been ousted in favor of sustained growling tones, and their syncopated catchy hooks are now reverb-laden rave stabs or shrill Afrojack-style synths. I don’ t mean to sound harsh. Their tastes have obviously changed and that’s the natural course of any artist’s career, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. I want my damn funk back.
But my question: Am I alone here? What do you think? Do you like this new sound, both in the Plumps’ music and the rave resurgence in general? Where does it go from here?
I’m interested because I feel obligated to continue posting new sets and singles from our 2nd most popular producers on the blog here, but frankly I, the Plump DJs’ chief evangelist, am getting a bit tired of it. But in case you aren’t, here’s their last Grand Hotel preview mix. The latest collection of bass and reverb, hot off the cloud. Whether I post the next one is up to you guys. Let me know your feelings on the new sound of the Plumps. ****
Plump DJs @ XOYO May 14th GRAND HOTEL DJ MIX
* Behind only the almighty Daft Punk, mind you.
** And arguably still is.
*** Now de-funkted, as it were. RIP.
**** For the record, I’m kind of feeling the last track in this set.
Hey! Our annual recap has wrapped up but I don’t want to bury that shit just yet because there is a ton of great content in there! If you missed it, check out the archive here. It’s got enough music to keep you bumpin’ all day long.
And be sure to scroll down a hair to read Jay’s awesome announcement of our winners, featuring a TIE for first and a fresh track from each of our champs.
Just to keep the music train rolling, I want to say that in my last post, after I mentioned that I was embarrassed to learn that I had somehow never heard The Prodigy’s Voodoo People, that synth line got stuck in my brain as I am sure it has for so many and I set out in search of versions to DJ. I turned up a super sick Dubstep-ish remix by someone named Muffler, so here it is:
Here’s another one from the vault. As the name of the party suggests, Japancake was a mashup of a Pancake Playhouse fundraiser and bon voyage party for Jay, who was off to study in the land of the rising sun. I had planned a lot of this set beforehand, and I’m still a fan of many of these mixes, which is probably why I’ve kept the mix around despite some obvious flaws with the recording. Chief among these flaws was the fact that the needle on one of the turntables that fateful night decided it wasn’t a fan of treble, which made every other song a muddy mess that sounded like it was being played through a pillow. This in turn made half of the mixes pretty jarring when suddenly the high frequencies we’d been missing for three minutes came busting back in. All in all, not a great listening experience. So, ever the history revisionist, I’ve gone back through the set and attempted to remaster the original recording. I’ve boosted the treble where appropriate, tweaked the volumes, added some compression and the result is… well okay, it still sounds pretty rough. But it’s better than it’s ever been, and that’ll have to do. Special thanks to Jay for digging up the original wav file, and Marc Fong for still hosting his photo gallery from the party after all these years.
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