SYTYCB - Plump DJs (updated)Breaks, Funky Breaks, House, Nu-Skool Breaks, So You Think You Can BUMP?
It’s a good thing we don’t maintain any pretense of objectivity here on the Beatery, because I don’t think I can hide my bias when it comes to profiling the greatest thing to happen to breakbeat since James Brown’s Funky Drummer (See, there I go already.) It’s not enough to say that the Plump DJs have been the best breakbeat artists over the last ten years. No, starting ten years ago (almost to the month) the Plump DJs have been breakbeat itself. They are almost solely responsible for rejuvenating the genre and turning breaks into the underground juggernaut it is today. With enough mass appeal to rival the Stanton Warriors without having to lean on booty rap hooks, with a knack for pushing the formulaic nu skool genre in unique directions, with over four albums-worth of original material over the last decade… you shouldn’t even have to think before voting the Plump DJs as your So You Think You Can Bump champions. Buy hey, I’ll make the case anyway.
Expand to hear me verbally fellate the Plump DJs for another five paragraphs or so…
How’s this for a rags to riches story? Before Lee Rous and Andy Gardner joined forces to become the Plump DJs,a name inspired by the porno magazine Plumpers (don’t Google it), Lee was working as a hotel waiter and Andy was an employee of, I shit you not… a cardboard box factory. Jesus. Anyhow, the two started writing songs together as a hobby and before long found themselves signed to the recently-established breaks label Finger Lickin’ Records. Soon after that, the Plumps released their first album.
This album changed my DJing career. It introduced me to breakbeat that struck the perfect balance between heavy and funky. Once I had their first single, Electric Disco, on my turntable all I wanted was to find more music like it. Lots more. Luckily, the Plump DJs delivered. They wove together the hard beats and basslines of nu skool breaks with equal parts funk and electro to create a sound that’s nasty yet friendly, familiar yet fresh. Their talent lies in taking time-tested elements from other musical genres, electronic or otherwise, and twisting them around just enough to sound like nothing you’ve ever heard before. It’s this magic touch that makes A Plump Night Out so immensely crowd-pleasing. I still keep a few of these ten-year-old tracks around for when I need to get the crowd going in a hurry.
Three years later, the Plump DJs released their second album, Eargasm, and cemented their reputation as gods among breaks producers. It’s here that the Plumps really demonstrate their range. This album runs the gamut of electronic dance music styles; so much so that I do it a disservice by posting only three songs. Just know that in place of the hard, electro,and techy styles represented in these tracks, I could have just as easily given you progressive, acid and downtempo.
This album contains the what might be the funkiest breaks track of all time. It’s the simple, wriggling electro stepper The Rub Off, and my friends are probably sick of hearing me play it all the time. Still, I challenge you to find a funkier electro bassline. Seriously, I’d love to hear it. Also, Get Kinky is massive.
Lastly, we have Plumps’ most recent album. With Headtrash, the duo ventures into new territory by working with vocalists for a number of tracks. Doppler isn’t actually on the album, it’s a B-side of one of the singles, but it’s another damn fine example of the Plump DJs’ affinity for exploring new sounds and styles.
Alright, so there you have four solid albums in the past ten years, but here’s the thing: I barely touched on the Plump DJs’ numerous and notable non-albums singles and remixes. Oh, and their Fabric and Mixmag DJ sets, both record-breaking. And, if you’re a jaded breaks-aficionado who’s somehow heard this all this before, well, they’ve got a brand new Global Underground double-CD mix just for you. And best of all, if you are within driving distance of San Francisco, you can come join me and dance your ass off when they come to Mighty in a few short days. GET TICKETS!
UPDATE - Jay here - Under some sort of breakbeat induced overdose Cor slipped into a semi-coma and didn’t post our remix feature. All this Plump was just too much, I fear he may never recover. It just so happens that the remix is one of my favorite Plump tracks OF ALL TIME so we gotta get it up here! The original is nowhere to be found on the interwebs, but I feel confident that it’s garbage in comparison to this epic space-battle of a track:
PLUMP DJS IN OUR MIXES:
I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t have the energy to search and type them all out. The Plump DJs are all over this blog. The list would be almost all of my mixes and a few of Jay’s. If you like what you’ve heard above, I encourage you to type “plump” in the search bar up at the top of the blog to find more… or just play one of my sets at random. (I got you Cor):
- Electronauts - “Bumper” (Plump DJs Remix) - 4th track on “War Of The Worlds” by Cor
- BT - “Smart Bomb” (Plump DJs Mix) & “Scram” - both on “Octane” by Jay and Cor
- “Plumpy Chunks” - 1st track on “BUMP” by Cor
- “System Addict” - 6th track on “Back To Skool” by Cor
- “The Funk Hits The Fan” - 6th track on “Fatbeats” by Cor
- “Beat Myself Up” - somewhere on “Live @ Green Drinks” by Cor
- “The Rub Off” - 6th track (6th again!) on “No Excuses” by Cor
- “Doppler” - or at least some samples of it - 1st track on “Electron Flow” by Jay
(That’s a whopping NINE tracks! Two more than Deadmau5, the current runner up.)
PLUMP DJS BY OUR CRITERIA:
- Consistency - 5/5 - Their mass appeal is off the charts and they still show no signs of slowing down.
- Originality - 5/5 - In this DJ’s humble opinion, there is no one in the last decade that has done more to push breakbeat into new territory than the Plumps.
- Number of Quality Releases - 5/5 - Again, four albums, plus singles, remixes, mixed sets… all top quality. I could do this post all over again with completely different tracks and it’d sound just as good.
Wait, straight fives? Have we done that before? Is that even allowed? Well, keep in mind we all have our own opinions here on the Beatery, and I feel confident in saying that over the last ten years, no artist has done me better than the Plump DJs. How about you? Where do they rank on your scale? Vote below and let us know.