1 - Can you tell us a little about your background? Where did you grow up, and where are you based now?
I grew up in a remote small village in Kent called East Farleigh. Farming country. I am now based near Chiswick in West London...where if you look at someone
in the wrong way they could spill your Latte
2 - What originally enticed you to start making music?
It was a musical house-hould, my dad was into Jazz and I was lucky enough to get a old piano when I was about 7....I used to play the hell out of it.
I then graduated to the saxophone which I played in funk bands, partly to attract girls.
3 - How would you describe your music?
Modern electronic breakbeat with elements of funk. Syncopation is the key.
4 - When did you first feel that you had finally discovered your own specific sound?
When I set-up TCR at the end of the Rave era. Hardcore had gone the way of sped-up vocals and was approaching 150 BPM and I started doing
130 BPM breaks heavily influenced by what was going on in America (Dj Icey, Uberzone etc). First time I realised that you could release stuff that
was just catering to the 'London Scene'
5 - Do you know know what kind of track you want to write before you sit down to make it, or is it more a matter of experimenting and just seeing what happens?
Bit of both. If it's an experimental track, the sort of thing I would offer to a Library company, then I will just expand on a musical 'doodle' and see where it takes me. If it's for the dancefloor,
I will have an idea of the speed, vibe and even sounds that I want to find/make.
6 - When you do sample, how do you approach it? Where do you source your samples from?
How dare you accuse me of sampling other people's material. I have never done such a thing! But I have a 'friend' who does. He thinks sampling beats are fair-game and will happily grab
anything else but ideally use it in a new or interesting way (or you could say use it in a way where he won't get caught). Vocals are the real killer. You find a snatch of vocal that fits perfectly with your track and then realise that if you use it, you are asking for big trouble if the tracks ever blows-up.
7 - Do you play any instruments?
I play the keyboards, Bass and am a lapsed Saxophone player
8 - What does your current production setup consist of?
Apple Mac Pro Laptop running Logic, a Midi Keyboard, one Mackie speaker (I blew the other) and a set of Senheiser HD 280 headphones.
And that's it. Used to have a big studio but it became unnecessary.
9 - If you only had time to save one of your own musical relics or pieces of vinyl from imminent danger, which would it be?
I would be my bass. It's a 1969 Fender Precision and as well as being very valuable, it's not technically mine (been on permanent loan for years)
10 - Are you morning people or night owls?
Both, annoyingly. I have kids so I have been used to having to get-up early for years but I also lead the night-time existence of a DJ. Plus some of your most creative work can happen
early int he morning or late at night.
11 - When you perform, what’s your preferred setup and how would you describe your sets? Are they different than your sounds as a producer?
Very simple 2 cdjs and a mixer. I did the whole laptop thing year's ago and ultimately found it more hassle than it's worth. With my sets currently I am
playing a mixture of brand new stuff which is 140 Future Jungle and classic stuff mainly that I have made or released on TCR. Whenever I am playing I try to end up on a high.
12 - What records are you currently playing out at the moment?
140 Future Jungle. I am loving the real breaks and energy of this stuff.
13 - What was the best party/gig/festival you’ve ever played, and why?
I think it was the Launch Party for my Album Pilgremage several year's ago at our night HUM in London.
Two people wearing horses heads dancing on stage, MC Chickaboo whipping the crowd-up and a sax player
Andrew Spence over from Canada free-styling over the set. Just an awesome atmosphere and several notches
up from a normal dj set. The first Glastonbury with the live band would have to be a close second.
14 - When you’re not making or playing/making music, what’s your preferred pastime?
I do a lot of art these days. gives me the same buzz as the early days of making music on samplers etc. I have set-up an online gallery and we do
pop-up events. It's run like a label with artists getting royalties and new technology is (again like musc 20 year's ago) making all sorts of crazy stuff possible.
Other than that I am a tennis player and am a keen amateur motorcycle customiser. (My bike attached)
15 - Where do you think you will be musically in the next few years?
I am hoping that the latest strain of breaks will empower the scene again and provide an avenue to sell some 'records'.
I will also bei doing a lot of music for TV and hopefully film.
16 - A last word…
The Best Of Rennie Pilgrem is out now and crying out for some of your hard-earned cash.