We caught up with Rennie Pilgrem ahead of his main stage set at Southern Sounds festival on Saturday June 11th and asked him about his favourite artists right now, why he’s backing the 140 Jungle resurgence, and how he’s looking forward to taking breaks to a new height with his troupe of dancing pygmies, which we think is a collaboration with Inchie Ctrl-Z and Aston Freestylers.
At what age did you start DJing?
28, just after I started losing my hair.
How did you get into music production?
I bought a Korg M1 (keyboard with sequencer) and a few empty cans of paint. The old Rhythm Section tunes are so meaty on the beats as that paint was Dulux.
What is your motto in life?
Do as you would be done by.
How has the industry changed since you started?
Slightly! No more getting your music onto vinyl and feeling the buzz of hearing it that way for the first time. Obviously digital has changed music for ever
Tell us something we don’t know about Rennie Pilgrem?
I am about to launch an online Art Gallery called pocketgallery.co.uk which will sell mine and others abstract art
You are known as the pioneer of ‘Nu Skool Breaks.’ How did you develop an interest in breaks?
I was doing house music with a friend in the East End and we met Ellis Dee who played me house music but with hip-hop beats and there was no going back
What’s the latest with TCR? Any new or upcoming projects?
I am going to release a Soundtrack I’ve written for the film ‘The Fix’ and I am currently remixing Dopamine’s ‘Hold You’ with Pyramid. I am doing a lot of ‘Nu Jungle’, ‘Jungle Breaks’ (or whatever it’s called). I have a vocal version of a 140 track called ‘Erica’s Fix’ which will be out June 20th
What are your top 3 favourite tunes of all time?
Future Sound Of London ‘Papua New Guinea’
JD ‘Plastic Dreams’
A Guy Called Gerald ‘Voodoo Ray’
Top 3 tracks out at the moment?
Rennie Pilgrem ‘Erica’s Fix’ TCR
RackNRuin ‘Mindscape’ Sub Slayers
Pyramid ‘Blast Off’ Funkatech
What current producers do you think are really making waves at the moment?
In what way do you think breaks has evolved over the years?
It’s gone round in a circle from being all about the beats, to become a bit techy to coming back to raw beats again
How have you incorporated the changes into your music?
Breaks has always taken-aboard influences from what’s going on around it, and currently it’s taking a leaf from Dub Step by going-up to 140 BPM and using some of their sounds and production techniques. Same way as when Nu Skool started we were obsessed with emulating the futuristic sounds of Drum n Bass
Out of all your albums, which one is your favourite?
I think Pilgremage because it has all my influences on there and was the first time I started playing bass guitar
Name three of your biggest influences…
Prince, Miles Davis and my Father who got me into music
If you were to throw a party which 3 people would top your Guestlist?
Whichever 3 people had the biggest Facebook network
Would you ever consider switching genres away from breaks?
Well I’ve been doing more funk-influenced stuff lately which has not just been breaks and my Soundtrack is much more abstract but those rhythms are not etched in my soul and I can’t see any going back.
If you had to live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Majorca, because the water don’t taste like it ‘ought ta.
What can we expect from you this summer at Southern Sounds?
I have a troupe of dancing pigmies who will be pogoing in gay abandon to my irresistible music and I am going to smash the arse out of it with ‘140’ mayhem.
See Rennie smash the backside off a pygmy on June 11th on Clapham Common! Tickets for Southern Sounds are now on sale, and you can buy direct from Breakspoll and Crooked and save yourself a bundle! Buy Tickets Here.