Filed under: Interview
Rennie Pilgrem must be a happy man. Sat at the helm of one of the most successful and one of the most respected breaks labels in the world, he is one of the best known and best loved figures in the scene. Twice the winner of the international Breakspoll Award for Most Valuable Person and currently riding high after the release of his new album, ‘Pilgremage’ that has been the received a generous welcome from fans and critics alike he is, without a doubt, one of the best breakbeat producers in the world.
We got the low down from Rennie on a year that has seen the breaks sound become ever more global.
Interview by Matt Cheetham (HigherFrequency)
HRFQ : You’ve just released your latest album artist album, Pilgremage, can you give us a bit of background to the design and concept of the album.
Rennie Pilgrem : I wanted to represent the many flavours of breaks that I’m into and the design was a bit of a spoof with me as a Pilgrim.
HRFQ : On the new album you’ve collaborated with a number of artists, is there anyone you’re keen on working with on future productions?
Rennie Pilgrem : I am looking forward to doing a new track with BLIM and Uberzone and I am probably producing a track for Chickaboo.
HRFQ : Which track out of all your productions would you say is your favourite and why?
Rennie Pilgrem : I am particularly fond of the ‘Attention’ track just because it’s a nod to my roots and the live musicians on the track (Sax and Double Bass) made.
HRFQ : What do you think was the best remix you’ve done?
Rennie Pilgrem : I think it has to be ‘Emit’ by Zero closely followed by ‘Rock Your Body’ by Ferry Corsten.
HRFQ : You’ve recently started up again London’s biggest free break beat event, Hum, how’s everything going with that and what plans do you have for Hum’s future?
Rennie Pilgrem : It’s fantastic. We’re getting well over 1000 people. We plan to tour the night around the UK and Internationally. We are 3 years old and have grown the night into something really special, it’s got to be the best breaks night in London.
HRFQ : What artists have inspired you over the years?
Rennie Pilgrem : All the orignal NU Skool bods, Uberzone, BLIM, Tipper, Icey, Freq Nasty Uptown Connection, Meat Katie, Koma & Bones, J.D.Sc.everyone who done great tunes.
HRFQ : What influences do you think have shaped your musical tastes?
Rennie Pilgrem : Prince, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, War, Was Not Was and many other funk-based bands.
HRFQ : What have been the major steps in your career so far?
Rennie Pilgrem : Meeting Ellis Dee and forming Rhythm Section with him, Nick Scott and Richard Thake. Starting TCR, Still being going after 10 years, having a successful sex change operation last year!
HRFQ : TCR Records, you label is home to some of the best break beat artists in the world, do you plan to keep it a predominantly breaks label or do you see it eventually developing to include other musical forms?
Rennie Pilgrem : Breaks and funk based music is where I’m at. What goes on top is what keeps it interesting but I plan to keep it funky.
HRFQ : What plans to do you have for TCR in the next year?
Rennie Pilgrem : We are releasing a J.D.S. album which `I’m very excited about and we will also be releasing our 100th track so we will be doing something special for that.
HRFQ : Why do you think break beat is being taken much more seriously these days?
Rennie Pilgrem : Because it has grown into a very important genre in dance music, because it is an exciting alternative to house that has been around now for nearly 20 years, because it has so many different facets it stays fresh and interesting.
HRFQ : Which up and coming artists do you think are going to have a big impact on the breaks scene?
Rennie Pilgrem : Atomic Hooligan, Kraymon, Rogue Element.
HRFQ : Freq Nasty has recently been experimenting with multi media based performances, have you thought about including more visual elements into your DJ sets?
Rennie Pilgrem : Yes, but I would rather concentrate on doing a proper live performance.
HRFQ : What are your current DJ tools of choice?
Rennie Pilgrem : Record decks and CD players but I am also experimenting with Ableton Live. I also find having some music quite useful as well.
HRFQ : What are you plans for the rest of this year and early next year?
Rennie Pilgrem : I am working on a track for a new Sony Playstation game. I will probably do a mix compilation and then start a new album.
HRFQ : Where will you be celebrating this coming New Year?
Rennie Pilgrem : In Cornwall with my family.
End of the interview
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