Friday, June 11, 2010

An Interview with Johnny Pluse & Exclusively Produced Track for Members ONLY!

From Bulabeats to Breakdown Records, 33-year-old Irish label owner, DJ & Producer JOHNNY PLUSE has it going on with his second album about to drop.  Here he spills the beans, shares his thoughts and feelings and has some strong words for critics of the Nu Funk scene…

Folk in the scene often incorrectly call you Johnny PULSE – an easy mistake to make - is PLUSE your surname?

Yeah, everyone calls me “Pulse” instead of “Pluse”.  My real name is John Murphy. I got the name Johnny Pluse from when I used to work with my dad in a factory. He was known as “Padar Pluse” and I picked up the nickname, which I think means Johnny of the cave from an old Irish story. I think it’s spelt differently - I just kind of stole it and morphed it into a DJ name with my own spelling.

When did you start DJing and how did you get into Production?

I got my first decks at the age of 15. I started off using my sister’s Hi-Fi to scratch badly. At 18, I went on a Studio Engineering course and spent every day trying to make tunes.  When I got home in the evenings, I’d cut up beats on my little sampler. A year later, I moved to London and was signed to a Happy Hardcore label producing Cyber Trance/ Hip-Hop/ Jungle tunes, which never got released. Over the following years I partied hard in London and returned home skint and very tired. Finally, I set up a studio at home, pressed up 300 CDs and sold them from my local pub.   That’s when Bulabeats was born and I released my first album - Funky 5.  The rest is a bit sketchy…
Tell us about the labels you’re involved with and your plans for the future?

Bulabeats is my baby.  Myself, Barry (DJ Obese) and The Turd run Breakdown Records. I’m also signed to Pig Balls Records and my second album drops on 23 June this year on Breakdown (CD).  It’s called How Much for the Monkey. The Dirty Dubsters have a 7” out with a Las Vegas MC called Bass Nacho in August.   I’ve produced a new tune that will feature on the Pig Ball’s 10th release, which is out in July this year.  I also remixed Danny Massure’s new single - Funk Band from San Diego and have an EP out on download at the moment…kaboom!  Also in the pipeline, there’s an EP forthcoming from my man Kool Hertz and a third album in the making!

Who should we be keeping an eye on in the nu funk scene this year and who are your favourite upper coming Producers?

Kool Hertz, Hayz, Totalcult, DFunk, Dirty Dubsters, The TurdMatty Blades, Fuzzbox, Pig Balls, Danny Massure, Badboe, Prosper.  These people are all dropping savage stuff!

Which Nu Funk DJ do you admire the most and why?

I think A. Skillz.  Besides his skills, he always looks sober, which is really hard to do.

Where can we see you DJing this year?

I have a tour organised for the album launch, as follows:

12 June - Breakdown @ Twisted Pepper, Dublin, Ireland

9 July - Launch Party @ the Lost Angel - Battersea, London

17 July - Album Launch Party (Secret Shed Party) - Trim, Ireland

18 July - Album Launch Party (Part 2) The Motor Bar  - Trim, Ireland

23 July - The Secret Garden Party (The Remix Bubble) - Huntingdon UK

4 Sept - Brownstock Music Festival - Essex, UK

18 Sept - Funk Deluxe - San Diego, CA, USA


What is your proudest achievement in life?

It has to be my trip to Malawi - to the Lake of Stars Festival.  I went on my own with no place to stay and no tent.  I played the main stage at the festival, which was a moment to remember.
Would you say you have the luck of the Irish?

Nah, not really.  I’m a hard worker and have been in the music game for a long time.  If I had the luck of the Irish I’d definitely have more women on the go!
Do you think the Nu Funk scene gets the recognition it deserves?

Nope, it’s the same old story.  People hop from one thing to the next.  One minute it’s Dubstep, then its Malaysian Tech House and then Jap Darcore Dubstep.  Cool people in cool bands trying to find the coolest thing.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Nu Funk review in Mixmag. I think people see it as rip-off form of music.  I say F*ck them.  It’s not about dance music – but music you dance to…

Do the Irish dig Nu Funk?  How does the scene differ to England?

Yeah they do.  It goes down well in pubs and at Barry’s club night – Breakdown.
However, they really don’t know what it is they’re hearing .The main difference between the Irish and
English scene is the English club scene is a massive set up, but there’s great auld fun in the Irish scene.
What are your biggest influences when it comes to making music?

Public Enemy of course, Bomb Squad , Russell Simmons , Beastie Boys , The Prodigy, Wham, Gary Newman, The Specials, The Beat, Madness, James Brown, New Order, Ian Brown and many more.
Can you reveal a killer production tip for our members?

1) Keep it short

2) Never layer Breakbeat on top of Breakbeat, but beef the beat up with kicks and snares

3) Structure tunes like a song – chorus, verse  etc.

4) Be creative with your sampling

5) Double or treble layer vocals

6) A good bass line is vital

7) Make sure you can dance to it
Any stand-out tracks on your forthcoming album?

I suppose the Market St Hustle or Pleasure Town - these are big club tunes

Any releases or collaborations in the pipeline?

I’m currently working on a new tune with Gerry Tully - a Folk singer who also did a tune on my album called Sick, Sore and Sorry. I’m starting work on my third album very soon. I’m keen to collaborate with more artists on this and involve some different MCs and styles. Anyone interested should hit me up.

Nu Funk culture involves artists ripping up classic tracks, using famous samples to create dancefloor bombs. What’s your view on the use of samples, labels releasing such tracks and the age-old copyright debate?

Well, I’ve had this debate many times with people. Everyone uses other people’s music.  Elvis robbed blues singer’s music.  On their first album, Oasis robbed every rock band’s riff in the world and Hip-Hop was based around sampling. It’s been around for years, so it’s about time people accepted this.  That said, making a Euro Dance cover of a song is just wrong.

Tell us something exclusive about Johnny Pluse that nobody else knows?

I supported Boyzone when I was 17 and played Jungle at the gig.

What are you thoughts about the launch of and the community?

It’s a savage idea - a place to swap tunes, promote, get tips and get hold of exclusive stuff you can’t find anywhere else. Every scene has a place like this and for Nu Funk this is it!
What does it mean to you to be asked to perform at the Launch party and what do you think of the line-up?

I can’t wait to rock the party at this event – the line-up is savage.

And finally, tell us about the free joint you've kindly offered up - exclusively for members to download?

It’s a bass heavy, dancefloor friendly version of Moby’s tune – Honey.  It’s exclusively for members only.  I’m going to test it on the dancefloor myself this Saturday night.  Hopefully it’ll go down a storm.

Listen below and if you want to get your hands on a copy of this exclusive track, as well as a whole bunch of other goodies, head over to our exclusive Member's Vault and download the 'Megabundle'. This is a members-only forum, so if you're not a member yet, join up HERE.

Check out the promo video for Johnny's forthcoming album:

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