BRMP: The South West's secret.
The rolling South West countryside...not the first place one expects to hear the jacking 4/4s of house and techno, or to be immersed by depthy sub-bass rhythms. Having grown up in the sticks of Dorset myself, I am all too aware of the hunger to locate others who share a passion for electronic music whilst confined to setting where the most disruptive noise on a Saturday night can be awarded to a particularly broody cow who's been seperated from its child.
Having moved to London, I now relish the peace and quiet (allow the cows) of my hometown as a respite from the high pace and volume of the capital's seemingly infinite access to underground events. Yet whilst on a Easter holiday in Dorset I was pleasantly surprised to discover the burgeoning talent of Somerset boys Lewis Woolacott and Bill Kerridge, mixing a high calibre selection of the latest hybrid of house and garage vibes at a local field party.
As it turns out, the pair host a local radio show BRMP, providing other like-minded countryside dwellers with the opportunity to hear new and exciting music which would only otherwise be accessible via the internet.
I took 5 to find out more about how the show began, the boys' own influences and why, for the moment, they're content with rural life...
What does BRMP stand for? Does this name allude to a specific ideology which the radio station holds?
BrewTank: Nah, it’s ‘Brewtank & Roy Bar Makin P(aper)’. We got into EPMD a few years back and thought the abbreviation was relevant to where we were at the time (for those that don't know EMPD stands for Eric and Parish Making Dollars - Ed.). We’re about pushing electronic dance music in an area that we felt was lacking in an alternative scene. The club culture in our area is governed by drinks promotions, chart-topping floor fillers and is sold, every weekend, to sex hungry lager twats. After finding parallels in musical taste, we started throwing nights. Turns out there was a lot of people in our area who thought the same as us.
Roy Bar: Yeah the name is a bit of a joke really, it's not to be taken seriously as we don't like to take ourselves too seriously. The radio show came after we found out our local station was looking for presenters. We forwarded a dj/live mixing format to them and they gave us a shot. I’m really thankful for it as it’s become a cornerstone in getting our message out as we started promoting nights and other DJ’s in the BRMP family. Also, BrewTanks technics live at the studio so it’s the only time I get to have a mix haha. The family continues to grow as more guys in the area get into the music and we feel like we're progressing with every night we throw and play at. But the game still remains the same, we play the tunes we want to the people that want to hear something different.
You are based on your home turf (Dorset/Somerset) Any plans to move further afield or is remaining local a central aspect of your work?
Roy Bar: Currently, we’re remaining local. We are trying to build a scene from the ground up. We feel we’ve come quite a long way in a short period of time and we don’t want to turn our backs on our countryside roots just yet. Besides, it’s exciting travelling two hours on an uncomfortable train to go and see a DJ I would only ever have heard on a Rinse.FM podcast before. It gives us a drive to progress and do everything we can where we’re currently based.
BrewTank: If there is a logical move planned, it would be ideal to be based in Bristol. As far as we can see, it has a constantly changing and growing scene. With nights like TroubleVision booking Bristol dates, 51’27 doing their weekly thing and the Shapes nights going from strength to strength; It is becoming more appealing to be there.
How did your musical journey begin? Were there any significant artists or club nights who triggered your urge to start something yourselves? What came first, mixing or producing?
Roy Bar: After listening to drum and bass artists such as Calyx, Photek, Concord Dawn and Black Sun Empire for a few years, I was shown the Fabriclive 37: Caspa and Rusko CD by an old friend when I was around 14. I listened to it for around half a year before researching the ‘dubstep’ genre and finding the Dubstep Allstars series on Tempa records. For a few years I was just listening to the music, playing on Fruity Loops every now and then so I guess I tried producing first. But, by early 2011 I discovered artists such as Mount Kimbie, Joy Orbison and rediscovered the Loefah I knew from the dubstep I used to listen to to hear the Swamp81 movement. I downloaded some Rinse.FM podcasts and within a matter of, what feels like, days my life changed and from then on I’ve wanted to produce and mix electronic dance music.
BrewTank: My musical journey began in the kitchen. Sitting in my highchair whilst mum listened to 60’s classics. I was always a melody driven listener but as time went by, dance music became something more relevant to me. I remember seeing Zombie Disco Squad at a small festival and it changed everything for me. Before I knew it, I was spiralling into the genres and sub genres of bass heavy house and techno music. With 126bpm as a pinpoint for my tastes I had the option of pitching down to play deep house and disco. In the last year, I would say that the labels that have stood out for me have been Hotflush and 20:20. Also, in my opinion, Nervous records constantly release house and disco material that is always excellent. Mixing on an old banged out laptop was my introduction to all this, but I worked hard and eventually bought myself a pair of 1210’s. That was a good day.
Let's talk about your sound system briefly. It's not often you come across a rig built using recycled car parts. It's a groundbreaking and eco-friendly concept- how did it come about?
BrewTank: Money issues haha. We needed a sound system for the lack of good parties in the area and I won’t pretend to be hippie because I’m not. The car-subs were lying dormant around a friends house so we decided to do something with them. We bought some MDF and he drew up some plans for a long throw bass cab. Within 2 months we were doing free parties in fields around the area and the system is currently being multiplied as we speak. Its not a perfect system but has more than enough blood, sweat and tears in it. It runs on a generator built from an old Peugeot diesel and all the speaker components are car audio equipment so it is easily replaceable and practical to change.
With the recent decline of dubsteps dominance changed and house and techno influence start to proliferate the Uk Bass scene, how have your musical tastes evolved? Divulge us in some of your influences and artists of whom you consider yourselves to have a similar vibe.
Roy Bar: Thankfully, I like to think I got into the dubstep sound before it started to die too hard so as well as looking for all of the most recent radio rips and all that to keep up to date with stuff I like to go back through the old DMZ releases and stuff to find any gems I could throw in a set. I find my tastes changing all of the time though which is only natural, I’m really content with the way my set lists are evolving to incorporate as many of the different styles and tempos that are all flying under the ’UK Bass’ flag. My main influence with Djing has to be Oneman, his selection is always sick and mixing perfect without question. But, living out here in the country side I don’t get many chances to go and see Dj’s so I take a lot of influence from Rinse shows and another favourite has to be the Dusk & Blackdown show. I’m also loving everything they’re putting out on their label right now.
BrewTank: I was never really into dubstep. However, by meeting Roy, I soon learnt that to anyone that had a passion for the early sounds, seeing its death was the end of a important chapter. Although there are still people flying the flag the way it always was. I know what I like and I know what I don’t like. That’s how I have always operated with music. I want to get lost in a set and please excuse the cliché but I need it to send me on a journey. For me, KiNK’s sets have always been something special and the way he flows in his mixes and productions constantly resonate with me. Another stand out set for me this year was Christophe and Lukas’ set for the Futureboogie 10th birthday at the old magistrates court in Bristol. From start to finish, it was mind-blowing. If I could take only a few aspects of these artists, I have accomplished something.
If you wanna find out more about BRMP or check out one of their radio shows you can follow them on facebook:
Words: Lauren Bush