Breakbeat was slumbering away peacefully before the Plump DJs gave it a loud wakeup call with their first release ‘Electric Disco/Plumpy Chunks’ in 1999. With thundering momentum, their critically acclaimed productions reformatted dancefloors and perceptions, and set new production standards. Some were scared silly, few fell back asleep, but many jumped up for a shower of Plump freshness. And an alarming universal consensus was formed. Everyone wanted a piece of the Plump pie, and fat was in.
Inspired by a top shelf girlie mag entitled Plumpers, Lee Rous and Andy Gardner met and the Plump DJs were born. It would be nice to say that before making music, the Plump DJs had glamorous jobs – but we can¹t. Before the duo met Andy worked in a cardboard box factory and Lee was a waiter at a Berni Inn. The music started as a hobby and after a number of excursions and collaborations with the Freskanova camp, the two found their oats at the Finger Lickin’ stable.
A global need for the bold attitude, squidgy sounds, and Behemoth basslines amplified by the Plumps pushed the duo into their Soho based Laboratoire Plump to manifest a large destiny. Jerk to inflate! Inflate it did, next vinyl.
‘The Push/Remember My Name’ on Finger Lickin’, waxed the hairs off everyone’s legs and the screams of delight led the lads into completing their feature album “A Plump Night Out” in 1999. The album sampler rocketed to No.1 on DJ magazine Breaks and Beats chart for three issues in a row.
Before Lee and Andy could smile for another photo shoot, remix opportunities were piled on the doorstep. Jumpin’ and Pumpin’ (with perhaps a bit of pimpin¹) through the year of chronic concoctions the Plump DJs’ spin of Stakker Humanoid’s classic ‘Humanoid’ and a spate of other remixes for The Freestylers, DeeJay Punk Roc and Mint Royale ballooned their status. Perfecting a repertoire of coercive gruff sounds, the Plumps were in high demand.
Their remixes for the likes of BT and Orbital became the bubbles of oxygen that rose to the top of the ocean of global dance music. The Plump ship made waves, putting the excitable “Oh” back into H20. Historians, dance music critiques, and Soho restaurateurs chuckled with glee as Lee and Andy won the Galaxy loaded with dancefloor ammunition; launching Smartbombs and dropping laughing gas onto Funny Break terrain, replacing testosterone nu-skool with accessible sonic boom and arse wiggle.
Lee and Andy were on the lips of every man and his mixer from London to Rio, whilst the two remained loyal to the underground movement. Judge Jules announced the Plumps mix of JDS’ ‘Nine Ways’ as tune of the week. They went on to achieve Mixmag ‘Breaks compilation of the year’; Pete Tong’s Essential compilation album; album of the month in Wax and M8 and have been written about in literally every dance publication going.
Their Elastic Breaks covermount CD on Mixmag sold over 140,000 copies and was their biggest selling issue ever. In 2001 the boys achieved Pete Tong’s Essential Tune with their remix of The Elektronauts’ ‘Bumper’ on Lacerba. Temptation grew and the heat was so intense that ‘Bumper’ was nominated for ‘Best Remix of 2001’ at the annual Muzik awards. The Plumps were also nominated for ‘Best Breakthrough DJ’ and narrowly missed the shortlist for the Mercury Music Prize.
Not taking notice of the Diesel jeans that Lee lived in, Levi’s used The Push in a commercial, which ran in Asia for over a year. As their popularity soared, the Plump wares provided background music for Grandstand, Ski Sunday and Sky Sports. By late 2001, Sony adopted ‘Big Groovy Fucker’ and Plumps mixes of BT’s ‘Smartbomb’ onto PlayStation2’s Wipeout Fusion. Finally, the much-talked about ‘Big Groovy Fucker’ was unleashed in March 2002.
The formidable Fatboy Slim gave the Plumps 12" single ‘TB Reality’ a fat thumbs up. The flip ‘Big Groovy Fucker’ was Essential Breaks Tune in 7 magazine, ‘Single of the month’ in Muzik + Ministry, #1 in the DJ breaks and beats chart, #1 In Muzik Sweep, Cool Cuts #14, Buzz chart # 16, as well as appearing on numerous compilations and covermount CDs. The Plump productions are so rated that Phil Hartnoll called the label to say it was the best remix they’ve ever had! Subsequently they were been support DJs for both UK Orbital tours in 2001.
Remixing has been on the shelf for the past year as the Plumps have been in Laboratoire Plump concocting some devilish fare for their upcoming artist album. But in recent months the boys took time to sharpen their remix skills on Mr Velcro Fastener’s crazy ‘Electric Appliances’ for Ali B’s new Air imprint, and have also mixed the recent installment in the Fabric Live compilation series. Lee and Andy have stayed faithful to their other monthly residency at the UK’s number one club Fabric. That’s as well as appearances at Blowpop (Bristol), Big Beat Boutique (Brighton); Bugged Out events around the country and guest spots around the world, including tours of Australia and Asia. Tours of New Zealand, USA, Canada and Japan are in the pipeline.