Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Exclusive Interview: Norm De Plume

To to commemorate the release of Norm De Plume's new release, "The Groove Grocer" EP, on Kolour LTD we are pleased to bring you a special Kolour Blog exclusive interview with Norm!

He shares his thoughts on the new EP, Music, and much more.

Outside the more, perhaps, obvious choices, I love that you site Miles Davis as an artist that had an impact on you. What was it specifically about Miles that spoke to you?

I was lucky enough to take trumpet lessons at school and continued to play when I went to study music at college, so along with Dizzy (Gillespie), Miles and him were my favourite trumpet players. It’s funny though, it’s only now, years later, that I really, properly appreciate what Miles was about and if I had to sum it up in one word I’d say “space”. His sound is as much about space as anything, but he had a great tone too and obviously was hugely innovative in the way that he deconstructed Jazz (and music in general).

As a music fan, I’m curious about your journey in music that lead you to what you’re doing now. Can you tell us a little about the music path that brought you to the Deep House and Disco sounds you’re so passionate about?

I didn’t start DJ’ing until I was studying music at college. I started out playing Funk and Hip Hop and I was learning scratching and turntablism etc. Then a few years later I met some really cool people who I became good friends with when I moved to London and I fell in love with the whole Deep House sound and, as a result, got into Disco by learning about the original disco a lot of these tracks were sampled in the mid to late nineties.

Disco music has been embraced in varying degrees over the last 30 plus years now, yet never seems to be as respected as some argue it should. Do you think Disco music has gotten enough credit for being as influential as it really has?

Er, without meaning to sound negative, no not really. Even though Disco has enjoyed a huge renaissance in the last 5 years or so, the mainstream mindset is still to think of Disco in terms of Saturday Night Fever and Studio 54 etc. Don’t get me wrong, that was part of Disco , but by that point it had become a commercial model to make money and the music was suffering (in my opinion) and unfortunately this is what people remember. To me, what was really influential was not so much the recorded music itself (as amazing as it was), but what DJs like Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckles did with it in terms of edits. Ron Hardy’s edit of “Let No Man Put Us Asunder” is still the perfect dance floor track. Simple, but completely effective and emotional. To me, it’s pure house music before house music existed.

You started the Plumage imprint as a home for edits, can you tell a little more about your vision behind Plumage?

I wanted to make modern edits of some of my favourite tracks and pay tribute to guys like Ron hardy (etc.) that did it the first time round. To be honest it’s a very personal thing, a vehicle for my own tracks / edits really.

What are your thoughts on the current state of Deep House music? Is it in a good place or what do you see that could steer it in a better direction?

I think there is some amazing music being created and released at the moment, BUT you have to read between the lines and seek it out. On the other hand there is quite a bit of stuff that, in my opinion, is pretty mediocre, but gets massively hyped. I guess it’s always been a little bit like this, but I can’t help thinking that the dreaded internet (!) exacerbates this sort of thing (oh dear, that probably makes me sound very behind the times, but you know what I mean….) I guess it all comes down to taste and as long as there are guys like Jimpster, who are willing to stick by their guns and play really good deep and underground house music even though they are established and have a worldwide following, then long may it continue.

Your EP for us on Kolour LTD is a vinyl only EP, what are your thoughts having these songs exclusive to a vinyl releases versus seeing them get out to a wider audience on digital?

Like many people I think I just find the whole digital thing a little “throw away” so to speak. I’m just old fashioned and I like physical product. I would also like people to own and play my tracks because they rate them and like them, instead of it just being something they acquired from a mate that was passed to them willy nilly on a memory stick.

I love the contrast between the two songs on the EP, a slower, chuggy vibe on “Steady Teddy” and that bouncy, disco side to “Tribute To JBW”. When you made these tracks, did you envision them ending up on the same EP or was putting them together the plan the whole time?

Both are edits I’d wanted to make for a long time, but not got round to it, so it was nice to finally nail them. I didn’t intend for them to come out together, but I like to think they sit well together on the same EP. (?)

What did you think of Franc Spangler’s take on “Steady Teddy”?

I love it! It’s deep, but gritty too. Proper Detroit beat down stylee. A great remix!

Can you tell us a little about what your role is over at Delusions Of Grandeur?

I do various jobs, but on the whole it’s administrative. I have experience in the music industry, so I help out a lot with royalties and that type of thing.

What can we look forward to from Norm De Plume?

I will continue to make edits and tracks that I like and think are worthwhile. Hopefully other people out there will feel the same (!). I will try and get PLUMAGE02 out before the end of the year if possible, but I’m not very good at forcing music out or creating on demand, so to speak. I prefer to just create in my own time. I may try my hand at a bit more remixing , depending on who offers. Apart from that, Matt Masters and I are about to start up my night "Wayward" again bi-monthly. You can catch us at The Horse & Groom in London on 30th July. (2011)

More info on Norm De Plume:

Norm is the host of the Delusions Of Granduer Podcast, check it out here.
Norm De Plume on Facebook
Norm De Plume on Soundcloud
Norm De Plume on My Space

Interview by Glen. (C) KOLOUR RECORDINGS. Do not steal this article without giving full credit and a link! Thanks!

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