Son of a jazz trumpeter, Rennie Pilgrem started life
saxophone and sitting with his Father’s various bands around Southern
England. Later after getting heavily into ‘black’ music he
funk bands playing sax and keyboards. Rennie's musical infatuation took
big twist when he heard the sounds coming out of Detroit in the late ‘80s.
After making rudimentary House music on the wrong kind of drum machines
with soon to be Rhythm Section members Ellis Dee, Richard Thake and Nick
‘ Newton Scott, they had interest from (amongst others) the new British
house label Guerrilla. Preferring to release their own material they
formed Rhythm Section Recordings and became part of the wave of breakbeat
house that went on to become known as Hardcore in the early ‘90’s.
Their third release ‘Comin’ On Strong’ was a anthem
and would have charted
top 40 if they’d known about ‘bar codes’ on records.
With Ellis Dee the
crowned king of rave DJs, Rhythm Section played at pretty much every
party between ’90-92’. On the same bill as The Prodigy, Moby,
Shades Of Rhythm and Bizzare Inc. Their music was very big with pretty
much every major DJ at the time, Fabio, Grooverider, Ray Keith, and Carl
Cox etc. As the drugs sped up, so did the music. When the BPMs reached
ridiculous 150, Rhythm Section decided to call it a day and separately
went back to making music at House tempo.
In 1993 Rennie founded Thursday Club Recordings (TCR) as a medium for
putting out his own material. His first few releases were funky house
a smattering of breaks lurking in the background. Recording now as
Thursday Club’ he had a big tune with ‘Thursday Theme’,
which was chased by Virgin.
A chance PA in Florida was another turning point in 1994. Hearing a
thriving breaks scene at its original tempo galvanized Rennie into going
back to pure breaks.
'A Place Called Acid' (1995) was one of the biggest breakbeat tunes
around. With his pedigree as a member of the legendary Rhythm Section in
the rave days Rennie's remixing skills are much in demand. He also set up
'Friction' with Adam Freeland, Tayo and Ian Williams which pretty much
kick-started the whole 'Nu Skool' scene. He also coined the term 'Nu
Skool' along with his fellow Friction partners as a way of describing their music.
He's released records on Whole9yards, City Of Angels, Chrysalis/EMI, Mob
and China Records to name but a few. He's collaborated with many top
producers including legend Arthur Baker (on 'Like No Other', 'Hey Funky
People' and ‘Face It’), BLIM (on that massive 'Eskimo' track and
equally huge ‘2Freaks’) and with Meat Katie (on 'Rubba' and 'Atmosphere').
Following on from the huge ‘Black Widow’, Rennie also decided it
was time to go back into the studio with Uberzone and their follow-up ‘Cous
Cous’ received support from the likes of everyone from the Plump DJ’s
He continues to DJ all over the world and wow audiences with his
dancefloor-friendly funk-infused breaks sets. He is resident at Rome’s
premier night, Agatha and runs a hugely successful club night, 'Hum',
with Meat Katie, which takes place in London (the last one had 1400 people
pack through the doors!). He is also part of the team responsible for the
Breaksday’ concept – so far 2parties have been held, one at WMC in
which was one of the most talked about parties of the conference, and more
recently at The Glade Festival, which was a huge success.
He has been voted ‘Most Valuable Person’ at The International Breaks
Awards two years running and this year also picked up awards for Best
Single (2Freaks) and Best Remix (for Emit/Collect which has just been signed
Rennie released a mix album on Perfecto ‘Perfecto Breaks’ which received
huge support across the board and his latest remix, of Ferry Corsten's
Rock Your Body’ got caned by all the top jocks. He has just finished his
artist album for TCR (due out Sept 2004) as well as new collaborations
with the likes of Lee Coombs and is set to mix the next in the ‘Y4K’ series– and
of course he continues to be chairman of the local ‘
2003 saw his label TCR reach its 10year anniversary - an incredible feat
for any independent label.