DJ Smokeshell brings breakbeats to Portland every Tuesday at Conan's Pub. Keeping their minds locked on music over ego keeps the Virus breakbeats collective evolving, constantly bringing new blood to a burgeoning PDX scene. With six years in the game, Smokeshell is no new jack and knows what it takes to nod heads.
Top Five, hit me off.
1. Atomic Hooligan, "6 AM Beigel" (Botchit & Scarper)
2. Plump DJs, "The Funk Hits The Fan" (Eargasm LP)
3. Future Funk Squad, "9 Below" (Shadow Cryptic)
4. Influenza, "Sublunary" (Pure Phunk Recordings)
5. McMillan + Tab, "Above the Clouds (Evil 9 Mix)" (In Flight Entertainment)
What's the Virus Breaks crew all about?
Mostly the crew is about unadulterated filthy music with a focus on breakbeats, especially the UK variety. But we're also about community, bringing likeminded DJs/producers together and exposing a type of music that makes us froth at the mouth.
How did you cats all get together?
Electrokid and I have known each other since before we started mixing records in '98, we went in on our first pair of decks together. Roo was the next to fall in; he was this insane, devilish bastard that became obsessed with helping us shortly after the weekly started and became an immediate asset to the night. SirKutz and Kem came in shortly after, having displayed their prowess for the nasty beats and low-end bass that we came to identify with. We just recently adopted Suff-X, who just became simply too disgusting with his Jedi-like music production skills for us to handle.
What do you predict for VB in 2004?
We're going to expand upon the weekly and incorporate a new visual experience into the night. We'll be throwing some related one-off parties so, watch out for that. We are launching a VirusBreaks white label, limited clothing lines, and possibly a West Coast Tour. Suff-X and Kem are about ready to release some new tracks and the rest of the crew is busy with music production as well. Most definitely some new international faces will be dropping plops of hard funk at Virus next year so keep tuned in to www.virusbreaks.com for the latest happenings.
Conan's seems a really unlikely place for a breakbeat night. Was it a conscious decision not to play a more uniform "dance" club?
I'd say it was partially conscious, partially convenience. There was nothing going on in Southeast Portland in 2001 so to speak, so that was figured into the equation. Conan's Pub, being an authentic Irish Pub, has a coarse quality when compared to your typical dance music venue, which seemed to fit in well with the sometimes-rough sounds of breakbeats perfectly. As far as convenience, Conan's Pub was located directly across the street of Chaos Existence Records' location at the time (
www.chaosexistence.com ), where I would frequently hang out. CHAZZ MADRIGAL