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Steering Clear: Pusherman

London and Leeds twosome Pusherman have seen their music frequently make its way into the record bags of the UK’s main purveyors of underground dance music, over the past few months. With supporters like Actress, Redlight, Loefah and Jackmaster all picking up on the duos sharp blend of tough percussion, stepping beat patterns and low-end weight.

Originally picked up by our friends over at Lo Note UK, their impressive debut ‘Shake It Off’ has ravaged dances far and wide. With forthcoming material coming on newly-minted bass label Dench Recordings and Audio Doughnuts, the pair sit amongst a prosperous group of young producers (South London Ordnance, Tessela, Gage, Artifact) across the UK that are mixing up the sounds of the UK underground’s past decade into something equal parts heavy, intelligent and organic.

For anyone unfamiliar with you guys, could you tell us a little about yourselves?
Jordan: We’ve been making music together for a couple of years, but only under the name Pusherman for the past year or so. I’m from London but currently living in Leeds.
Travis: I still live in london.

Your musical output so far has shown hints of tough old-school electro and dubstep, fused with a driving percussive sound. Who and what do you consider to be the main influences on your music?
Jordan: I bought a second hand pair of decks when I was about 15 and just used to mix loads of garage and soulful house, the stuff I used to hear on this local pirate radio station. But I got into the darker, more sub-heavy side to garage and house after the dubstep scene started to blow up. In terms of the percussive side to our music I’m sure we’d both agree there’s a big hip hop influence on it, with parts of the percussion being sampled from a load of old school beats from Dilla to 9th wonder.
Travis: Yeah, and we always like to include live elements rather than heavily processed samples. Think its good to have something that sounds real not just a bunch of sounds from a sample pack.

Is it exciting to be apart of this new, unclassifiable period in electronic dance music?
Jordan: Yeah I suppose, I wouldn’t say I really think about it like that. We just make music, dance floor music maybe, but we never sit down and try a make a tune to fit in a certain genre.
Travis: Think thats the main thing, try to steer clear of any trends and keep it as organic as possible.

How important has the support from the likes of Jackmaster, Oneman and Actress been?
Travis: The support has helped us lot, it’s always a good feeling to hear people that you listen to on a regular basis playing your tunes. In particular Jackmaster who couldn’t have supported us more!

How did you first hook up with the guys over at LNUK?
Jordan: I met Oscar up in Leeds some point last year, I was having a mix with him and I played a first draft copy of ‘Shake It Off’, he loved it and then it kind of went from there. Can’t big up the LNUK guys enough really, their work rate is second to none, and they did a great job on our first release.

Your second record recently came out on new imprint Dench Recordings, can you talk us through the release?
Travis: ‘Still Feel’ carries on the same dance floor vibe as ‘Shake It Off’ but has a lot more depth and intelligence to it.
I like the fact that it’s structured as a song, not just a track for a club.
Jordan: Yeah, ‘Still Feel’ has a really dark UK-funky vibe to it and although neither ‘Still Feel’ nor ‘Perforate’ were written in mind for the dance floor, they both seem to be getting a great response from the crowds. I suppose ‘Fireworks’ has a bit more of a playful vibe to it with it’s house influenced piano and funky percussion. Have to big up Chaos in the CBD, C.R.S.T. and Squarehead for their three amazing remixes too.

Which new producers have been reaching for in your sets recently?
Jordan: We’ve been playing a lot of Gage and South London Ordnance. We’ve been rinsing a tune called ‘Jungle’ by Corporal F as well, absolute dancefloor smasher.
Travis: Yeah and a few new Toyc and Mak & Pasteman bits.

What have you got coming up for the rest of 2012?
Travis: We’ve got our next record ‘Donuts’ due for release in May on Audio Doughnuts which I’m really looking forward to. Aswell as a couple of remixes in the pipeline, but hopefully will try to release one more EP by then end of the year.
Jordan: Yeah Donuts will be seeing a 12″ with another single and a remix of each. Definately looking forward to that.

Interview: Josh Thomas

The ‘Still Feel’ Ep is out now on 12″ vinyl via Dench! Recordings, to purchase a copy click here.