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Finger LickinÕ good

U.K. breakbeat innovator Justin Rushmore sounds off

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Who: Soul of Man

What: Soul Kitchen

Where: Tommy AfricaÕs

When: Sunday, March 27

Tickets: $14

Since its inception in 1998 the U.K.-based Finger LickinÕ Records organization has continuously unleashed upon the world the funkiest breakbeat party tracks to ever shake a room.

Founders Justin Rushmore and Jem Panufnik Ð the DJ/producer duo known as Soul Of Man Ð continue to head up the label offices connected to a record shop, bar and cafe in LondonÕs hip Camden Town area. In the meantime, the Finger LickinÕ roster has grown to include Krafty Kuts, Plump DJs, Lee Coombs and A-Skillz, artists producing tracks that are the secret party weapon in any turntablistÕs record bag.

Finger LickinÕ regularly sends DJs this way. Krafty Kuts and A-Skillz have both made trips to Whistler this season and this Sunday night, label founder and Soul of Man spinner Rushmore will throw down for Whistler at Tommy AfricaÕs Soul Kitchen.

Soul of Man at Soul Kitchen. How appropriate. PiqueÕs Shelley Arnusch caught a moment with the jet-setting DJ/Producer/Label-head in London earlier this week...

Pique: How did you get into DJ-ing?

Justin Rushmore: I started a mobile disco when I was 15, at least half a lifetime ago!

Pique : Can you explain how the concept for Finger Lickin' came about? Did you always conceptualize a label/bar/shop model?

JR: Funnily enough, the bar and shop concept was something I dreamt up when I was at college. I did it as final project and who would have thought that a few years later it would become a reality. The label was a meeting of minds through the journey of life. I met (co-founder) Jem Panufnik when I was working for a dodgy organization that used to do the original acid house parties. We met, made sweet music, he doodled a bit and I started the business. Now itÕs a massive label with loads going on!

Pique : Describe the early days of Finger LickinÕ compared to the way things are now.

JR: Put it like this: we could easily afford Friday to be a hangover day and most of the time I spent in the studio making tunes. Now I feel like Superman being stretched across a thousand tasks and the studio is pretty well a memory. We have a team of 25 people throughout the bar/shop and label, although the label is just me, Abel, Leah, Big Joe and Little Joe in the office, there's always so much to do. ThatÕs without the demands and needs of starry artists!

Obviously now we have a huge international following and that means we get to travel all over the globe. ThatÕs great! Best part actually! We have sold nearly a million singles and interestingly I've never taken any money out of the label, basically because there isn't any. ItÕs still the passion that drives the whole thing.

Pique : Soul of Man is kind of a heavy name. Are you a philosophical chap?

JR: True, it is heavy and as the years have passed I have had a love/hate relationship with the name. It actually came about from a film featuring Robert Mitchum called Night of The Hunter . It was a bit of a snap decision but as I get older and "wiser" I have grown to like it more and more. I do recognize its deep, heavy meaning and yes, I am pretty philosophical, but as long as no one expects miracles...

Pique : What other artists/sounds are inspiring you these days? What are some recent albums you listened to?

JR: Other artists in the scene, Evil Nine, Santos, Andrea Doria and Maox from Mantra, obviously the Plumps and some of the electro sounds are a big influence. Last few albums: 'Dubwise or Otherwise,' the new Roots Manuva, Friendly's DJ mix for FAT!, Pink Floyd Ñ Darkside of the Moon and another dub compilation. I love de dub man!

Pique : Booty-magnet funk-licious breaks define your label. What have you got planned for your upcoming set here?

JR: Lots of hot, hot new tunes from artists on the label. LOTS!

Pique: Turn ons? What's Finger Lickin' Good?

JR: Girls in hot pants finger lickinÕ!

Pique: Turn offs? What's Finger Lickin' Bad?

JR: Guys in hot pants doing anything!

Soul of ManÕs Justin Rushmore takes over Tommy AfricaÕs this Sunday night with an opening set by VictoriaÕs Mama Miche. Tickets are $14 available in advance from the club and at SnoMotion. To hear Finger LickinÕ artists check out the labelÕs website www.fingerlickin.co.uk.

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