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Percussion Junction - Jamming At The Junction

Author: Darryn King
Monday, 31 March 2008
3d’s Jane Stabler gets the first listen to Percussion Junction’s debut longplayer, The Beat Cartel.

Local four piece Percussion Junction have a fairly self-explanatory name, so if you’re not familiar with the group, it’s probably not that surprising to learn that the foursome fuse traditional percussion and drums with electronic music. The boys behind this funky fusion of beats have just finished their first album, and Benjamin Chinnock, aka Bentley, who handles the turntables for the quartet couldn’t be happier.

“It’s been one of those processes that took a really long time,” he recalls. “You hear about people taking a year to make an album and we always laughed and thought how can it actually take that long, and it’s taken us almost a year to get it done!”

Spending so much time in the studio over the last year to complete the record has definitely meant a change of scene for the boys of the group. As such an energetic live act, Chinnock says they worked hard to make sure that translated into the studio, and onto the album.

“It’s really different. For us it’s really important as a live band to have that energy in the studio,” he says. “When there’s four of you in a studio and an engineer there’s still that energy there and there’s the push to play well. But playing live it’s what it’s all about for us, we’re a live band. And studio is different to what you’re going to get live. The beauty of the makeup of the band is we can take the studio threads so we can play the vocals out when we’re playing, but with the energy we get from the drumming and stuff, people forget there were vocals there to begin with.”

Making a name for themselves in a similar but fairly untapped sphere to the likes of The Bird, Percussion Junction can be defined as both a band and an electronic outfit. Often people aren’t sure how to refer to them at all, making the group’s sound and direction more difficult to label than most. Chinnock admits that even the PJ members themselves sometimes struggle to define what they are exactly.

“I think it’s hard for us to decide what we do,” he laughs. “Saying to someone what we play [is difficult because] we have a hip hop track, a house track, a drum n bass track…it’s hard for us. People just accept you as a live act but that’s a double-edged sword because you become a band and not a dance act, so it makes it hard to play club gigs. More than being pigeonholed into genres, it’s being pigeonholed into a being a band. You want to play clubs gigs, but you’re seen as a band. We are serious about what we do; we do love what we’re doing.”

WHO: Percussion Junction
WHAT: EP launch at Beach Rd Hotel / Play 3D World Stage, Surry Hills Festival / Cut The Rug at theLoft
WHEN: Friday 4 April / Saturday 12 / Sunday 27