Dextrous has been producing as well as DJing for over 2 decades. Starting his career in the late ‘80s, as Dextrous he cut his teeth making Hardcore / Jungle as it was then known. His first release was on ‘Shut Up and Dance Records’ sister label Ruff Quality Recordings with a track entitled Ruffneck Bizznizz back in 1992. From there he started his own label King of the Jungle Records in 1993, where he enjoyed much success with his then partner Rude Boy Keith, flying around the globe DJing and PA’ing. His DJing has taken him to countries such as: Austria, Germany, Canada, America, Holland, Latvia, Belgium, Estonia, Ireland and Italy to name but a few, as well as many locations in his native U.K.
As King of the Jungle was already establishing a particular sound Dextrous decided to start another label where he could concentrate on his own projects. This was the birth of Subliminal Records, (which in December 1994 became Subversive Recordings due to an imprint called Subliminal already being in existence).
By late 1994 Dextrous hooked up with 2 other guys, Paul Brown and Jon Stewart (who then went by the names of Phaze 3 and Klass A respectively) whom he had met whilst DJing on the London pirate station Kool FM. They all shared the same artistic ideas and the frustrations with the way the scene appeared to overlook a more musical approach in Drum & Bass production. So Dextrous decided to start State of the Art Recordings, as a vehicle to release music that wasn’t confined to the ubiquitous styles that club DJs were playing at that time, to allow a little more freedom of expression, and with that, reach a whole new audience. The three of them recorded together under the name Solid State and christened their sound Urban Fusion, which encompassed many elements i.e., Funk, Jazz, Techno, Dub…as well as Drum & Bass. Solid State became known as the one of the pioneers of Drum & Bass Funk Fusion and paved the way for more musical producers such as Calibre and High Contrast, amongst others.
Well as they say “all good things come to an end!”, and by the summer of 2000 the three guys parted company. Their last project together was the album entitled ‘Point of No Return’ (pretty fitting!) on the Renegade Recordings label, which included their most popular track to date: “Just a Vision” featuring Zoe H.
Since then, Dextrous has become heavily involved in composing music for library companies and has had many of his recordings featured on adverts and TV programmes such as Footballer’s wives, The Stepfather, Driven, Trisha, Doctors, London Today, Sky Travel, to name but a few. He was also commissioned to compose the theme tune to ITV’s “The LADS” which was a men’s magazine programme aired a few years back on Friday nights.
In addition to his production of Drum & Bass, Dextrous is slowing down the BPMs from time to time and experimenting in other areas. As ‘Transcendent Minds’ (a project started on Dynamite Joint Recordings and continued on Karma Giraffe) Dextrous has been able to progress with the Urban Fusion sound (also known today as Broken Beats, Electric Soul, Future Jazz) where Solid State left off. Once again highlighting Dextrous musical versatility, as he is always seeking new sounds to fuse together in order to form hybrid genres, which is also evident in his DJ sets as he loves to mix things up!
With this wealth of experience Dextrous was a great choice for scoring the BAFTA winning “Feltham Sings” documentary shown on Channel 4 in 2002. Having a diverse musical background and a passion for working with & being a positive role model for inner city youth, undertaking this project made perfect sense. It was a huge challenge as Dextrous was brought on to the project pretty late on, so was only given 3 months at most to get the whole project completed. But…all was not lost, so successful was Dextrous’ input to this project, that he won a coveted Ivor Novello Award (2002) in the category ‘Best original music for TV’, in addition to the entire team behind “Feltham Sings” winning a BAFTA for Best Documentary (2002). The documentary also received a nomination for The Greison Documentary Award, and Dextrous was nominated for a Royal Television Society Award for his musical efforts.
More recently, Dextrous has also been involved with youth work. Together with ‘Stage One’ he has devised a ‘Youth Music Workshop Program’ that has been a success so far. He has helped develop the talents of young people in under privileged areas and those that have criminal backgrounds or have been socially excluded. These programs include basic music technology tuition together with vocal training, song writing, choreography, graphic design, make-up and tutorials on the legal side of the music industry. He has since worked in conjunction with the following organizations: Connexions, Youth Music, Befrienders (Barking and Dagenham), Ladders, Community Links, Crime Concern, Breaking Through, as well as many schools in Waltham Forest freelance. He has also worked for many years with Irish Travellers doing more generic youth work.
Right now his main goals are to get back in the studio to work on some new productions and return to DJing on a more frequent basis. He also plans to continue developing his skills as a photographer, a lifelong passion that he has given much more attention to in recent years.