Adam Shelton (ONE RECORDS, AIR LONDON, 2020 VISION)
Tom Craven (ILLUSION RECORDINGS)
Ando Whitaker b2b James Winter.
ADAM SHELTON// ONE RECORDS // 2020 VISION // ILLUSION RECORDINGS //
Continuing over the last twelve months to champion music that is true to itself, Adam Shelton has an unshakeable focus on quality underground house. His debut EP ‘Air Trax’, due in February 2011 on air london, is part of a relentless effort to sketch out his own definition of authenticity. From sultry and atmospheric sounds to the acid-drenched and techy, the EP embodies the energy of his current musical course.
His skills, versatility and range as a DJ have seen him guest at some of the world’s best clubbing spots including Panorama Bar, Cocoon, Glastonbury Festival, Space in Ibiza and most recently Harry Klein in Munich and London clubbing mecca Fabric – but as a producer there is much on offer.
His work with sparring partner Subb_an brings a raw and retro-funk sound, which is clearly demonstrated on their joint EPs ‘It’s Time’ and ‘The Muzik’. Similarly, their edits under the S.A.S. moniker have increasingly found notoriety as the insider’s weapon of choice. ‘In The Candy Store’ has featured prominently on discerning dancefloors worldwide, spun by Seth Troxler, Craig Richards, Heidi, Lee Burridge and Lee Curtiss, amongst others. Meanwhile the early 90’s feel of ‘Give it to You’ perfectly demonstrates an insight into the US house-loving side of Adam’s taste.
Entering its second year, his label One Records is a stronghold for emerging UK talent, having showcased the sounds of Seelie, Jordan Peak and Death on the Balcony alongside more established, but no less fresh, heads like Geddes, Burnski and Jozif. Additionally trans-Atlantic aficionados Shaun Reeves and Kris Wadsworth have recently contributed. Dreamt up with long time partner Subb-an at The Rainbow Pub, the label aims to encapsulates the vibe of artists and crowds that Adam has connected with most. More than just his literal home, The Rainbow has become a meeting place for likeminded innovators, upstarts and party people from all corners of the country.
One of the UK’s most diverse and talked about small venues, The Rainbow is fertile ground for Adam to experiment with a wide range of musical styles, not least at his own party Below, now in its sixth year. The coming year will see Adam release on labels 2020 Vision, Magicbag, Illusion and Smoke City, as well as a continued dedication to One Records. With this inexorable drive, it can truly be said that despite having already delivered a great deal, we have still only skimmed the surface of Adam’s talent.
TOM CRAVEN // ILLUSION RECORDINGS //
Tom Craven hails from the northern strong hold of Manchester, UK. From the Stone Roses to the Hacienda to the house parties of modern times, the city’s ever-changing music scene has always been a major influence, be it inspirational or reactionary!
The Hacienda was the club that first sparked Tom’s imagination at the age of 16 as he began his journey through all things house, but the clubs subsequent demise and the inability for the city to fill the void created by the loss of its favourite son, made Tom look further a field for inspiration and direction. In 1997 Tom moved over the Pennines to Leeds to study Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds.
As the Manchester party scene was living on past glories, Leeds was on the crest of a wave with seminal clubs like Back2Basics and Hard Times leading the way - it wasn’t long before Tom was hooked and started DJing and spending his entire student loan on his new vinyl addiction! But as house music got more saturated and more formulaic in the late 90’s, Tom explored the more experimental, dubby, stripped down beats synonymous with Basics and the Hacienda and, it was these years that played a major influence on his future musical development. This evolutionary process is still pivotal in Tom’s music today, always trying to push things forward, , whilst staying true to his roots.
The last few years have been something of a whirlwind. After graduating from University in 2002, Tom put all post-University job ambitions on hold, packed a few bags of records and headed off to live in Ibiza for four crazy summers. Over four amazing years he gradually worked his way up through the ranks from cool bars and villa parties to landing a much lauded summer residency with close friend Dave Sandford as DAT Elektronique in the Red Box at We Love… Sundays at Space.
Things would never to be the same after this point! Tom came home that summer and found himself DJing at some of the coolest parties across the UK and, inspired by the music, people and parties of a crazy summer, Tom became influential in developing the foundations of two of the best parties in the UK.
The amazing Below parties in an open-aired Victorian warehouse in Birmingham and, the Space Ibiza inspired line-ups of the Dirty Disco in Leeds. Both parties, held in some of the most amazing venues in the UK instantly became the two most talked about parties in England, booking the freshest, most cutting edge DJs/artists in the world, whilst pushing the music forward and creating that special party atmosphere.
With the huge success of Below and the Dirty Disco, Tom decided it was time to create his own legacy in his hometown of Manchester and in the summer of 2006 BackToFront was born. Created out of necessity and the need to create a small, intimate, fun party; BackToFront showcases forward-thinking house music in some of the craziest and most interesting venues in Manchester (and the UK).
Through carefully selected residents and guest DJs/artists from around the globe, BackToFront has become one of the most loved and talked about parties in the UK.
For its first year BackToFront was held at the now legendary but now defunct CAST skateboard shop (ramp included!) in Manchester’s bohemian Northern Quarter, introducing to Manchester for the first time international luminaries such as Mike Shannon, Jay Haze, Cassy, Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts, Mara Trax and Agnes, whilst introducing some of best new talent the UK has to offer in residents Adam Shelton and Adam Proctor and good friends such as Jamie Jones, Matthew Styles, Hector, Inxec, Subb-an and Matt Tolfrey.
Since the early days of the CAST skate shop parties, BackToFront has taken residence in quirky art galleries, dance studios, transvestite hotels and even proper clubs (!) but wherever BackToFront resides there are always a few constants; good music, quirky venues, a great crowd and a fun party!
The success of BackToFront and his other residencies in Leeds, Birmingham and London has bought Tom many plaudits and recognition and has made him one of the most in-demand, up-and-coming house and techno DJs in the UK, keeping Tom and his deep, groovy, intelligent house sound on constant rotation around the coolest parties in the UK and Europe; from London to Glasgow to Barcelona and everywhere in between.
Tom owns the record label ILLUSION RECORDINGS along with James Cotterill.