Line-up /Cream presents X-Press 2 (6 Dex & FX - Extended set!), IIlya, The Jackal, Homegrown while in room 2 Blowpop present Ajax, Klaus 'Heavyweight' Hill, Adam West, DJ Naked and Escher.
"X-Press 2 is dancefloor. Big anthems. Bollocking house." Rocky, X-Press 2
"IF it's about anything, house music is about impact. It's about hitting them where it hurts, in the groove, in the heart, on the dancefloor. It's about that time of night when everyone wants to surrender to a delicious chaos, to shut out the world, to remember how to feel and forget how to think. Done properly, it is pop music at its most perfect and most pure."
Rocky and Diesel - friends since 1986, met Ashley because they bought records from him from Black Market (where Beedle was shop manager). All of them DJs since the year dot and loose associates of Boys Own Records, Rocky and Diesel were invited to produce a single for the newly independent Junior Boys Own (after a short-lived liaison with London Records ended in tears). Ashley was invited into the studio on account of his years of studio knowledge. "Well, Ashley was this seasoned experienced producer," laughs Diesel. "We'd never been in before and as it turns out, he'd been in once."
Their first studio session left them cold. Everyone else disagreed. 'Muzik X-Press' was born and an instant worldwide club hit. DJs as influential as Pete Tong and New York's Junior Vasquez - then in his Sound Factory prime - loved it. Clubbers around the world declared it an instant anthem. Its follow up, the juddering, funky 'London X-Press' with its exhortation to "raise your hands!" was just as monstrously successful, as was the daft dancefloor smash, 'Say What', that came next. It was also endearingly clear that X-Press 2 didn't take themselves too seriously. They parodied the Beatles by doing a silly walk across a zebra crossing for an early photo shoot and took the piss out of themselves constantly. But they took their music to 'heart' so when their records began to get, as Ashley puts it, "more oblique", the three were content to put X-Press 2 aside and move onto other projects. Beedle had his Black Science Orchestra alias, Rocky his Problem Kids alter ego; and the three moved effortlessly into jazzier, funkier, more downbeat arenas with their internationally respected Ballistic Brothers team-up.
Since then the trio have won 'Best Producers' at the Muzik Magazine Awards 2002, made it to the UK charts with 'Lazy' featuring the distinguished voice of David Byrne and more recently done a remix of Kelis' sexy number 'Milkshake'.
As X-Press 2, the trio seamlessly mix their own individual styles of house, from big house to pumping house, to bollocking house as Rocky so eloquently puts it. Unusual, but seriously effective. The boys are putting the drama back into DJing with their six deck DJ performances that used effects-ridden mic performances from Ashley no less, CD-players and basic samplers that send crowds at London's Fabric and Ibiza's Pacha wild.
When DJing individually, Rocky & Diesel perform together. Pioneers of the very fashionable 'back to back' sets that have taken nightclubs by storm, the duo combine deep house grooves to hard percussion to uproarious vocal tracks to big anthems to funked up classics to hard to find, 'only pressed once you'll never find this' records. Both cheeky as they are chirpy, it reflected in their sets and they are as hot on the London, New York, Ibiza club circuit as Beyonce is in one of her extremely hot videos. Hot to say the least.
Ashley Beedle is one of the UK's most prolific producers and remixers. His wide range of musical tastes finds him recording under a variety of pseudonyms, including The Ballistic Brothers, Black Science Orchestra and X-Press 2, which reflects his various musical genres. As clever as he is being a mixing desk, he is even cleverer behind the decks, and his reputation has gained him respect from DJs from all genres and fans from all walks of life.
"Their sets incorporate everything. Their album does the same. Threading innovation and originality amongst the rich rhythms. It's exactly what house music - done right - is all about. Thinking and feeling on your feet. Marrying a schizophrenic's range of moods to one relentlessly funky groove. Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest. Just ask David Byrne."