Thee Earls, Ali B, Diverted, Janette Slack, Mr No Hands
Over the last decade Ali B has held down residencies at two of London's most influential clubs; The Blue Note and Fabric. He spent his teens working at the Acid Jazz label and then as a DJ, went on to host a weekly radio show on Capital FM for five years. Alongside compilations for Fabric, Global Gathering, Y4K and his own Air Recordings label, Ali's artist productions include tracks with The Jungle Brothers and remixes for the likes of Positiva, Multiply, Sony and Cheeky. He has toured extensively through Asia, North America, Europe and Australasia taking him, and his sound to an international audience. His London based Air nights have been running for nearly 11 years, helping to pioneer the worldwide breaks scene and single handedly taking it to a wider audience through large scale Air arenas at festivals such as Global Gathering, HiFi, Glastonbury and Future Music (Australia).
Thee Earls (Live)
A bona fide super-group, Thee Earls’ pedigree is pure thoroughbred quality with Justin Roberteson taking on the front-man role and Gez Dewar roviding the original music, production prowess and live keyboards. The band also features heavyweights Akasha’s Charlie Casey on guitar, Nick ‘Avin It’ Abnett, who has played with Sabres Of Paradise, The Aloof and Death In Vegas, on bass and Simon Hanson, who has laid down grooves for the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Liam Gallagher and Iggy Pop, filling the drummer’s berth. Between the five of them, they have been involved in almost every single significant development in UK Dance music since the heady days of Acid House. Name-checked as a major inspiration by the likes of Ulrich Schnauss and the Chemical Brothers, front man Justin’s influence in the Dance scene can’t be underestimated, having toured the world as guitarist and lynchpin of Lionrock, produced the acclaimed Revtone series, released through Nuphonic and Bugged Out and co-written with The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess and production hero Rob Playford aswell as appearing on tracks with the likes of Fatboy Slim. Be amongst the first to hear tracks from their forthcomng debut album, 'Nine Days' this month when they play Air at Cargo.
At the band's core are Stephen Baxter and Lee Richardson. Between them they have been responsible for a number of releases across labels such as TCR, Solokov Sounds and Air Recordings which has gained them huge support amongst scene leaders. Alongside guest appearances on Annie Nightingale's Radio 1 Show and Jay Cunning's Kiss 100 show, Diverted also host their own regular slot on NSB Radio. Their latest single has already been picking up support from the likes of The Plump DJs, Lee Coombs and Meat Katie. The club bruiser, 'Frederick' and the lush down-tempo 'Summer Hiding' will be available for general release in early 2008 through Air Recordings and is a taster of what to expect on Diverted's forthcoming debut album, due for release in autumn 2008.
In a very short space of time, Janette Slack has established herself as one of the hottest artists around. Her sound is rooted in electro, house and breaks which she delivers with an infectious energy. She mastered her native Hong Kong with residencies throughout 2000-2001, took on gigs across the rest of the world, and is now based in London. Her debut release on Air Recordings ('Shake & Play'/ 'Red Ramona') caused quite a stir amongst Tastemakers and even entered the cool cuts chart when it was released in 2007. She even finds time to write regularly for Mixmag alongside a busy DJ schedule that has already seen her tour Australia in early 2008.
Mr No Hands
Every now and again an artist like Mr No Hands comes along breathing fresh air into proceedings with an unconventional approach to production and performance. Dave Clough aka Mr No Hands, a name inspired by his love for BMX tricks, is fast emerging as a creative force to be reckoned with. 2008 sees the launch of his new forward thinking video-MP3 label, No Handed Music, with each release accompanied by one of his trademark animated films. Through his Myspace, who regularly feature him on their front page and his Youtube channel he has already enlisted an army of fans who regularly look forward to viewing his latest capers, which are typically crafted in a modernist lo-fi Lowry style, without the bad weather and the drab colours.