The Roots Of El-B
Tempa presents The Roots Of El-B -- UK garage/dubstep pioneer El-B's first retrospective that pulls together all the ultra-rare white labels, lost remixes and dusty DAT tapes, to preserve for posterity the output of this transient but seminal moment. During 2000-2002, a brief but influential window opened in urban music. Drum & bass moved out of its London heartland and UK garage imploded under the weight of commercial expectation. Between these forces, one man, Lewis Beadle aka El-B, assembled a production crew in Streatham, south London. The roots of dubstep were planted in a shed at the end of a winding garden path. Paid for by the funds of a failed album deal and built by hand by the crew themselves, the shed contained Ghost studios, where during the night hours, El-B and the camp built a sound all of their own. Edgier than UK garage, but sexier than the cold onslaught drum & bass was moving into, the Ghost sound was unique. At its core were El-B's incredible talents as a producer. Having rolled on the edge of the metalheadz camp as a teenager, never getting a let in, he gained fame in UK garage as one-half of legendary UK garage outfit, Groove Chronicles. Out of the ashes of this partnership grew El- B's signature sound of sharp woodblock snares, ghostly edgy textures, dark bass combined with a little black secret technology: the dark art of swing. Even at that time, the effect of this sound was self evident, as producer after local producer, from Skream to Kode9 and later Burial, became influenced by it. "The thing about those drums: they're still the future," Burial insisted before his first album. "People still don't know how to do those drums. It's an unknown thing. It's like the last fucking secret left in music: how you do those drums. I've tried..." Eight years later, as dubstep blossoms into an international phenomenon, the El-B sound remains peerless. It's perhaps fitting now that, for the first time, El-B's seminal work is lifted from treasured record collections and lost vaults. These are the roots of El-B: they run deep. Featuring contributions by Simba, Juiceman, and Rolla and remixes of Zed Bias and Brasstooth.