Dom & Roland
Misleadingly plural, Dom & Roland is actually the one-man attack of Dominic Angus, whose slim but steady stream of EPs released through noted drum'n'bass imprints Moving Shadow, Suburban Base, and Doc Scott's 31 Records have represented the harder, darker, more experimental edge of dancefloor-oriented hardstep. Signed by Moving Shadow to a non-exclusive contract in early 1996, Dom's initial singles deviated sharply from the brighter, more melodic thrust of much of the label's back catalog. But Angus' commitment to pushing the hardstep envelope while still pushing bassbins has also meant his tracks have gotten high play among critics as well as DJs, leading to a two-album commitment from the label. A resident of London's Shepherd's Bush, Dom's early connection to the drum'n'bass scene was through friend and early mentor Ed Rush; Dom's launch into production came via Rush collaborator and No U-Turn founder Nick Sykes (aka Nico), to whom Dom payed a nominal fee for studio time and a quick co-write. From there, Dom took classes in studio engineering and production while making ends meet as a restaurant manager. His first proper tracks were released under the name Current Affairs (a collaboration with Brian Ferrier), and his first single under his own name was the grueling "Dynamics"/"The Planets," released in the early months of 1996. By the end of that year, Angus had racked up four singles and a handful of compilation tracks and remixes (most notably for Flytronix and the Art of Noise's drum'n'bass remix album). Most of his tracks -- particularly "Planets" and both sides of the "Mechanics" 12" -- were rinsed so heavily due to the sudden upsurge in darkside hardstep (capped by an uncredited co-write with Ed Rush, Trace, and Nico on one of the year's biggest tunes, "Mad Different Methods"), his profile rose dramatically, leading to remix work for Graham Sutton's Boymerang project and a track on Moving Shadow's 100th 12" release next to Goldie and Rob Playford. The Industry album appeared in 1998, and went on to be considered an extremely influential album of the genre as it was in the late '90s. Optical co-produced two of the tracks. His second full-length, Back for the Future, dropped in 2002. Still on the Moving Shadow imprint, his third album would be his final commitment to the label. Entitled Chronology, it was well received and featured collaborations with Kemal of Konflict, Skynet, and American producer Hive. After setting up his own label, Dom & Roland Productions, his next album landed in 2008. Through the Looking Glass consisted of one disc of new material and another of DRP releases from the past few years. His 2009 album, No Strings Attached, was also released on his own label, and featured many more collaborations than his previous efforts, including those with Noisia, Amon Tobin, and Moving Shadow boss Rob Playford. Another album on DRP would appear in 2011, No Strings Attached, before Dom & Roland signed to the Metalheadz imprint, the label headed up by one of the genre's best-known figures, Goldie. ~ Sean Cooper
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