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Dominick Martin, the elusive Northern Irish musician known as Calibre, produces a refined, deeply expressive form of atmospheric drum'n'bass influenced by jazz, blues, folk, and more. While commonly associated with the liquid funk scene, he's never stuck to one style, and has frequently produced downtempo, house, and dubstep tracks. Regardless of tempo or genre, his music is distinguished by his carefully sculpted drums, wistful melodies, and on occasion, his own understated vocals. The majority of his albums have been issued through his own Signature Records, but he also helped run Soul:r with frequent collaborators Marcus Intalex and ST Files, and he's released material on additional labels such as 31 Records, V, and Digital Soundboy. His debut full-length, Musique Concrete, appeared in 2001, kicking off a prolific run of albums that has ranged from the dubby Even If... (2010) to the immersive ambience of Planet Hearth (2019), as well as more club-focused efforts like Feeling Normal (2021). A classically trained musician, Belfast-born Dominick Martin began producing drum'n'bass tracks in 1995. After releasing his first singles as Calibre and Loose Dragon on the short-lived Quadraphonic imprint at the end of the 1990s, he was signed to Fabio's Creative Source label, and his debut album, Musique Concrete, appeared in 2001. The record's title was inspired by John Cage, whom he became influenced by during his fine arts studies at Belfast's University of Ulster. Also in 2001, Calibre released one of the first singles on Marcus Intalex's Soul:r label. Martin soon began collaborating with Intalex and Lee Davenport (ST Files) as the trio Mist:i:cal, additionally working with Davenport as St.Cal. While Calibre continued releasing singles on labels like Eastside Records and Defunked, he founded his own Signature Records in 2003, and issued singles such as "Peso" and the High Contrast collaboration "Mr. Majestic." His sophomore full-length, Second Sun, appeared in 2005, featuring guest vocalists Diane Charlemagne, DRS, and Lariman. Mist:i:cal released their full-length The Eleventh Hour in 2007, featuring additional appearances by DRS and Charlemagne as well as Robert Owens. Shelflife, the first of several volumes of previously unreleased selections from Martin's archive, also appeared in 2007. Overflow, featuring an appearance by Steve Spacek as well as vocals and artwork by Martin himself, appeared in 2008. Shelflife 2, filled with dubplates and downtempo tracks, was issued in 2009. Martin focused on his song-driven side with Shine a Light, his first album under his own name. Calibre ventured into dubstep with two singles on Deep Medi Musik, and moments on the 2010 full-length Even If... and 2011's Condition were influenced by the style. Calibre's first mix CD, Fabriclive 68, appeared in 2013. This was shortly followed by the drum'n'bass full-length Spill and Martin's second album under his own name, the jazzy Valentia. Two more Shelflife volumes preceded 2016's Grow, a more house-leaning full-length issued by Craig Richards' The Nothing Special. The vocal-heavy The Deep was released in 2017, and Shelflife 5 arrived in 2018. Also that year, Calibre released 4AM, a collection of darker drum'n'bass tracks, on Doc Scott's 31 Records. Planet Hearth, a long-in-the-making ambient/downtempo album, was issued in 2019. Shelflife 6 appeared in 2020, and Feeling Normal, consisting of road-tested 140 BPM tracks, arrived in 2021. The full-length was preceded by Bad/Badder, a 12" of Mark Ernestus (Basic Channel, Rhythm & Sound) reinterpretations of the album track "Badman" (with DRS).
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