Croydon based Skream (Olli Jones) is one of dubstep
’s most prominent and prolific producers. When dubstep boiled up from the UK underground in 2006, Skream was on the crest of the wave with his deep, clipped style and signature tune Midnight Request Line
on Tempa Records. After early collaborations with Benga
on Big Apple, Jones released his debut album, Skream!
(Tempa), in late 2006 to critical acclaim. Jones reportedly has thousands of unreleased tracks on his hard drive.
Oliver Jones was born in West Wickham, Bromley in the London’s south in 1987. A 21 years old dubstep producer has become the reluctant ‘ambassador’ of dubstep. Jones grew up immersed in bass, with a DJ brother, Hijack, member of notorious jungle-rave outfit Internatty with Bailey, and Grooverider. Jones started making music at fifteen with the help of a cracked copy of music software program Fruityloops before meeting Benga and Hatcha
while still at school. As a teenager, Jones worked at Croydon’s Big Apple Records
Around 2000 Benga and Skream set about building on the early dark garage that was found in the store, clubs and on pirate airwaves around Croydon. Throughout 2003, DJ Hatcha pushed dubstep in a darker direction on Rinse FM and through his sets at Forward>> drawing almost exclusively on young South London producers like Benga and Skream. Skream’s first release on Big Apple was a collaboration/split with Benga called The Judgement
(2003). A Split 12” followed in 2004 called Hydro
After a spell at music college, a split 12” with Loefah appeared on Pinch’s fledgling Tectonic label, 28g / Fearless, Skream’s stock was about to skyrocket. When Midnight Request Line
dropped at the end of 2005, dubstep started brimming into the collective consciousness with Skream at the crest of the wave. Midnight Request Line
[TEMPA] is seen as the moment dubstep took centre stage in the U.K. Radio One’s Gilles Peterson, Ricardo Villalobos
and junglist Zinc all picked up on the track and remixes followed from Hot Chip and Switch and Villalobos, triggering the inevitable dubstep/techno crossover
Jones’ TEMPA album Skream!
followed and he then embarked on a five volume series of double 12”s, Skreamizm
. He’s mixed on Rinse FM and Mary Ann Hobbs and is an in demand performer and remixer, with reconfigurations of Digital Mystikz, Pinch, The Bug and David Gahan (Depeche Mode). His tunes have been included on compilations from Rinse.fm, Fabric, The Wire, Groove, and DJ Magazine. In 2007, Benga, Skream, and other dubstep producers provided the soundtrack for much of the second series of Dubplate Drama, which aired on Channel 4 with a soundtrack CD later released on Rinse Recording Jones also works under the moniker Mr Keas, with three EPs on UK Garage Label Southside recordings in 2005/6.
photo credit: Shaun Bloodworth
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