Pioneer of the dark garage sound
that birthed dubstep
, Zed Bias (Dave Jones), was the original bridge between the breaks and two-step communities. The producer and a DJ released a string of seminal underground 12”s in the late 90s and hit the UK charts in 2000 with Neighbourhood
on Locked On. His influence on the birth of dubstep, along with producers like El-B, Noodles, Wookie, Oris Jay and Horsepower Productions, was massive. Aka Seven Wonders, Suburban Lick, MaddSlinky, Phuturistix, Daluq and the Henchman (alongside MC Juiceman and Simba).
After starting out as a rare groove DJ, Jones began producing in the mid-90s. An early cut Crazy
by Seven Wonders (Jones & Sefton Motley/ Injekta) was picked up by the Dreem Teem’s DFL records. You're Mine
appeared in 1998 on UK Garage label Locked On under his Suburban Lick guise. More white labels in the same year like All Night Jam
with DJ Principal [Public Demand] and his mix of ES Dubs Standard Hoodlum Issue
helped make Zed Bias’s name in Garage, and helped set the blueprint for the darker strains of garage that were to emerge towards the end of the 90s. He set up Sidewinder Records
with DJ Principal and Mark Lambert (who currently runs Club Sidewinder) in the same year and started producing remixes for big name artists like Whitney Houston, Tatiyana Ali, J-Lo and Destiny’s Child. Sidestepper Recordings
, Jones’ second imprint, was launched at the same time as a platform for Jones’ darker, more experimental work.
Jones changed the landscape in 1999 when he put out Neighbourhood
as Zed Bias on Locked On. The track was given a full release via XL Recordings and tipped into the overground going on to become a top 30 chart hit the UK. In 2001 he was nominated for ‘Best Garage Act’ at the MOBO Awards. After achieving relative commercial success in the UKG scene, Dave was signed to EMI Music Publishing in 2001, and worked with people such as Miss Dynamite, Amy Winehouse, Ray Gaskins and Mpho Skeef.
Zed Bias productions were dark and bass heavy, an aesthetic that fit well with Ammunition Promotions’ monthly Forward>> Sunday sessions at the Velvet Rooms holding a residency in the early 00s alongside fellow pioneers Hatcha
, Kode9 and Oris Jay.
In collaboration with Manchester’s Injekta (Sefton Motley) as Phuturistix, Jones set about redirecting the garage sound towards a jazz and soul
via release on Hospital Records and Phuture Lounge Recordings. Together they went on to record the critically acclaimed Feel It Out
album, released in 2003 by Hospital Records. Jones had already begun to explore this more soulful, jazz-tinged style under his Maddslinky guise, culminating in the release of the Make Your Peace
album on Laws Of Motion.
More recently, Jones has concentrated on deep house / funk / rap hybrids
. He’s brought back the Sidestepper label on which his most influential stripped-down and bass-heavy productions were released. Jones has been involved in over 100 remixes covering a diverse range of artists such as Gabrielle, Artful Dodger, The Streets and DJ Hype and he also runs a 10inch dub label called Subbz.
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