If you have been keeping up with the massive output of quality releases from Devine Disorder Records and Binalog Productions, then by now you have probably caught wind of one of their most formidable artists, DJ R21.
Having been around since the early days of Electro Funk, R21 began DJing and making mixtapes, even being fortunate enough to have one of them featured on the legendary Mike Allen radio show. He began his path in music production and composition on Amiga computers, eventually working his way to analogue synths; now primarily using digital mediums to produce what can only be called: "Classy Electro/Techno Bass!". Profound and enigmatic melodic compositions, heavy bass beats, and spaced out psychedelic sound effects, have made this British producer a heavy contender in the Nu School Electro Funk and Techno Bass scene.
DJ R21's first release was on a free downloadable compilation on Swishcoteque Records, which was followed up by two more free downloadable E.P.s called "New Waves", and "Wired". Later in 2009, R21 signed on to the infamous Miami label Devine Disorder Records, releasing an E.P. named "Micro", featuring the tracks "Plasma", "Clusters", "Spiral", and of course, "Micro"; which the E.P. was titled after. This release was a devious cybernetic extravaganza of crisp Electro beats, rich synthetic melodies, and deranged binary tones.
In September 2009, R21 followed up on the Alternate Realities compilation on Devine Disorder, which featured two of his songs, "Synthetix", and "Datastream". The compilation also contained material by Dwellz Rawkz, Magnetic Bass Force, and David Salgado. His output in 2009 culminated with the song "Robotek", which was featured again on Devine Disorder, on their Bass Warriors compilation. The release also featured British artist, Zerodouble, with the song "Robotix", and Donnie Diggler with, "Your Soul Is Mine".
In 2010, R21 returned once again with a bombshell release on the second volume of Devine Disorder's "One Nation Under Bass" compilation series, which also featured a name that needs no introduction, Dark Vektor. The E.P. contained 2 songs by each artist: "Attack Of The Bassmen", and "Atomic Breakdown" by DJ R21,and "Pulso Correcto", and "Ritmos Freneticos" by Dark Vektor. All the songs became instant hits in 2010, but most notably perhaps was "Atomic Breakdown", which was a bass-heavy blaster with sumptuous strings, and captivating vocoders. An extended mix of the track was later released, only for preview, still on his profile page player on this site.
A busy year for this amazing artist, he soon followed up with another release, this time on the Croatian label Crobot Muzik, on their Dalekovod Vol. 3 compilation. Featuring the track "Flight", the release also contained songs by artists like Dark Vektor, Newcleus, N-ter, Grow, DVS NME, Dynamik Bass System, Morphogenetic, and many more. R21's contribution was an old school Kraftwerkian beauty, full of soothing and inspiring tones, while rich Electro beats kept the groove moving forward. A classic release all around, and a great step forward for the British artist who was now beginning to gain lots of momentum.
A couple of months later, hot on the trails from this fantastic release, R21 returned on "Binalog Productions", with a remix for Binalog's fantastic tune "Funk Mechanic", later following up with the E.P. "Robot Funk". This release featured the tracks "Pop Bot", "Groove 1", "Robot Funk", and was a great addition to the Greek label's massive catalog of digital releases; something that would soon change and become a dream come true, not just for the artist, but the label itself.
A few months after this release, the label announced plans to put together a 2x12" vinyl compilation that would encompass all of the different styles of Electro Funk and Techno Bass that had cropped up over the past few years. Open to all artists willing to contribute, the label soon found itself with a roster of some of the best artists in the scene, putting together a timeless classic that would surpass even the standards set by the resurgence of Streetsounds. R21, one of the main contributors, featured the track "Minimum", which was a unique Techno Bass production and went on to become one of the most talked about songs on the compilation.
After an abundance of success with Advanced Funk Vol. 1, R21 returned on a remixes E.P. from another one of Binalog Productions' new artists, Mirage, who you may remember as being one of the Streetsounds DJs, appearing on Vol. 2 and 3 of the label's compilation series. Soon after, DJ R21 once again released on Binalog Productions, this time remixing a song by the label's mastermind, Binalog, who featured the song "Elements".
Last but certainly not least, R21 leaves 2010 behind with "Shapeshifter", featured on the Mourning Sickness compilation on Devine Disorder Records, which also features Grow, Dwellz (formerly known as "Dwellz Rawkz" ), and Rawtary. Oddly enough, for those expecting the faster styles of R21, the artist contributed a very intelligent and old school Trip Hop composition that took you back to the 90's when much of it was getting started. The other songs by the other artists did however pick up the tempo, with bottom-heavy 808 drums, wicked glitched out sound manipulations, and dark melodic elements.
Some producers refine their craft over time as they begin to release material, which is a beauty in itself. However, other artists had polished their skills long ago, and come into the arena with mesmerizing capabilities. R21 is one of those producers who began strong, showing the amount of time put into creating the powerful and classic sounds that this British producer has been gracing us with for 2 years now.
The future looks incredibly bright for the artist, with a remixes album for his classic hit "Minimum" on Binalog Productions, featuring works by N-ter, Grow, Microslav, Xed, Mirage, David Salgado, as well as a new mix by R21 himself. There is also a song coming soon on a compilation by Pip Williams, a remix for the label Elektropunkz, as well as a solo E.P. on Devine Disorder Records. Stay tuned for more info!
Written by: Santino Fernandez - technoBass.net