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Drum & Bass legends | Die

Drum and Bass | Tuesday 15th December 2015 | Arren

Bristol is one of the key cities in the history of drum & bass and jungle music. A hot bed of talent exists in the city and the Bristol sound has been instrumental in the expansion of the genres.

The forward-thinking approach of the city has remained crucial to the scene, with its producers including Roni Size, Krust, TC, Loadstar. The list goes on and on.

Die is one such DJ and producer from the city, and he has been involved in the drum & bass scene from its early beginnings, and is still representing Bristol’s thriving electronic music today. He’s one of the city's many veteran junglists whose efforts both individually and with the super group Reprazent in music production have helped shaped the Bristol sound.

Born in Devon, Die, real name Daniel Kausman, moved to Bristol in 1985, and it didn’t take him long to get into the burgeoning music scene. He took in the sounds that were played at parties around Bristol. By 1992 he started producing with his friend Jody Wisternoff. They created a few house and hardcore releases under the name Tru-Funk and later, Sub Love. The productions under these aliases and his chances at playing some of the big raves in Bristol meant Daniel had started to make a name for himself.

However, it was a chance meeting with Roni Size that changed his course forever. They began working together on a seminal release on V Recordings in 1993. Die continued on a drum & bass flex with a string of releases, many alongside Roni with their Scorpio venture. Die and Roni also started ‘Music Box’ a project that laid the foundations of the legendary Full Cycle crew. During this time, Die also joined forces with the supergroup, Reprazent, headed by Roni Size.

Die, with fellow drum & bass heads Krust, Roni Size and Suv Kick, started Bristol’s biggest and most influential drum & bass label Full Cycle. It dominated the scene in the late 90s and was responsible for countless classics. With Full Cycle as a platform, and a good relationship with V Recordings, Die had perfected his craft as a producer and now had an impressive back catalogue of music. All this hard work wasn’t for nothing - in 1997, he and the rest of the Reprazent crew won the Mercury Music Prize.

As the new millennium broke he dropped the huge Clear Skyz. The track was out on Full Cycle and is a perfect example of the alternative thinking he and others from Bristol brought to the table. At this point, Full Cycle is in full swing and him and other Bristolians are at the top of the game.

Already known for his collaborative efforts in music, Die turned his sights to new enterprises. In 2003, him and fellow Full Cycle head, Krust, combined their creative forces with the I-Kamanchi project - they together released a self-titled album.

Not long after, Die looked to rising star Clipz. Their relationship was that of master and apprentice, and boy did they impress. Together they brought out a killer mixed album, Cross Collaborations, and a handful of heavy tracks that firmly placed both Die and Clipz on top. It was a combination of Die’s rolling style and Clipz’ upfront energy. This duo has further cemented Die’s position in drum & bass and paved the way for Clipz, now one of the UK’s biggest dance music icons, Redlight.

2007 saw Die leave Full Cycle to start his own label, Clear Skyz. He used it as a platform for his own music and to help break out more new talent from his favourite city. Some of the signings to his label include Break, Interface and one of Hospital’s hottest artists right now, S.P.Y.

After the success of Clear Skyz, Die decided to look more seriously at the other styles that were floating around UK underground club culture. Enter Gutterfunk, Die’s latest imprint, which ignores genre classifications and defies the rules. It gave Die a place to release his productions that weren’t drum & bass. Along with himself, Gutterfunk has signed up Addison Groove, Mensah and Jus Now to help mess up the norms of electronic music.

Die’s career is long and full of achievements. His love for music has continued to further his potential in the studio and behind the decks.  He continually pushed the boundaries of dance music and helped put Bristol on the map as an important centre of music in the UK.  Though not as busy as he was, Die still keeps himself busy with the odd release on Gutterfunk and collaborative efforts with the project DieMantle. He will always remain a constant and will be flying the flag for Bristol music for years to come.

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