Nick Annand & Greg Fleming AKA Deekline & Wizard have spent the last five years building a reputation as one of the foremost production outfits in electronic music. With a dizzying array of club smashing hits already under their belts, the release of their 2nd album, ?Back Up, Coming Through!?, on the world renowned Against The Grain records on 13th April 2009, will cement their position as the premier dance-floor duo that they most definitely are.
Dj Deekline came to prominence with his era defining top-ten anthem, ?Don't Smoke The Reefer', which sold by the truckload and effortlessly placed him at the vanguard of the Two-step, Garage and Breakbeat movements. Greg meanwhile was carving out a career as an in demand studio wizard, working with the likes of Xpress 2 and The Chemical Brothers, and gaining notoriety for his unswerving drive and deft production abilities. After a quick aside - ?Get Dirty Baby' as The Booty Bouncers, - Nick & Greg unleashed an astonishing long player, ?Breaks, Beats & Blondes'. Weighing in at a fulsome thirteen tracks the album was notable not only for its stylistic breadth, taking in Electro, Reggae, Two-step, House and Breaks but also for its heavy use of vocals from the likes of scene players Yolanda and Spoonface, giving a more human depth to the set. Championed by the Dance music fraternity it opened up a new chapter in Breakbeat, as the scene's emphasis changed from tracks for a sweaty backroom boys club to music with real soul and sex appeal.
Further singles followed for both Botchit & Scarper and Nick's own Rat Records imprint plus acclaimed remixes including Armand Van Helden's ?My My My' which was a Zane Lowe Tune Of The Week and the Prodigy's ?Out Of Space' which scored a number one on the German charts.
Whilst constantly delivering club smashing action and in between spates of Nick going out on the road and Greg topping up his studio tan, the pair have been working non-stop on their sophomore set ?Back Off Coming Through', described by themselves as the album that lets everyone know that they've been around and they really know what they're doing, it certainly takes no prisoners. Driven to make uniquely thrilling music that shakes you to the core, the duo have covered all bases from Eastern sounds of first single ?Dancehall Thrilla' to out and out floor quaking joints. Refining their production style and adding even more musical layers to the melting pot, the album features vocal turns delivered by Top Cat, DJ Assault, Wonder Kid, Yolanda and a gospel singer called Vic, making it all the more obvious that Deekline & Wizard's love of vocals shows no sign of abating.
Nick's take is as candid as ever ?Nowadays a lot of dance music has got a very short shelf-life and for me vocals give it that extra little element to keep your attention and it keeps me interested in a tune, if I hear a whole set of tunes without melodies or vocals I get bored. I think the vocals enable you to take your sets on a bigger journey, but it's a thin line to be able to really use vocals in a dance track so that people will still play it.?
Greg is similarly forthright about the importance of a good vocalist ?It's personal preference, some people don't like vocals, club types, but for me and Nick they're essential, you have to give a tune an identity and a story. The main thing for me in working with vocalists in the studio is that they have different ideas of melody and the whole process of working together is when the magic happens, bringing a vocalist in adds musicianship, it helps gel the track together so it sounds classy like old tracks used to do and you don't get lost in that whole digital thing.?
Due for release early on 13th April 2009 and crossing vast stylistic planes with the unflinching swagger of a bare knuckle boxer, ?Back Off Coming Through' is stunning evidence of a production duo at the height of their mercurial powers.
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