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Witchman

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Biography

Oft compared with gloomy breakbeat industrialists Scorn and Techno Animal, the dubbed up drum'n'bass of Witchman has as much in common with jungle paranoids Nico and Ed Rush and the gothic techno of Disjecta and Meat Beat Manifesto. Combining heavy, space-filling drum sequences — alternately split- and double-time — with piles and piles of effects units and daubs of ominous synth patches, Witchman lies somewhere near the intersection of Jamaican dub, early hip-hop, ambient, and the darker side of bleep techno. The singular project of one John Roome, Witchman followed Roome's stint as vocalist for Terminal Power Company, an industrial metal band. A longtime devotee of the Swans and Dead Can Dance, Roome stumbled onto a solo recording career by accident, assembling a demo on a whim before landing a contract some months later (his aspirations were originally in film). Early on, Roome released more remix and compilation tracks than work out under his own name (he's remixed Gary Numan and Nefilim and been included on compilations for Rising High, Volume, and Virgin, among others). After a quick single for Blue Angel, Roome's first EP, "The Shape of Rage" was released by the experimental Leaf label in early 1996, and quickly nailed an audience into jungle's darker, more abstract possibilities. After some record-label confusion (with Blue Angel parent-label Rising High in financial turmoil), he finally hooked up with Deviant in 1996 to release the Nightmare Alley double-EP, followed in 1997 by the full-length Explorimenting Beats. The Jammin' Unit collaboration Inferno appeared in 1998 on Invisible.

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