b. Robert Dixon, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Dixon was given the name ‘Digital’ because he arrived at King Jammy’s in 1985 at the same time that Steely And Clevie were experimenting with computerized rhythms. Thanks to Jammy’s tuition, he learned dub-cutting, continuing a heritage started by the late dub innovator King Tubby. Before long, Digital took a key role in the studio and was instrumental in advancing the careers of artists such as Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks, Chaka Demus, Admiral Bailey, Sanchez, Pinchers and many others. In 1988, he left to build his own studio and set up the Digital B label, and to form the Heatwave sound system. Shabba Ranks had hits with ‘Wicked In Bed’ and ‘Gal Yuh Good’ which led to 1990’s Just Reality.
‘Serious Time’ was a collaboration between Digital, Ninjaman and Admiral Tibet and, by 1991, he had accumulated new talent such as Mad Cobra (‘Tek Him’), Tony Rebel, Penny Irie and Shaka Shamba (‘Reggae Fight’), alongside recognized names such as Gregory Isaacs, Johnny Osbourne and Cornell Campbell. His skilled production brought success that year in the form of albums by Pinchers, Sanchez and Admiral Tibet, various ‘version’ sets and ‘Substitute Lover’ by Half Pint. Garnett Silk recorded his debut album and a number of hit singles at the studio in 1992, resulting in a major contract with Atlantic Records. Digital was by then producing material for the international market for artists such as Shabba Ranks, Buju Banton, Mad Cobra and Tiger. He had released a truly impressive amount of music by 1993, most of it of a remarkably high standard, including albums by Glen Ricks and Leroy Smart, Gregory Isaacs, Cocoa Tea, Red Dragon, Sugar Minott, Josey Wales and Lieutenant Stitchie. Many younger artists, such as Terror Fabulous, Daddy Screw, Roundhead, Jigsy King and Saaba Tooth successfully used the new rhythms of ‘Mad Dog’ and ‘Top Ten’ created by Mafia And Fluxy, Sly And Robbie and Danny Browne. In 1994, Digital worked on creating rhythms that would re-establish Shabba Ranks with his dancehall audience. With his credibility as a ghetto youth, a roster of gifted artists and a wider audience following his work with world-class acts, Digital is likely to remain a highly respected and very successful producer for many years. His productions include Shabba Ranks’ Just Reality, Sanchez’s I Can’t Wait, Dirtsman’s Acid, Admiral Tibet’s Separate Class, Pinchers’ Hotter, Leroy Smart’s Talk About Friend and Garnett Silk’s It’s Growing.