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Vex'd

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Biography

Vex'd were a British duo whose aggressive, volatile tracks blended dub, dancehall reggae, and hip-hop elements with industrial and noise textures, becoming a major influence on dubstep and grime. Jamie Teasdale and Roly Porter met as students in London, but began releasing music after moving to Bristol. Their first two 12"s, "Lion" and "Pop Pop," appeared on Subtext (run by Porter along with Paul Jebanasam and James Ginzburg) in 2004, with "Function" also appearing that year on Drum+Breaks, but Mike Paradinas was already interested in releasing their material on Planet Mu. "Gunman" appeared in April of 2005, with full-length Degenerate arriving in July. The album's CD pressing included a second disc containing tracks from the duo's previously released singles. Degenerate was one of Planet Mu's most successful releases, making an impact on the developing dubstep scene as well as earning attention from fans of harder styles of electronic music such as breakcore and IDM. The duo released another 12", "Bombardment of Saturn," on Planet Mu in 2006, and remixed tracks by dubstep artists Distance and Search & Destroy in addition to IDM originators Plaid as well as composer Gabriel Prokofiev's String Quartet No. 2. Vex'd released another 12", "3rd Choice," on Planet Mu in 2008, but Porter became disenchanted with the club scene and took a hiatus from making music, and the duo broke up. Teasdale began recording solo material as Dakimh, then Jamie Vex'd (releasing In System Travel on Planet Mu in 2009), finally settling on Kuedo in 2010. Planet Mu released Cloud Seed, a collection of tracks intended for the duo's second album as well as remixes and collaborations, and Kuedo's debut full-length, Severant, appeared on the label in 2011. Fusing elements of Chicago's footwork sound with early-'80s work by Vangelis, the album was a resounding critical success, and would prove to be nearly as influential as Degenerate. Roly Porter made his solo debut during the same year with Aftertime, a dense, harrowing classical-influenced album released by his relaunched Subtext label. The album was also acclaimed, and was followed by concert recording Fall Back: Live at Aldeburgh (in collaboration with Cynthia Millar) the following year. Porter's second studio album, Life Cycle of a Massive Star, appeared on Subtext in 2013. Porter and Teasdale reunited in 2015, with Porter guesting on Kuedo's EP Assertion of a Surrounding Presence, released by Teasdale's Knives label, and the duo performing as Vex'd during a Planet Mu 20th anniversary concert in Belgium. Porter released his third studio album, Third Law, on Tri Angle in early 2016. ~ Paul Simpson