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Black Grass

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Before DJ/producer Mex (born Ian Thompson) took on the name for himself, he and fellow producer Carl Faure were collectively known as Brighton, England-based duo Black Grass, utilizing their respective backgrounds to compose a highly eclectic mix of British rap and trip-hop. Mex is a worldwide-respected DJ who came to such status during the mid- to late '90s, DJing for the likes of Portishead, Big L, and Jurassic 5 as well as releasing several big beat- and turntablist-oriented side projects under aliases the Mexican and Clockwork Voodoo Freaks. His ear for hip-hop breaks, extracting from Latin, soul, jazz, house, and funk records, formed the backbone of the duo's sound while Faure injected elements of the U.K.'s dance subculture with his experience in producing drum'n'bass and jazz-house. Recorded for the Brighton-based Catskills Records, their 2004 self-titled debut (though it was available overseas earlier in October 2003) was received favorably in both the U.K.'s underground club/dance and hip-hop circles. Shortly thereafter, however, Faure defected from the duo, leaving Mex to assume the Black Grass moniker as another alias. During the next couple of years, Mex turned heavily to touring, both in Britain and in Australia, supporting acts like De La Soul and Miguel Migs. Mex returned in 2006 with the second Black Grass effort, A Hundred Days in One, on the Catskills label. ~ Cyril Cordor

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Brighton, England

Years Active: