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Dom & Roland

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Misleadingly plural, Dom & Roland is actually the one-man attack of Dominic Angus, whose slim but steady stream of EPs released through noted drum'n'bass imprints Moving Shadow, Suburban Base, and Doc Scott's 31 Records have represented the harder, darker, more experimental edge of dancefloor-oriented hardstep. Signed by Moving Shadow to a nonexclusive contract in early 1996, Dom's initial singles deviated sharply from the brighter, more melodic thrust of much of the label's back catalog. But Angus' commitment to pushing the hardstep envelope while still pushing bassbins has also meant his tracks have gotten high play among critics as well as DJs, leading to a two-album commitment from the label. A resident of London's Shepherd's Bush, Dom's early connection to the drum'n'bass scene was through friend and early mentor Ed Rush; Dom's launch into production came via Rush collaborator and No U-Turn founder Nick Sykes (aka Nico), to whom Dom payed a nominal fee for studio time and a quick co-write. From there, Dom took classes in studio engineering and production while meeting ends as a restaurant manager. His first proper tracks were released under the name Current Affairs (a collaboration with Brian Ferrier), and his first single under his own name was the grueling "Dynamics"/"The Planets," released in the early months of 1996. By the end of that year, Angus had racked up four singles and a handful of compilation tracks and remixes (most notably for Flytronix and the Art of Noise's drum'n'bass remix album). Most of his tracks -- particularly "Planets" and both sides of the "Mechanics" twelve -- were rinsed so heavily due to the sudden upsurge in darkside hardstep (capped by an uncredited co-write with Ed Rush, Trace, and Nico on one of the year's biggest tunes, "Mad Different Methods"), his profile rose dramatically, leading to remix work for Graham Sutton's Boymerang project and a track on Moving Shadow's 100th 12-inch release next to Goldie and Rob Playford. The Industry album appeared in 1998. ~ Sean Cooper

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