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St. Albans-based duo Source Direct are renowned for the ambient-leaning progressive drum'n'bass they've released on the Metalheadz, Basement, Certificate 18, and Street Beats labels, as well as on their own self-titled imprint. Often compared with such rolling, relaxed junglists as LTJ Bukem, Peshay, and Goldie, Source Direct actually figure closer to the taut, brooding complexity of Photek and edgier PFM, wrapping sweeping minor-key melodies around sharp, splintered breaks and deep basslines far more oppositional than the sweet retreat of much of the LGR and Metalheadz stables. Claiming close affinity with '70s soul, jazz, and funk groups such as Grover Washington, Bob James, and Average White Band, SD's Jim Baker and Phil Aslett began making music together when they were just 14. Renting out midnight studio time at Hackney's Panic Studio, they assembled demo cassettes of (still unreleased) material while setting their DJ skills in order and organizing and hosting underground (usually illegal) hardcore parties. They soon pieced their own studio together in their St. Albans home (near Ipswich, home to Rupert "Photek" Parkes), and began releasing a string of highly acclaimed 12-inches by the ages of 17. The pair record under a variety of pseudonyms for various labels, including Intensity (Basement), Sounds of Life (Certificate 18), Oblivion (Street Beats), but have released most of their material as Source Direct (primarily on Odyssey, Metalheadz, Looking Good, and their own label). Source Direct tracks have been featured on Looking Good and Metalheadz label compilations, and the pair have completed remixes for the likes of the Shamen, Code of Practice, and Medicine Man. Their Exorcise the Demons album appeared in 1999. By the end of the year, Aslett had left the fold, though Baker continued alone as Source Direct.
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