It's been a while since music lovers have been graced with the presence of the provocative and wholly unpredictable production sounds of Lawrence 'Keaton',
it's true to say the dance-floor hasn't been the same without him.
Keaton, has enjoyed a production holiday while DJing to revellers and soaking up the vibrations of infectious beats worldwide. Finally, now in 2010, he's found his way back home to London (by way of a two year move to Berlin), fresh, invigorated and inspired – ready to once again create havoc on the ear drums of the young and the restless.
There are not many artists that have created a single track that defines an era, but in Drum & Bass, Keaton—as part of The Usual Suspects—did just that with "Killa Bees", the epochal single released on Renegade Hardware in 1999. Epitomizing the dark, intensely nervy sound of the late 90s, the single was in near-constant rotation in every corner of the Drum & Bass scene. Named Best Newcomers by Knowledge Magazine and thrust into the limelight virtually overnight, Keaton found himself in the enviable position of having entered the game on the top floor.
As founding member of the ubiquitous 'The Usual Suspects' and production partner of Hive and Gridlok, Keaton terrorised the Drum and Bass scene from 1999 to 2006, bringing to the booth tunes you couldn't dare ignore - "The Plague", his remix of Dillinja's "Twist 'Em Out," and the tremendous "Bring It On", to name just a few caught the attention not only of 'heads' and 'ravers' but his peers and tastemakers alike. Queen of Electronica BBC Radio 1's Mary Anne Hobbs gave her approval when she dubbed "No Hope" the first release on Keaton's own label Refuge, Single of the Year in 2005. BBC Radio 1Xtra couldn't resist the temptation to award "Bring It On" A-list rotation on their playlist – the first Drum and Bass tune to do so.
Fellow producers Goldie, Dom & Roland, Digital, Loxy, Ink, Klute and labels Ram, Metalheadz, Renegade Hardware, and many more were all keen to further the scene by working with the progressive and exciting Lawrence Keaton, culminating in the development of the boundary pushing 'Welcome To Violence' (with Hive, Gridlok and Echo - Violence Recordings, 2006). The project swore violence on the norm and mixed ambient tracks with pre Dubstep half-time beats, vocalists and live instrumentation. A challenging project it opened the doorway to a boldly defiant and experimental craftsman leaving Keaton disillusioned with the cosmetic and safe world that Drum and Bass had become.
Only nine years since Keaton had landed his first residency at Bournemouth's Opera House aged only 17, he had made his mark on the map of the unforgiving terrain of the underground club scene in a heartbeat. Nearly 100 high profile releases later and numerous other accolades, demand was insatiable with tours across Europe, USA,
Canada, Japan, Russia, Australia and New Zealand but Keaton was ready to expand his skills beyond Drum & Bass and seek inspiration from an environment a world away from the evocative, darkly beautiful and brooding beats he was famed for.
A detour via Hip Hop saw Keaton produce beats for Rap Star T-Pain, Wizard Sleeve and more. Expanding and developing his Dj skills in this genre, showcasing around Europe before becoming intoxicated with the soul eclipsing beats of House, Minimal and Techno. Relocating to Berlin he made the City of Techno his spiritual home, headlining at the cities biggest and most influential clubs Tresor and Livedemo in his inimitable style.
It's been a hell of a ride, the Keaton you see before you is re-born. The result - his self governed production label Mad Love, forthcoming Planet Me & Mad Love Eps; a slew of genre busting House / Hip Hop / Drum & Bass and way beyond tracks which are guaranteed to have any reveller crying for the lost years are the result.
Already garnering fans 'Don't Criticize' has effortlessly enticed and won over the Deep House masses, Club Remixes for UK Rap Star Bashy, a rework of the band Kaya's beautiful acoustic piece, with much more to come fans can expect nothing but the unexpected from this truly gifted, eccentric and exacting artist.
You'll hear his work filling the room, reverberating through throbbing speakers, charming the dance-floor. You'll find him - by the bar. He's the one with the wry smile on his face and a cheeky glint in his eye.