Bending boundaries and ignoring the status quo â€“ where would the electronic music scene be today without Lee Coombs? For over a decade this British producer has been at the forefront of it all; releasing groundbreaking mix CDs, remixing the worldâ€™s most acclaimed artists and knocking out dancefloor destroying productions that are considered classics years after their release.
A seasoned veteran, Coombs first hit the DJ slopes in 1989, bathing himself in the acid house scene at parties around London and Cambridge. Crucial in shaping his all-encompassing approach to DJing and production, this boundary-less approach would become Coombsâ€™ trademark, mixing up breaks, house, electro, techno and acid with dexterous assurance.
In 1998 Coombs made his first massive strike on the breaks scene as the prized recruit of then ‘up and comingâ€™ label Finger Lickinâ€™, with the manâ€™s acclaimed album of 2001 â€˜Future Sound of Retroâ€™ signalling his arrival on the world stage. The album struck a chord within the dance music community, so much so that respected industry figurehead Pete Tong noted him as the â€˜man to watchâ€™. An â€˜Essential New Tuneâ€™ accolade soon followed courtesy of Tong, with Coombsâ€™ re-rub of Quivverâ€™s â€˜One Last Timeâ€™ making dance fans weak at the knees the world over.
Such was the demand for Coombs, that luminary Paul Oakenfold was soon knocking at his door, resulting in the critically acclaimed Perfecto Breaks album of 2002. After landing the job of remixing Oakenfoldâ€™s â€˜Time of your Lifeâ€™ and then further re-rubs for world class acts such as Moby, New Order, Lamb and Planet Funk, Coombsâ€™ status as one of the industryâ€™s most in-demand artists quickly developed. Even the BBC was under the Coombs spell with them flying him over to Prague in the summer of 2003 to record the theme music for the television program â€˜Born to Winâ€™ with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ever the musical innovator, Lee Coombsâ€™ 2004 album release â€˜Breakfast of Championsâ€™ signalled a significant evolution in his sound. Collaborating with some of the most respected artists in his field â€“ from Dylan Rhymes to Christian J, Andy Gardner (Plump DJs) and Jem Panufnik (Soul of Man), the album charted the ambitious new territory of Tech Funk, injecting the Breaks sound with butt-shaking elements of House, Electro and Techno. It was a style Coombs would make his own, alongside fellow innovators Meat Katie, Elite Force and Dylan Rhymes. Featured on the acclaimed album was the cracking single â€˜Shiverâ€™ (feat. Katherine Ellis) which was snapped up by classic house imprint Azuli and became one of the biggest vocal house anthems of 2005, whilst the â€˜Alright All-Night/Dubheadâ€™ and â€˜Obsessional Rhythmâ€™ singles went straight to no.1 in the DJ Mag Beats & Breaks Chart.
Departing Finger Lickinâ€™ for new pastures in 2005, Coombsâ€™ focus shifted to releasing music through his own Thrust Recordings imprint as well as Adrift and Meat Katieâ€™s Lot49 (then Whole9Yards). It was at this time that he started his Thrust club nights in San Francisco, with the quarterly events becoming one of the hottest tickets on the West Coast.
On the immediate horizon is Coombâ€™s highly anticipated new artist album entitled â€œLight and Dark.â€ Just released in October 2009 on Lot49, Coombs views this as his most ambitious project yet with a range of tempo from 100 â€“ 128 bpm. While still dancefloor focused, collaborations with the likes of Seasunz, Katherine Ellis, Uberzone and others help push the albums boundaries and showcase Coombsâ€™ abilities across multiple genres.
Coming off the success of his lauded artist album, Lee Coombs and Lot49 have recently unleashed yet another sonic monster with the album â€œLight and Dark Remixed.â€
In an industry thatâ€™s so often governed by trends and fads, Coombsâ€™ unwavering ability to simultaneously destroy dancefloors and push musical boundaries almost 20 years since he first touched a pair of turntables is a remarkable achievement in itself. Thereâ€™s little doubt that his impressive sonic skills will be rocking ears for many years to come.
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- House Syndicate â€“ Jam the Mace â€“ Lee Coombs 2011 Re Rub
- Worthy – Work it work – Televizion
- Lee Coombs – Hypnotone – Tech Mix – Thrust Recordings
- Lee Coombs – Ambar – Lot49 (featured on the new Meat Katie comp)
- Zodiac Cartel – Just do it – U&A
- X Press 2 – Get on you – Moguai Remix – Skint
- Peo de Pitte – Burning Up – U&A
- Lee Coombs – Hypnotone – Breaks Mix – Thrust Recordings
- Dylan Rhymes – Filth Bag – Lot49
- Kosheen Djs – Konflict – Audio 23 Records
- Chevy One – Shift the Gear – N-Mity Records
- Lee Coombs â€“ Drone â€“ Thrust Recordings
Thrust Recordings: listn.to/ThrustRecordings