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Neil Briggs has been DJing since 1995, leading to the formation of the Future Funk Squad with Glen Nicholls in 1999. Fuelled by a love of the breakbeat sound, championed at the time by the likes of Norman Cook, Les Rythmes Digitales and the Propellerheads (among others), the Future Funk Squad began making tunes as a side project to Glen’s other interests in Drum & Bass, and House. After a run of more “big beat” type tracks, the Squad realised that there was more out there after hearing the more edgy breakbeat driven sounds by the likes of Tipper, Hybrid and Freq Nasty. The direction changed and CDRs were sent out of “Sandstorm” and “Fatal Force” Unfortunately none of this new material saw the light of day until “Shakedown” was completed and pressed up as a white label. This was a big success stateside, and found it’s way onto the Future Soundscapes compilation put together by Draco & Exzact for Release Records in America. The track was also pushed to the maximum by Waxworks head honcho Guy Hatfield (DJ Hyper) and international DJ Lee Burridge from Tyrant.
Soon after, Glen moved to London and met the likes of Dom from Stanton Warriors, the sound took a slightly more steppy approach towards what has been called “breakbeat garage”. Neil visited regularly for production weekends and “Pulse” was born, which was a big hit at nights like Beatfreaks at Gass in London where the pair played in December 2001. The record was the first release on Default Records, and was also licensed by General Midi for his “Genetically Modified” mix album the same year. Glen then became involved with Champion Records, and started his own labels En:Vision and Re:Connect.
After this Neil and Glen had to undergo a parting of the ways, musically speaking, due to circumstances beyond their control. It was agreed that Glen should continue using the Future Funk Squad name as it had just started gathering momentum. In 2002 Neil started his own “High Eight” project, learning more production skills, and adjusting to working as a solo artist. The first single to come from this was “Tear It Up”, released as the second single for Re:Connect. After this came “Open Your Eyes”, which was later used on the “New:BPM Volume 2” mix album by Future Funk Squad, and came out as a single in early 2005.
More recently Neil has completed remixes for Bless records, and remixes of “Audio Damage” and “Deep Inside”, tracks taken from the Future Funk Squad artist album due out in 2005. Due out early 2005 are remixes for Full Intent, Navigation Records and Skydive. The next High Eight single is also due out early 2005 on Re:Connect, to be followed up by a new EP later in the year. A remix has also just been completed for MBN.
The High Eight project has always been a long-term plan from the start. The plan is to put together a full length artist album with collaborations with vocalists, MCs, and other breaks producers.