It’s been a long road for London-bred Loxy, aka Andrew Campbell, who has played a seminal part in every step of Drum & Bass’ evolution over the last two decades. He’s one of few artists that has continued to influence all elements of the Drum & Bass movement from the underground up, with no signs of stopping. Keeping his face in the background, but a strong, characteristic sound in the front, for someone like Loxy it’s never been about image, fame or hype – it’s only the music that speaks.
It was music that spoke to Loxy himself at a very young age, growing up in a house where sounds vibrated off the walls, around the clock. As he tells: “Music was very influential in our family – from dub, reggae, ragga, hip hop, soul, funk, pop, you name it. If it was good, it got played in our house.” A B-Boy and fan of hip hop and electro in the late 80s, it was only natural that he would fall into what was then dubbed a “new phenomenon”: pirate radio opened his eyes to the futuristic sounds of acid house and techno. A blink of those eyes and several mixtapes later, and Loxy became immersed in the world of rave and DJ culture, which was slowly morphing into the sounds of early Jungle. Attending events such as Telepathy (in Marshgate Lane, Stratford in London), he went deep into the sounds of Jumpin Jack Frost, Fabio, Grooverider and Rat Pack: “I was hooked,” he says.
Loxy started hunting down vinyl with insatiable dedication, and by 1990-1991, he started to share his collection and talents behind the decks. Through a friend promoting parties, he ended up on the stage at East London’s legendary Dungeons – and from there, the gigs started flying in at an unruly pace. Loxy’s name was soon spread across flyers for events that now hold their veritable place in rave history books, including Elevation, Desire, Club Jungle, Thunder and Joy. He also became a regular on various radio waves across London (such as Underground FM, Pulse FM, Chillin FM, Rude FM and Eruption FM), bringing a darker edge that was influenced by the sounds of Face Records, Reinforced and Moving Shadow.
In 1993, with a head brimming with ideas that combined his musical upbringing and a future-forward mindset, Loxy came across two likeminded artists at Brain Studios – Bizzy B and TDK. His first forays into production came hard and fast – their very first track ‘Roll Call’ became regularly played by the likes of DJ Rap, Trace and Bryan Gee. With an exacting production style, he started forming a network that connected the dots of the music that inspired him: Bay B Kane not only fed him the newest dubs, but also signed one of his tracks to his 4star record label (which went through the then-popular Whitehouse Records) – and his encounters with LTJ Bukem and Tayla revealed both their common interests in music and a healthy supply of Good Looking dubplates. It wasn’t long before his record bag was indisputable.
One of his most fated introductions came when he met Giles Mensah, aka Ink – when they joined forces, the chemistry was instant and absolute. Loxy tells that the two connected through “a shared love of the
music and similar yet varied tastes.” Their first track – ‘Submerged’ – was released on Architecture Recordings, and also held a feature spot on Kemistry and Storm’s ‘DJ Kicks’ mix compilation. From the beginnings, it was clear that destiny held much promise for the duo – and eventually they became an archetypal pair in D&B, creating some of the most essential anthems in the harder, darker, more dub- influenced terrains of the genre.
Though his productions were gaining his name more attention, Loxy’s DJ’ing never slowed up – growing from strength to strength, he always staying dedicated to the craft. As Loxy puts it himself: “I would always consider myself a DJ first and producer second, but making tunes to play was what got me motivated to pursue it more.” As Loxy and Ink came across like-minded artists at D&B events, they
befriended the likes of Digital, Spirit, Source Direct, Photek, Peshay and Kemistry and Storm. When the scene-defining Blue Note club opened in the mid-90s, it was the latter two DJs that suggested to Metalheadz leader Goldie that Loxy should be the resident. “The rest is history,” Loxy tells, which couldn’t be further from the truth: his name was locked in the D&B archives from then on, alongside the Blue Note’s legacy, even holding down the record as the only artist to DJ a whole night at the Sunday Sessions. Loxy became a mainstay on the club circuit in the early years of D&B, DJ’ing the events that would one day set the blueprint – Leisure Lounge Sessions, Hannover Grand, the Cafe De Paris Sessions, Speed, Swerve, Logical Progression, and Pure Science. His residency at Blue Note stemmed on to all of Goldie’s Metalheadz nights from that point forward (to this day), and he’s since held London residencies at Renegade Hardware and Therapy. Beyond his rotating nights, Loxy has played at all D&B events across the board, and around the world – including Exit Records, Sun & Bass, Creamfields, Fabric, Club Jungle, Desire,Elevation, One Nation, Slammin Vinyl, Valve, Breakbeat Kaos, Revolution, Legend of The Dark, Movement, The End, and Theory, among many others…the list is seemingly endless.
As a producer, Loxy’s discography is a tour through D&B history, and about as thick and chronological as it gets. It’s the attention to detail that always makes a Loxy production stand out: tough and hard-hitting, with basslines and drums intricately layered with meticulous precision. Building fierce rhythms, his sharply sculpted beats slide against different backdrops: sometimes bringing the feel of a smooth club roller, other times dropping the listener straight into the deepest end of the dancefloor. With such a vast depth in sound, it’s no wonder that over the years he’s worked with labels as varied as Good Looking Records, Exit Records, Metalheadz, Renegade Hardware, Razors Edge, Digital Soundboy, Shogun Audio and Architecture Recordings.
Always on the hunt for the next sound, Loxy started Cylon Recordings in the early 2000‘s with Dylan, as a way to revive their love of hardcore. He also went on to start a joint imprint with Keaton (of the Usual Suspects) called X-tinction Agenda, which reflects both artists’ tastes with an aim to represent and cultivate the near ‘x-tinct’ sound of what they deem “true Drum & Bass – breakbeats & sub bass.” His most recent imprint, Cx:Digital, has been a labor of love on his own, as a platform to push the D&B sound even further.
With his partnership with Ink being the most notorious, Loxy was also the founder of the infamous The Four Horsemen – with original members Ink, Dylan and Keaton, it became a global group with artists such as Gremlinz, Mutt and Outlook (to name a few). Over the years, Loxy’s also collaborated with other names dotted around the D&B spectrum, including Bad Company, Consequence, Zinc, Digital, Swift, Flatliners, Ena, Isotone, Genotype, Cern, Munk, Matt-u, D Kay, J. Dub, Usual Suspects, Universal Project and Resound.
It’s Resound that Loxy has teamed up with most recently, putting together an album for dBridge’s Exit Records in 2011. Watch this space.