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Biography

Slacker is Shem McCauley, a veteran DJ and producer of critical acclaim. In his extensive years in the business, there isn’t much Shem hasn’t been involved with at one time or another. Currently, much of his time is taken up as one of the most consistent performers on the globetrotting DJ circuit, spreading the uniquely exciting, funky, and energetic progressive sound that has come to be known as the Slacker sound. A sound that can be found in his consistent release of his own singles as both “Slacker” and “Head Honcho” for his label Jukebox in the Sky.

Shem was known as DJ Streets Ahead in the mid-Eighties when he was one of the UK’s leading scratch mix DJs. His skills earned him the first live mix on radio in the UK (with Tim Westwood on pirate LWR) and deck battles at the legendary Hammersmith Palais, as well as production work with Professor Griff (Public Enemy) and Tim Simenon (Bomb the Bass). Studying in Brighton, Shem made records and ran clubs with Norman Cook, and played acid-house sets at warehouse parties hosted by Carl Cox. He soon became a much in-demand remixer, working on James Brown, Roxanne Shante, Was Not Was, Digital Underground and many others. He toured with the She Rockers and Bomb The Bass in Europe, and with Norman Cook’s Beats International in Africa.

Shem formed Ramp in the early 90s with musician Simon Rogers, enjoying success with the club classics ‘Rock the Discotek’ and ‘Stomp’ on the Loaded label, as well as plenty of remixes for D:Ream, Grace Jones, Sister Sledge, Armand Van Helden, Strike, Yazz and Boy George to name just a few. On his own Shem slowly became Slacker, eager to offload some of his darker samples and capture the atmospheres he’d encountered on trips to Goa and Thailand. First came ‘Feel Space’ and ‘Jukebox In The Sky’, then ‘Flying Baby’ – all critically acclaimed underground club hits. His third single ‘Scared’ was a powerful, atmospheric house groove that captured the current mood perfectly, and generated a huge buzz even though for five months only one copy existed – in the capable hands of Sasha. By the beginning of 1997 it was a top 30 UK hit. ‘Your Face’ achieved equal results, then ‘Psychout’ , a sleuth of more remixes for the likes of Prodigy, Golden Girls and Jark Prongo together with live appearances at Creamfields and Renaissance in Ibiza.

Towards the end of the 90’s Shem took time out for a return to his first love; the decks. He quickly established residencies at the legendary Groovejet in Miami and in Lima, Peru while covering the rest of the globe as a jet setting DJ. His production pedigree continued to grow with remixes for Bedrock’s “Voices”, Junkie Xls “Zerotonine”, Trancesetters “Roaches” and Adamski’s “In The City,” and more recently Moby’s “In this World.”

Shem re-established his own label; “Jukebox in the Sky” in late 2001. He released “Fusion/ The Sound of Slacker” and “Looky Thing” in quick succession as the buzz on his side project, Head Honcho’s “Walls of Jerico” went into overdrive. The current year has seen Slacker release “A Million Dreams” with a new Head Honcho single “Medicine” soon to follow. There are also plans for the classic “Scared” to be re-released with new mixes over the summer, a tune the phrase “festival anthem” was made for.