Sphere made their mark on the progressive house music scene with a huge debut release, a two track EP on which both tracks had been featured on two of the best selling compilations in modern dance music history. Gravity & Gravi Tech were released in January of 2000 on Fade Records after having been featured on the prestigious Global Underground compilation series: Budapest 011 mixed by Nick Warren, and Hong Kong 014, mixed by John Digweed.
Originally founded by producer and engineer Barry Robb along with DJ Matthew Lippiatte, Sphere’s productions quickly became a much sought after commodity. At the time that Sphere released their debut single, G.U. compilations where selling more copies than any other mass produced DJ compilations… each newly released album continued to feature the world’s best club DJs, showcasing the best of the world’s underground dance music productions. Sales of the G.U. albums soared above 100,000 copies consistently. Super-star DJs Nick Warren and Bedrock’s own John Digweed are directly responsible for helping to catapult both Sphere and Fade Records to new heights in independent record sales. Tune Inn Record Shop owner Pete Gawtry later licensed both debut tracks for individual releases (including new remixes) on his Tune Inn record label furthering Sphere’s popularity. Sphere owes its whirlwind success to the extremely positive support and guidance of Fade’s own, DJ Chris Fortier, as well as to those first introductions to both Nick Warren and John Digweed by Chris.
After a few unsuccessful follow-up attempts at their debut’s success, Barry began venturing into independent writing in his studio. His first attempt at a solo project, albeit under the Sphere moniker, yielded a track called Barrier, which was subsequently licensed to not one but three compilations, including a new division of G.U. releases featuring the up-and-coming super-star DJs called Nu Breed. Barrier was used by Nu Breed 001 ‘flawless key mixer’ DJ Anthony Pappa, DJ Nick Warren, and Australia’s own master DJ Kasey Taylor as part of some truly top-notch mixed compilations.
Not long after that, Barry met and began working with production Prodigy Martin Accorsi, as well as Orlando-based DJ Tim Skinner on various duo projects. After helping to mix Martin’s first two solo-produced tracks, Barry and Martin joined forces and formed Accorsi & Robb. The duo scored a huge hit with a jointly produced track released on Yoshitoshi Records called ‘Foundation.’ Deep Dish then gave Barry his fourth G.U. compilation slot, and Martin his first G.U. slot by choosing to license ‘Foundation’ for the ‘Moscow’ 021 compilation. Barry and Martin also had the pleasure of hearing ‘Foundation’ played by Deep Dish at club Space in Miami during the Winter Music Conference of 2001.
During the following months, Barry and Tim created a co-production partnership after writing a single called Earshot. They then formed Grounded Music, their own record label designed and managed by Robb & Skinner, created for the purpose of releasing their own productions in addition to those productions created by promising yet ‘unknown’ producers. In a very short time, they landed a world-wide distribution deal with techno-giant Prime Distribution in the UK. The debut Grounded Music release featured the first Robb & Skinner Remix ever and with that debut single, Sphere ‘Barrier’ (featuring the now infamous Robb & Skinner Remix) Robb & Skinner quickly embraced success as they sold nearly 3000 copies, surprising the Prime Distribution sales staff and forcing a repress of the release due to the high demand for the Robb & Skinner brand of quality house music. This release was the obvious catalyst that created a high demand for Robb & Skinner remixes. Barry and Tim were then requested and hired for back to back remixes for many other labels and unfortunately, their own label suffered undue delays and outright unintentional neglect, bringing the seemingly unavoidable long hiatus to Grounded Music.
As Tim’s DJ career soared, Barry buckled down and began doing solo remix work. Barry’s ‘Sphere’ remixes have been charted at number one on such highly coveted charts as the Balance Promote Chart, and he has even had back to back remixes holding positions one and two simultaneously on DJ Chris Fortier’s play-chart. Further support has also come from the Filterheadz, Danny Howells, Danny Tenaglia, Sasha, Park’s & Wilson, Anthony Pappa, Kasey Taylor, Deep Dish, Nick Warren, John Digweed, Pete Tong and many who have shopped at Release Records in Canada and Massive Records in the UK.
Up next for Barry are two original tracks, which are due to be released on Release Records as early as Winter 2004. After that, anticipate seeing Sphere remixes of Gibby Macky tracks in circulation.