Dillinja - Artists | Star Warz

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References: Valve Recordings, Metalheadz, UK


With musical experience gained at school playing both the drums and violin, Dillinja easily picked up the required skills, hanging around the Digidub Studios in Camberwell to get a feel for the engineering side of the process. He began to furiously produce tracks, so many at one point that he was putting out two releases a week, plunging any money earned straight back into the kitty for mastering and pressing costs, as well as the self-distribution to the specialist records stores. It is an often cited fact that by the age of 23, Dillinja already had 50 releases under his belt.

As well as his own label, Dillinja went on to record for many other Drum ‘n’ Bass labels, including V Recordings, Hardleaders, Prototype and Goldie’s pioneering Metalheadz imprint. Dillinja used these labels to show his unique musical versatility.  It is the fusion of dark bass-lines and tightly produced beats that has become Dillinja’s trademark sound today, a sound that has resulted in Dillinja being called to remix for the likes of David Bowie, Bjork, Faith No More, Soul II Soul, Basement Jaxx, Amon Tobin, Artful Dodger and Jeru the Damaja. The various aliases under which he has recorded include Trinity, Capone, Cybotron and The Specialist.

Dillinja’s introduction to Kevin King aka Lemon D in the mid 1990s through a mutual friend resulted in a partnership which soon gave birth to Valve Recordings in 1997, so named after the old Shaka pre-amps used in reggae sound systems. Test Recordings was set up as a subsidiary label at around the same period – a more anonymous, dance-floor based label. In between these various releases on his Valve labels, Dillinja signed an album deal with London Records, a move that resulted in the production of the classic ‘Cybotron’ LP in 2001, an album highly acclaimed by the dance music establishment which cemented Dillinja’s position as one of the true leaders in his field.

Later Dillinja co-produced Valve Recordings’ debut album ‘Big Bad Bass’ with Lemon D, an LP which aimed to reflect the ethos of the Valve Sound System and included dance-floor smashers such as Dillinja’s ‘Thugged Out Bitch’ and the Valve Sound System anthem ‘It Ain’t Too Loud’.

‘The Killa-Hertz’ followed, including a Valve documentary and cover art by legendary photographer Dennis Morris, responsible for taking some of the most iconic photos of Bob Marley, the Sex Pistols and King Tubby, among others. A retrospective LP ‘‘My Sound 1993 – 2004’ featured some of the biggest tracks from the Dillinja back catalogue, including ‘Acid Track’, ‘The Angels Fell’ and ‘Friday’.

As head of Valve Recordings, he has continued to find and develop new talent for the label and has commissioned several compilation albums, including cuts from the likes of TC, High Contrast and Breakage. Dillinja is currently working on new material for his Valve imprint, as well as touring extensively with the Valve Sound System and DJ’ing internationally.