Dwayne Marsh, as far as we can tell, was always bound to be a musician. The son of a jungle and techno producing father and a mother who used to sing, music was part of Marsh’s life from the beginning. In a 2011 interview with Bigup Mag, the musician explained how he could play the piano by 7 years of age and the tenor saxophone at 11.
The discovery of “dark garage” (the sounds that would go on to be named dubstep), as well as grime and garage on pirate radio stations, inspired the teenage Marsh to start deejaying and producing. D1 was picked up at quite a young age – signing to Tempa at the age of 16. His first productions, in his own words, were “quite dark”; which is quite an understatement. Heavy sub bass movement, depth and darkness are the characteristics of the early D1 releases on the Tempa imprint.
Youngsta took personal interest in getting D1 on board in 2004, debuting the artist on Tempa’s Allstars Vol.2 with the superb Crack Bong. From there, everything took off for the London producer – with 12” releases of Degrees and Cocaine, followed by a range of EPs (V1 and V2 in 2007, V3 in 2008). Many may remember D1 for his soundtrack to the legendary Breezeblock Dubstep Warz show on 06/06/06 (coincidence?). The track remained unreleased until it came out in 2008 as a vinyl release together with one of the first documentaries on dubstep called Dub Files.
Over the years, as is frequently the case with the original dubstep producers, D1’s style shifted. Experimentation and evolution if you will. D1, in the same 2011 Bigup Mag, interview said:
“I suppose over the years, like anything, it’s just evolved into what I do today. With what I’m doing now it’s a lot more up-tempo and melodically-driven, more so than being completely bass-driven. I can’t pinpoint any particular things that made me want to start to change my sound, but I have always had love for other genres of music other than dubstep. And I think listening to producers like Diplo, Switch, A-Trak, Redlight, Herve, Sinden to name a few, and listening to the sort of hybrid style they had, made me want to start incorporating other elements to my sounds. So I mean I had always tried different things within my productions, but I don’t think I really tried to start pushing the boundaries fully until maybe two years ago. And I think now within my tracks you can hear elements of garage, house, old school jungle, happy hardcore, and dubstep, all forced into one.”
The producer’s switch from Tempa to Dub Police characterised the changes D1 was making through from 2008 onwards. Dub Police was one of the catalysts that gave artists like Flux Pavilion, Doctor P and Rusko the opportunity to play the massive dances both in and outside of the UK. But while his sound was changing, D1’s later releases showcase Marsh’s love for melody – paying homage to the old school house sound, mixed with his musical background and clear dubstep influences.
Releasing on a number of labels including his own Luweez Beats, the house Marsh is producing these days may be at a different bpm and style to his early dubstep days. But the music still showcases the same lust for melody and bass exploration – with the occasional darker note nodding back to Marsh’s time as one of the pioneering dubstep producers…
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- D1 – Dubstep Warz [Dub Files, 2008]
- D1 – Tremor [No Label, 2010]
- D1 – Speed [Tempa, 2008]
- D1 – Crack Bong [Tempa, 2004]
- D1 – Molecules [Tempa, 2006]
- Skream – Warning (D1 Remix) [Tempa, 2006]
- D1 – Baboo [Road, 2006]
- D1 – Greazy [Tempa, 2007]
- D1 – ET [Tempa, 2012]
- D1 – Verb [No Label, 2010]
- D1 – Pitcher [Dub Police, 2010]
- D1 – Ongie Bongie [Tempa, 2008]
- D1 – Hold On 2 Me [No Label, 2010]
- D1 – Midnight Blues [No Label, 2010]
- D1 – Joy [Tempa, 2008]