Dominick Martin aka Calibre has been responsible for some of the most beautiful tracks in drum & bass to date and continues to drop jaws worldwide with his sublime and sultry productions. From his first full length LP on Creative Source to his latest album "Condition" on his own label Signature, Calibre's sound has progressed taking in elements of jazz, funk, dub and techno but lost none of it's soul. His influence in drum & bass has been profound yet Calibre continues to evolve as an artist, exploring new techniques and styles in his music. Having played all over the world from Belfast to Dunedin, Calibre certainly knows how to captivate a crowd. His sets focus primarily on the deeper, more musical side of drum & bass yet never disappoint the dancefloor. Each performance features a high percentage of his own original music, much of it never to be heard again, and each set cements his position as the undisputed leading light of the deeper side of Drum and Bass. Artists and DJ's from all corners of the electronic music spectrum constantly remark on Calibre DJ sets restoring their faith in Drum & Bass as a vital musical force.
Since his early work for Dublin label Quadrophonic in 1998, Dominick Martin aka Calibre has developed a sound that delves deep below the all too often unsatisfying drum & bass surface. Bringing a warm, natural feel to the digital landscape of drum & bass, his early tracks stood far apart from the rest and soon caught the ears of none other than BBC Radio 1's DJ Fabio. The scene veteran and Creative Source label boss promptly gave Calibre's music his fullest attention and brought it to a wider audience, playing the freshest Calibre dubplates both on his show and at his legendary London club night Swerve. The critically acclaimed double album, 'Musique Concrete,' was released in 2001 and introduced a sound that paved the way for others to follow. Opening the door to a new breed of dancefloor capable, musically orientated drum & bass, Calibre's music certainly showed that less could be more.
Through early releases on the Soul:r label, producing both alone and together with Marcus and ST Files under the name Misti:cal, Calibre developed his sound and honed a style all of his own. It wasn't long before Calibre established his own imprint, Signature Recordings in 2003, and set about releasing a series of singles that really showcased his sound. Tracks including 'Peso,' 'Mr Maverick' and the massive 'Drop it Down' received almost universal support and raised Calibre's status in the scene, marking him as one of the leading lights in drum & bass. Often focusing on a simple groove based around just a few choice samples, his stripped-down sound is instantly recognisable and strikes the perfect balance between music, beats and bass.
Calibre has released music on a diverse range of labels including CIA, 31 Records, Commercial Suicide, Liquid V, Bassbin, Ganja, Exit, Critical, Integral, Quarantine, Deep Medi and Digital Soundboy. Bringing samples to life with a masterful touch has also made him a highly in-demand remixer and some of his most popular tracks to date have included remixes of Uncut, Solid State, Badmarsh & Shri and US R&B singer Jaheim. What makes his music most exciting, however, is that Calibre continues to evolve both as a producer and artist and has consistently stayed one step ahead of the rest.
His sophomore LP 'Second Sun' was released to critical acclaim in 2005 and introduced Calibre as an artist capable of much more than just straight dancefloor rollers. Taking in elements of dub reggae, electro, broken beat and deep house, the album moves through more familiar club-friendly territory to sublime panoramic soundscapes and broadens the scope of his music beyond drum & bass. Since then, Calibre has not only co-produced the first Mist:ical LP, 'Eleventh Hour,' but also released two retrospective compilations, 'Shelf Life' Volumes 1 & 2, two more solo albums, 'Overflow' and 'Even If'. 2009 also saw the release of his first album as simply 'Dominick Martin', a critically acclaimed LP bringing together a personal collection of downtempo music featuring his own instrumentation and vocals.
Often imitated but never bettered, Calibre's sound remains his own after ten years of producing and releasing drum & bass. A creative force and inspiration to others, he refuses to be pinned down to making music in a single style. His single for the Deep Medi label, run by Digital Mystikz don Mala, received a warm reception in the dubstep scene and has demonstrated once again his diversity as a producer.
2011 is shaping up to be another year of crucial music for Calibre with rugged dancefloor releases already for V Recordings & Samurai Red Seal as well as a collaboration with Marcus Intalex and a shuffling 130 bpm remix for Kokeshi. The end of the year will bring Calibres 6th full solo album 'Condition' with another edition of Shelf Life planned and a follow up to the 'Dominick Martin' album
'Condition' follows Calibre's more vocalized 'Even If' album with a diverse selection of styles, perhaps more dancefloor focused than 'Even If'. 'Condition' features only one vocal from the man himself in the form of long awaited sultry anthem 'Who's Singing'. MC DRS vocalizes the heartfelt 'People Never Change' and 'Closing Doors', while the dancefloor gets special attention on tines like 'Shlager', 'Garbage Man', and the rolling jungle of 'Foreign Bodies' & 'Ugly Duckling'. There is naturally more subtle funk in the form of 'Windows' and 'Notting Hill' while Calibre's affection for half stepping rhythms comes alive with 'No More' & 'Black Hole Dub'. In Calibre's words;
"Condition is my drum and bass follow up to EVEN IF i originally wanted to make an album that was more dance floor influenced, to have a more light hearted approach, in some ways it has that, but i couldn't stop myself from making the deeper material, for years i have wrestled with the subtle side of drum and bass, my journey has been one that tries to attain the simple groove, to keep removing the layers of this music,this album is an expression of this, and how im still feeling the underdog waiting for the cycle....... it came about as it always has and thats the way its supposed to, enjoyable and moving fast to discover the stillness".
With a shy and self-effacing exterior, Calibre is far from a prolific DJ and prefers not to sacrifice valuable studio time in favour of extensive gigs abroad. He's a highly capable selector behind the decks, however, and the rarity of his appearances seems to make them all the more special. Whether representing his own label, the Soul:ution crew or the A Bunch of Cuts collective, Calibre's known for dropping his own exclusive productions in the mix and frequently turns heads with a selection more rugged than some would expect. Consistently the standout on worldwide lineups, every Calibre set is a unique and much valued experience for all those lucky enough to encounter this visionary in a DJ setting.
Prolific in the studio, yet always creative and exploring new techniques: that's why he's the man Marcus Intalex calls the 'magical music machine.'