Alex Reece is the Creator of the jazzstep sound, a mix of drum 'n' bass and jazz, and one of the artists under the Metalheadz collective, who works also under the alias of Fallen Angel.Though he's most interested in acid house and early Detroit techno, Alex Reece came to prominence in the mid-'90s as a jungle star.
His interest in techno began in the late '80s, when acid house was popular. Reece gradually earned enough money to buy turntables and a decent vinyl collection. He then began DJing and worked for Basement Records in 1992, engineering for Wax Doctor.
Quitting his job to concentrate on making his own music, Reece first tried his hand at house (recording with brother Oscar as Exodus), but found it too formulaic. He realized that there was much more to explore in jungle/drum'n'bass, so he began to experiment.
His initial releases appeared on the Sinister, Creative Wax, and Moving Shadow labels, but Reece made his name with Goldie's Metalheadz Records. Singles like "Basic Principles" and "Pulp Fiction" – with its trademark lurching bass line – became jungle standards, showcasing his minimalist style, a sound partly inspired by his fixation with acid house.
In fact, the case might be made that Reece's music isn't jungle at all, since most of his beats are quite steady. It is only the occasional percussion break and offbeat rimshots that spin his work into jungle territory.
No matter if he's a junglist or a house maven, Reece cemented his reputation quite well with additional recordings as Jazz Juice (for Precious Materials), Lunar Funk (for Mo'Wax), and the Original Playboy (for R&S).
In early 1996, he landed a major-label deal when Island recruited him for their Quango subsidiary. His debut album So Far was released in September 1996. While the album was received well in most circles, the jungle underground – led by Goldie – had practically disowned Reece by that time, disgusted with his "commercial" leanings.
During this fallout Goldie renamed "Pulp Fiction" to "Pulp Friction."A second album for Island was recorded and released as a promo tape to select people. However, Reece's music had taken what seemed to be a radical departure into old school electro and 80s techno pop territories.
In retrospect the album would have been seen as an important development in the drum & bass sound, but the label dropped the album from their schedule when white labels of a lead off single received a very poor response from DJs.
In 1999 Reece once again teamed up with Wax Doctor to record an album for Sirkus. Called 'Part One' it revealed the duo to still be quite a force in the Detroit drum & bass arena.
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