Away from the epicentres of London and Bristol in rural Hertfortshire, a group of young producers were emerging that would have an incredibly significant impact on the Drum & Bass scene. Jim Baker’s initial friendship with Rupert Parkes (Photek) saw them making music together on Certificate 18 records, a label that Photek had released ‘Sounds Of Life’ on.
Jim was joined on this project by school peer Phil Aslett. It was Tilla Kemal and his Odysee imprint however that facillitated the first release under the name Source Direct. Future London/Shimmer (ODY001) was the first of five Odysee releases that Source Direct produced (the latter three as Mirage with Tilla as co-producer)
By then, LTJ Bukem was giving DJ support to each new release, and on the dancefloors of Bluenote and Speed, the Source Direct sound was making both DJ’s and clubbers take notice.
“I remember one really special night that’s stuck in my memory. It was at Metalheadz (at the Blue Note) where the Crane got about 5 rewinds. Kemi & Jane (Kemistry & Storm) just gave me a little pinch.. it was like one of those looks as if to say ‘you see what’s happening here!’ I was just itching to get back in the studio and make another tune!”
The Source Direct label began to gather serious momentum pioneering a sinister breakbeat-fueled sound that was at the same time hauntingly musical. With signings to other frontline D&B labels such as Metalheadz, Looking Good, Razor’s Edge and StreetBeats, the music began to attract the interest of the majors. When Virgin launched their Science label, both Photek and Source Direct were signed as artists.
After the working relationship between Jim and Phil had disolved, the Source Direct brand became soley owned by Jim who has continued to release on both his Source Direct and Demonic imprints.