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. ~ John Bush