The London-based electronic outfit Horsepower Productions were widely regarded as early progenitors of dubstep -- they were the first act to be labeled with the genre by the U.K. press -- as a result of their sound drawing from 2-step, techno, breakbeat, jungle, and, perhaps most importantly, the weightier side of reggae. They started out as a trio of producers, led by central figure Benny Ill, alongside Nassis and Lev Jnr (aka Matt HP). The three of them were responsible for the initial release on now-seminal bass label Tempa; they went on to release two albums together, the partial compilation In Fine Style in 2002 and their debut full-length, To the Rescue.
The trio parted ways shortly after the release of To the Rescue, leaving Benny Ill to carry the torch solo for almost six years, until he was joined by newcomer Jay King for the Kingstep/Damn It 12" in 2009. Eager to assert their sound in the then evolving landscape of dubstep, Nassis and Lev Jnr rejoined the group to make it four members. In 2010 they began to concoct their second full-length album, Quest for Sonic Bounty, with the number of active members increasing to eight. In 2016 Horsepower Productions returned as a duo to release their third proper album, Crooks Crime and Corruption, this time broadening their sonic palette to include touches of Chicago house and the occasional guitar line courtesy of Harry Keyworth. ~ Liam Martin