Among the youngest of the new-school drum'n'bass innovators, John B. has amassed an impressive discography in the short few years he's been producing jungle. With track credits scattered among the cream of the underground crop -- including Formation, New Identity, Shoebox, and Grooverider's Prototype imprint -- John B. has gradually come to the fore as a producer of sharp, tough-to-nail-down tracks that bridge many styles at once, incorporating elements of jazz and funk, electro and techno, and hard- and tech-leaning darkside in brisk, challenging tunes.
Born John B. Williams in London's Maidenhead, he began producing in his early teens. Working from a second-hand studio his father helped him piece together, Williams released a few mostly forgettable techno tracks before widening his scope to include the burgeoning drum'n'bass sound. Collecting a few tunes onto a demo, Williams sent his tracks to a more or less random collection of producers and labels, including Goldie and DJ SS's New Identity label, and received encouragement from both (as well as a licensing deal from SS; his "Jazz Sessions 1" appeared on New Identity's label compilation Jazz and Bass). From there he released the "Sight Beyond"/"Fermat's Theorem" 12" (on New Identity), as well as the "Cooper" single (as IC1 on the 5HQ label). Williams gained a higher profile gig with his appearance on Grooverider's The Prototype Years compilation; "Secrets," one of the triple-pack's many exclusives, was a high point among high points and more than held its own next to killers from the likes of Ed Rush, Dillinja, Boymerang, and Dominic Angus (aka Dom & Roland). "Slamfunk," subsequently released on Formation, was the first single from his debut full-length, Visions, released in early 1998. One year later, Catalyst appeared on his own Beta Recordings. ~ Sean Cooper, Rovi