Though he gets less credit from stateside DJs and producers (at least compared to labelmates like Armand Van Helden), Todd Edwards created an innovative blend of rhythmic, cut-and-paste vocal samples, rubbery basslines, and slapping percussion that helped propel Britain's Sunday clubscene into the genuine cultural phenomenon of speed garage. Based in New Jersey, Edwards began producing for Nervous, the New York house label, during the early '90s. His 1993 "Guide My Soul" single, recorded as the Messenger, established a prototype for garage music that retained the soul and grit but avoided the overly polished airs much of the music had acquired. One year later, "The Praise" (as the Sample Choir) continued Edwards' irresistible, unique production style -- which often utilizes dozens of different samples, many of them himself -- and he also worked with two "real" vocalists, Kim English ("Tomorrow") and Veda Simpson ("Oohhh Baby").
In 1994, Edwards recorded several tracks for an upcoming New Jersey jazz-house label, i! Records. One year later, his second proper release on the label, "Saved My Life," became a big club hit and earned license in Britain through Pete Tong's ffrr Records. He provided remixes for several dance hits, by Robin S., Wildchild, Indo, St. Germain, the Beloved, and label-mate Kevin Yost. In 1999, Nervous collected his productions on a CD collection, and i! Records released Prima Edizione, a quasi-compilation including four new tracks. Edwards also released an EP with Tuff Jam, and completed a co-production for inclusion on Daft Punk's sophomore album. ~ John Bush