Kokeshi, Offshore, Feline, ESP / UK
As DJ, producer, label A&R and bookings agent, Alley Cat has a unique perspective that helps her selection stay fresher than most. Based in London, she’s travelled far and wide representing Skunkrock and..
Alley Cat’s life has always been surrounded by music. Having a gift for playing clarinet and saxophone, she later also dabbled in piano and guitar. Her ability to read music and an obsession for seeing live bands from an early age meant that Alley has a superbly diverse musical background. Originally from San Francisco, Alley Cat experienced a vast array of electronic music and watch drum & bass evolve from there. Moving to London a decade ago provided further education in drum & bass where she joined with other Skunkrock members to producer, rep as a DJ and manage and do A & R for the label. The label was among the first to give releases to Konflict, Beta 2, Zero Tolerance and Outlook among others and helped to build relationships across the drum & bass scene by linking new artists with higher-profile remixers. After a six-year run, featuring label highlights from Calibre, Klute and Dom & Roland, Skunkrock closed it’s doors having made an impact on the drum & bass scene and left with a reputation for quality over quantity. Having now entered the digital age, re-releases will be featured on Beatport.com later this year with the best of Skunkrock back-catalogue. (see http://www.rolldabeats.com/label/skunkrock_productions)
As the label’s main tour DJ, Alley Cat represented with regular internet radio shows on Groovetech and Life FM in between gigs across the USA and Europe. She also mixed and compiled the “No Formalities” (2001) and “Crowd Control” (2003) mix CDs for Skunkrock, as well as mix CDs for Freee! Magazine and the Icon Club mix-series, helping build further support for the label as well as demonstrate her skills on the decks. Features in Knowledge (K-Mag), ATM, Rinse Mag, RWD Mag, De-Bug and all over the net have helped push her name further as have guest spots radio on D&BTV (breakbeat.co.uk), Kool FM, and BBC’s 1xtra.
First moving into production in 1999, Alley Cat’s early tracks set her apart as an artist striving for her own sound who’s not interested in following the rest. “Captive” alongside Daniel Savine followed in 2001 and won the support of Fabio amongst others, bringing together soulful vocals and a Detroit vibe. Her next single, “Dreams,” was for the legendary Reinforced label together with Native Minds. (see http://www.rolldabeats.com/artist/alley_cat for full and current discography)
After becoming a parent, Alley Cat stepped back from production duties for a while to focus on other obvious priorities although continued to build a solid reputation with DJ appearances across the UK and Europe. She began working for ESP International full-time in 2003 and soon took on a critical role, looking after artists across a busy and expanding roster. Now as co-director she has helped drive ESP forward, her wealth of experience in two complimentary careers being mutually beneficial, with a professional yet friendly approach reflected in her work for the agency as well as her DJ sets.
Alley Cat has represented for ESP at several agency showcases for some of Europe’s biggest promoters, including Star Warz in Ghent and Essence of Chi in London. To celebrate the agency’s 10th anniversary in 2006, Alley Cat put together a cover-mount mix CD for Knowledge Magazine, featuring music from artists across the roster alongside the vocal talents of MC DRS.
Her first solo release is due on New York’s style leading Offshore imprint (www.offshore-recordings.com) , matched with a b-side supplied by dubstep artist Vaccine. “Sweet Spot” has had support from the likes of Blame, Presha, Clever and Sinistarr with a positive K-Mag review describing it as “an experimental track, broadly fitting the minimal mould but with a more distant, hopeful sound.” June 2009 saw the first release on new label Kokeshi with “Drum ‘n’ Lace” and “Ice Box” going digital. In the meantime Alley Cat was offered distribution for further releases (vinyl and digital). The next release will be by her new discovery, Lung who makes ethereal imaginative dubstep. Having already received rave reviews by the dubstep scene and given a play on Mary Anne Hobb’s Radio 1 Experimental show this is bound to be a big release . Further releases feature more dubstep and drum & bass sounds including tracks from Kiat and a collaboration with Kiat & Alley Cat called “Purple Clouds.”
Alley Cat is also at the heart of the Feline collective, an all-female team dedicated to promoting the best in quality-controlled beats across drum & bass, dubstep and other styles. Alongside DJ’s Storm, Flight and Miss Pink plus MCs Chickaboo and Deeizm, Alley Cat has played at Feline nights in Milan, Budapest, Berlin, Graz (Austria), Aarau (Switzerland) to name a few as well as playing frequently with the crew in London and Cardiff. Having proved that the Feline formula is no gimmick with a successful stint spanning 5 years at Herbal, the crew look set to open another chapter with a London residency at a new home opening in 2009.
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