Ice Minus Recordings comprises of Bart Icus, Keiren Lomax and Julian Ayton of all whom have been involved in the music industry in one form or another for a long time. Bart Icus, developed his interest in music from going to UK raves in the early 90s. Buying a set of decks and lots of records led Bart to meet Chris Maxey who worked in Replay Records in Bath.
Chris himself was writing music and it wasn’t long before Bart got involved and the two were producing sounds on a basic studio set up. The two continued writing together, eventually building a better studio, hooking up with more friends – Joe Publick and Marc Smith – and sending demos to labels.
Eventually, their demo landed in the hands of Carl Collins of Hardleaders, and in 1997 they signed to it as Served Chilled. This deal also opened doors for them to release tracks on other labels like Tech Itch and Moving Shadow and the surfacing of their ‘alter ego’ Ice Minus. However, in 1999, Chris and Marc left to pursue other careers and Joe took time out to spend more time with his baby.
Keiren Lomax and Julian Ayton met in 1994, going out to all the early jungle parties, they too formed contacts in the music industry, one of whom was Bart. It was Bart that encouraged them to take courses in MIDI sequencing and a course in sound engineering and recording.
They also spent time concentrating on their DJing careers, and under the name of Ayton & Kire-1, their reputation grew and they found themselves getting bookings from the likes of One Nation and Moving Shadow.
However, they have eased off the DJing for the time being to fully concentrate on production and Ice Minus. Bart always wanted to set up a label, and it seems the time is now right with the production at its tightest.
Ice Minus take us through their Knowledge magazine cover CD mix…
1. Impact featuring MC Trip – Release The Weapon (hip hop mix)
This opening track sets the highest standard. Unbelievably this isn’t even what these guys do best, they had put forward this hip hop and jungle track but due to a short time schedule the jungle part of the track didn’t make the mix, so look out for the release on Impact Recordings in the near future. This crew from Reading have mad skills…
2. Tech Itch – Mindkilla
Now into 2001, drum & bass is stronger than ever, especially when Tech Itch rolls out ‘Mind Killa’. A tune with beats and bass that extends beyond the limits of the known universe, in other words this tune is fat, fat, fat. Not using many samples these days check the ‘Technical one’s’ synth mastery.
3. Ice Minus & Decoder – Drowning
Best described as a deep roller with fat crisp beats and a b-line with a definite hook factor. Been caned by Grooverider & Fabio for months on Radio 1 and also a favourite for Mickey Finn, Ray Keith, Peshay & Dieselboy. Written exclusively for Moving Shadow’s ‘Killabites 2’ album.
4. Decoder – Deadfall
Taking a trip back to the old school with production techniques that can only be Decoder. This offering shows why he is still one of the scene’s top producers.
5. Cause 4 Concern – Antidote
This tune is the cure for tired legs. Just when you can’t dance any more, the DJ pulls this one comes out of the bag, and on you go! Who needs Red Bull when you’ve got the ‘Antidote’.
6. Ice Minus & Decoder – Angel
Having success right now as part of Kosheen, Decoder still finds time to sit in the studio with us on a regular basis and bang out the most outstanding of tracks. ‘Angel’ was a delight to write and always gets a positive response when heard out – rewind material.
7. Decoder – Static
‘Static’ is how Decoder leaves his opposition in a competition. No tricks, nothing over the top, just tearing as always. This tune showcases the talents of a musical drum & bass producer with a hard edge.
8. J Raq – Take Me Away
J Raq comes up with a nice easy roller that picks up the vibe as soon as it hits the mix. Taking an old school flava and adding his new school design, as always J Raq delivers a healthy slice of jungle pie.
9. Eden – Your Mind
Eden is a new all-female act made up of Dazee, Jo Diamond and vocalist Omi (this track also features MC Chickaboo providing sound effects). Your mind, body and soul – this captures all three. One of the few vocal tracks on the CD and one we’ll be keeping in our box for time.
10. Cause 4 Concern – Sensor
C4C take you on a dangerous and hypnotic ride with ‘Sensor’. Already featured on the Rollers top five on Radio 1 and equally caned on both Grooverider’s and Fabio’s show.
11. Wildchild & Floyd Dice – HitchHiker
This track doesn’t hide anything, it’s a pure funk ride from beginning to end. Wildchild & Floyd have a style that’s undoubtedly popular with all around. The tune is well produced and sounds awesome in the mix.
12. DJ XS – Down
DJ XS keeps things tight with this one. ‘Down’ is the latest offering of future funk from this Bristol based DJ / producer. XS has pulled out a few stormers recently and this is another feather in his hat.
13. Ice Minus – Break The Ice
Engineered and produced totally on our G4 virtual set-up, followers of our music will notice the difference straight away. Getting to grips with the system took a while but we’ve got some kind of system now and it seems to be working well. ‘Break The Ice’ is an intense mixture of sci-fi madness driven by some seriously large drums and the bass, well… say no more.
14. Tech Itch – Heaven
For lovers of the ‘no holds barred style’ of Tech Itch, this tune is absolute heaven. He gives you not one, nor two, but three of the nastiest b-lines you’ll ever hear wrapped in explosive beat patterns and filtered more than you thought possible. We ask the question ‘Heaven or Hell’?
15. Technical Itch & Ice Minus – Altered Beast
This is a fierce way to introduce yourself into the d&b limelight, but I guess it’s the best way of getting attention. Julian Ayton partnered up with Mark Caro aka Technical Itch to come with this sci-fi killer – faint-hearted beware.