Calibre (musician)

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This article is about the music producer. For other uses, see Caliber (disambiguation).
Calibre playing for the first time in New Zealand - live @ studionine Wellington Aug 2004..

Calibre, birth name Dominick Martin, is a drum and bass and liquid funk, music producer and DJ hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He originally started producing at a young age and has spent many years refining his sound. He is a classically trained musician playing a variety of musical instruments eventually becoming a self-taught music producer. Martin started producing Drum and Bass in 1995 and his first signed release was credited under the now defunct Quadrophonic label owned by U2.[1]

In addition to impressing some of the biggest names in the business, he soon came to the attention of drum and bass DJ Fabio, who signed Calibre to his influential Creative Source label.[2] While studying Fine Arts at the University of Ulster in Belfast, he became interested in the music of John Cage whose work was influential in entitling Martin’s first album release Musique Concrète in 2001. Since his initial releases in 2001, Martin has been known for his consistent signature style and sound, which is highly sought after for remixes, by both major labels and independent recording artists.

Although Calibre is quite successful within the drum and bass circuit, he is a notably quiet man. Short Circuits Magazine refers to him as "one of the quietest people in drum and bass". He only shares tracks with a small circle of friends. On top of this Dominick had no website or even any blog presence to showcase his tracks online. Most news about his work came from BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Marcus Intalex (his labelmate) or other DJs associated with him.

Calibre has released more albums than any other Drum n Bass artist. Over 15 years of music production, he has release over 60 singles and 10 albums. Also, according to UKF as of 2014, none of his original productions have ever been officially remixed.[3]

Signature records[edit]

In 2003, Martin decided to launch his own record label, Signature Records, which became his primary vehicle for launching singles and full-length releases in both vinyl and digital media format. Martin states, "Signature has been set up as an outlet primarily for my own work and collaborations. There won't be any other artists on the label for the foreseeable future". For a few years the label's website ran of the back of Soul:R, the record label he ran alongside Marcus Intalex. With the Soul:R website receiving very few updates since 2006, Calibre has published most of his work and news through his own MySpace page which he however deleted in early July 2011.

Second Sun[edit]

November 2005 marked Martin's second full-length album release, through the Signature label, entitled Second Sun. Second Sun was released after much anticipation following his 2001 release. He stated, "I look upon my move to Logic as a process in the studio to be a second part of the story. But having said that, the 22nd is my birth date, it's my second album, I'm the second son in the family, this is the second phase production wise but for me its nothing to do with numerology, its more to do with reinvention, a new life." The album Second Sun is regarded by those working in and those listening to drum and bass as a landmark release for the genre. On 17 September 2008, BBC 1Xtra drum and bass DJ Bailey gave special praise to the title track of the album, noting it as the tune of the festival for Sun and Bass 2008, a dedicated drum and bass festival which is held in Sardinia.

  1. Bullets feat. Diane Charlemagne
  2. Second Sun
  3. All The While
  4. Don't Watch This
  5. Got A Thing
  6. Is It U
  7. Drop It Down feat. Singing Fats
  8. Go Back To Go Forward
  9. Blink of an Eye feat. Lariman
  10. Breathing Man
  11. Kiya feat. Crow
  12. Timeout feat. DRS
  13. Drinnahilly
  14. These Few

Shelflife[edit]

In October 2007, after numerous petitions, including one on MySpace started by international fans, Martin released Shelflife a retrospective album featuring 21 unreleased productions spanning from 1998-2005.

CD 1

  1. Venus And Mars
  2. South Self
  3. Stay High
  4. Less Los Ablos
  5. Jibaro
  6. STCal - STCal Roller
  7. Shades
  8. Klute – Part Of Me (Remix)
  9. Easy on My Mind
  10. Re Entry

CD 2

  1. Untitled
  2. Acrobat
  3. Makes Me Wonder (Original)
  4. Cold Blade
  5. I'll Stay
  6. South Self
  7. Free
  8. Turn Around
  9. Beat 97
  10. Peace Of Mind feat. Lariman
  11. Idris
  12. Time And Space

Overflow[edit]

Martin released Overflow in Spring 2008. Overflow features vocals from Martin himself, along with his signature artwork. Tracks from the album have been immensely popular with drum and bass DJs, the likes of Goldie, Zero Tolerance and High Contrast using tracks from Overflow in their live mixes.

2009: Shelf Life Vol. 2 & Shine a Light[edit]

Main article: Shelf Life Vol. 2

In January 2009 there were final confirmations from S.T Holdings and Calibre's MySpace, Shelf Life Vol. 2 was to be released on 11 May 2009. Another retrospective album including the long lasting dubplates "Life" and "Why Time". As with previous albums, this release featured few guest artists, but there were vocal contributions from Lariman and MC D.R.S..

Again, as with previous albums, this was a double album. It also includes many downtempo tracks.[4][5]

Main article: Shine a Light

Very soon after the release of Shelf Life Vol. 2, Calibre stated he would be releasing his long anticipated downtempo album, Shine a Light. In October 2009 S.T Holding announced it to be released on Monday 16 November. Calibre stated that he has wanted to release a downtempo album for the last 2 years, but decided to release his second retrospective album first. “I have spent over 10 years writing music, the majority of my work being drum and bass, so i wanted to write an album that wasn’t attached to a particular musical genre; to me it felt like feeling my way in the dark”[6]

2011: Condition[edit]

Released in October 2011, Condition was described by Mixmag magazine as “a shape-shifting trove of wonders that leaps ambitiously from the serene to the brutal”, awarded Drum ′N′ Bass album of the month and rated 5/5.

Calibre himself describing this album:

"Condition is my drum and bass follow up to "Even If", I originally wanted to make an album that was more dance floor influenced, to have a more light hearted approach, in some ways it has that, but I couldn’t stop myself from making the deeper material, for years i have wrestled with the subtle side of drum and bass, my journey has been one that tries to attain the simple groove, to keep removing the layers of this music, this album is an expression of this, and how im still feeling the underdog waiting for the cycle……. it came about as it always has and that's the way its supposed to, enjoyable and moving fast to discover the stillness."

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Title Record label
2001 Musique Concrète Creative Source
2005 Second Sun Signature Records
2007 Shelflife Signature Records
2008 Overflow Signature Records
2009 Shelf Life Vol. 2 Signature Records
2009 Shine a Light Signature Records
2010 Even If Signature Records
2011 Condition Signature Records
2013 Spill Signature Records
2014 Shelflife 3 Signature Records

EPs[edit]

Year Title Record label Release date
2003 Just Fine Creative Source -
2006 Late Night Squeeze - -
2006 Corner Dance - -
2006 Deranged Soul:R -
2008 Roundhouse Signature Records -
2008 Don't Mind Signature Records -
2010 Judgement Day Samurai Red Seal 7 June 2010
2011 Hummer Samurai Red Seal 29 August 2011
2012 Rennaisance EP Footprints 19 November 2012

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Short Circuits: Calibre DOA: Accessed 27 July 2009
  2. ^ Dominick drums up an act of a first-class Calibre Belfast Telegraph: Accessed 6 September 2009
  3. ^ "Calibre: Meet the man who’s never been remixed". UKF.com. 21 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "STH releases w/c 15 June 2009" St Holdings: Accessed 12 Aug 2009
  5. ^ "Calibre - Shelf Life Vol.2" Discogs: Accessed 12 Aug 2009
  6. ^ "forthcoming: Dominick Martin – “Shine A Light” LP – Signature" St Holdings: Accessed 1 Nov 2009