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Origin San Francisco, USA
Genres Drum and bass
Years active 2000–present
Labels Gain
Project 51
Audio Blueprint
Violence Recordings
Technorganic Recordings
Virus Recordings
Cover art for Break The System album by Gridlok

Ryan Powell, also known as Gridlok, is an American drum and bass producer and DJ.

Music career[edit]

Gridlok was raised in the Tampa Bay area of Florida and trained as a classical violinist. He soon found himself edging away from the constraints of a traditional musical education. He began picking up other instruments, familiarizing himself with methods and techniques outside of the cloistered world of classical music. In his early teens, he began his first experiments with primitive recording gear, using a four track tape recorder, a drum machine and a Radio Shack microphone.[1] Taken in by the possibility of being able to theoretically translate any musical idea into a recording, he found himself drifting further away from traditional music and further into the seemingly limitless possibilities of electronic music production.

Influenced by electronic rock, Gridlok was drawn toward the style of dance music known as drum and bass. He helped to establish the record label Technorganic Recordings that would host his first twelve inch releases, and became involved with artists DJ Dread, Mr. Mendez, and DJ Redcoat. Gridlok and DJ Redcoat were the original members of a group called Project 51. After a string of singles on his own imprint, other labels including Zero-G, Audio Blueprint, and Sudden Def began to feature his music. It was during this first creative push that he founded his new label, Project Fifty-One, that would go on to play a major role in his future.

One of Gridlok's earliest notable tracks was "Heatwave" on Violence Recordings. This single was the first of a string of critically acclaimed commercial releases with respected labels. Remixing artists such as Josh Wink for Dieselboy's Project Human release and the Usual Suspects for Renegade Hardware focused his skills for what would be his most important project to date, reworking Ed Rush & Optical's Compound. This remix was well received in the Drum & Bass community, and Gridlok remains the only US artist to be involved with Virus Recordings.

In 2005, Gridlok released his first album with Hive, Keaton and Echo, Welcome To Violence. After this well-publicized release, Gridlok began work on his first double pack release on P51, The 5 On 1 EP, which included his second collaboration with Dom & Roland that year, and work with Silver, Optiv, Ryme Tyme, and Echo. Around this time, Gridlok released a single on Hive's Violence Recordings, "Hard As Fuck/5th Dimension," remixed Mampi Swift's "Trippin" for charge recordings, and teamed up with Hive to rework Calyx Are You Ready for Moving Shadow.

In 2006, for Dieselboy's latest CD project, "The Human Resource", Gridlok was enlisted to rework the tracks "Atlantic State" and "Fundamental". Other projects Gridlok's collaboration with Hive, D-Bridge, Break, and Silent Witness on Violence Recordings. "Standing Room Only" is featured on Andy C's latest mix CD, "Nightlife 3". Other projects including a remix of the anthem "Squash" by Total Science and his music being licensed to Konami's video game "Dance Dance Revolution" have paved the way for his future projects.

In September 2006, Gridlok released his first artist album, entitled "Break The System". This effort was released via 3 piece vinyl and double CD on his own Project 51 label.

He is currently living in San Francisco, California.



  1. ^ IMO Records "Gridlok Biography", IMO Records, Retrieved on 07 December 2011.
  2. ^ Sources include interviews in Knowledge and URB Magazines as well as Radio 1 in the UK sites linked below when possible.