Moving Shadow

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Moving Shadow
Moving Shadow logo.jpg
Founded 1990
Founder Rob Playford
Genre Drum and bass, Jungle
Country of origin England, UK
Official website

Moving Shadow was an influential UK-based jungle/drum and bass record label which was started in 1990 by Rob Playford. Alongside such labels as Suburban Base, Formation Records, D-Zone, Reinforced, and Metalheadz, Moving Shadow grew to be a well-regarded and long-lived publisher, releasing over 200 releases – an accolade as most 1990s labels during this period released less than 50 singles before folding.

The label began in 1990, initially operating from Playford's Stevenage home. Playford had self-released a track prior to setting up Moving Shadow, entitled Orbital Madness, and had become a focal point for local, young artists/bedroom producers seeking advice on releasing their own music.[1] The label's first release arrived in 1991; the Psychotronic EP by Earth Leakage Trip.[2] Many artists attributed to early Shadow releases were in fact Playford's aliases or collaborations, such as 2 Bad Mice, a group he formed with Sean O'Keeffe and Simon Colebrooke. As the rave scene scratched the surface of the mainstream music industry in 1991 and 1992, Moving Shadow, like its friendly rival Suburban Base & D-Zone, enjoyed UK Top 75 singles chart success though Blame's Music Takes You and 2 Bad Mice's Bombscare.

As the rave scene split over the next year, Moving Shadow gravitated towards the emerging darkcore jungle scene. Releases by artists such as Deep Blue (Sean O'Keeffe), Foul Play, Omni Trio, and Hyper-On Experience bolstered the label's reputation, and by 1994, Moving Shadow was at the forefront of the UK jungle/drum and bass scene. Encompassing varying styles of jungle/drum and bass such as Ray Keith's proto-techstep track Terrorist (recorded under the pseudonym Renegade), the frenticism of Dead Dred's Dred Bass and soulful, melodic productions such as Omni Trio's Soul Promenade, Moving Shadow's output could be seen at this time to represent the complete spectrum of the genre. The label was an excellent showcase for these artists, releasing albums from both Omni Trio[3] and Foul Play[4] in 1995 and the first of a series of regional compilation albums such as The Revolutionary Generation,[5] Storm From The East[6] and Trans-Central Connection,[7] highlighting artists both local and distantly-located.

In 1994 Playford began working with the drum & bass artist Goldie on tracks written using his Rufige Kru alias. The result was Goldie's Timeless album, produced and engineered by Playford and released in 1995 on the better-funded FFRR Records as opposed to Moving Shadow. Lauded by critics, the album was one of the first drum & bass titles to achieve mainstream success, going on to be one of the best-selling drum & bass albums of its time.[8][9][10]

Moving Shadow maintained its status as one of the highest-profile drum and bass labels with the next crop of producers, signing names like Dom and Roland, Aquasky, Calyx and EZ Rollers in 1996 and 1997. EZ Rollers saw their music featured in the film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, though its chartbound jazzy sound was not representative of the label as it shifted predominantly into techstep by the turn of the century. Moving Shadow provided music for several popular video games in this time, including Grand Theft Auto 2, Midnight Club, and Grand Theft Auto III (where the label supplied an entire in-game radio station).

In 2000, the label reached a decade in business, a rare achievement for its music scene, and celebrated with a retrospective of their back catalogue. Following this, the label's visibility dropped noticeably, excepting album releases from label stalwarts Omni Trio and Dom & Roland. Although Moving Shadow experienced somewhat of a resurgence in 2004 and 2005 with acclaimed releases from Noisia and Calyx, the label stopped releasing new material in 2007[11] but continues to service its catalogue via on-line sales and licensing from its official website.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rob Playford Discography at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  2. ^ Moving Shadow discography
  3. ^ "Omni Trio - The Deepest Cut Vol 1 (CD, Album) at Discogs". 2010-04-15. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  4. ^ "Foul Play - Suspected (CD, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  5. ^ "Various - The Revolutionary Generation (CD) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  6. ^ "Various - Storm From The East (CD) at Discogs". 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  7. ^ "Various - Trans-Central Connection (CD) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  8. ^ allmusic ((( Timeless > Overview )))
  9. ^ "Goldie - Timeless - almost cool music review". Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  10. ^ "breath of life » GOLDIE / “Timeless”". Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  11. ^ "well that's pretty sad... Moving Shadow RIP". Dogs On Acid. 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  12. ^ "welcome to movingshadow: on-line". Retrieved 2012-12-09. 

External links[edit]