Calibre (musician)

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Calibre
Calibre playing in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland in February 2019
Calibre playing in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland in February 2019
Background information
Birth nameDominick Martin
Also known asLoose Dragon
OriginBelfast, Northern Ireland
GenresDrum and bass, liquid funk
Occupation(s)
  • DJ
  • musician
Years active1995–present
LabelsQuadrophonic, Signature

Dominick Martin, better known by his stage name Calibre, is a Northern Irish drum and bass music producer and DJ from Belfast. He started producing at a young age. He is a classically trained musician, playing a variety of musical instruments. Martin started producing Drum and Bass in 1995 and his first signed release was credited under the now defunct Quadrophonic record label.[1][failed verification]

He soon came to the attention of drum and bass DJ Fabio, who signed Calibre to his record label, Creative Source.[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 titling Martin's first album release Musique Concrète in 2001. Since his initial releases in 2001, Martin has been known[who?] for his consistent signature style and sound.

Short Circuits Magazine refers to him as "one of the quietest people in drum and bass". Although one of the scene's most prolific producers, he shares tracks with only a small circle of friends and many of his works remain unreleased. Beginning in 2007, the 'Shelflife' series of albums were created as a way of sharing previously unreleased productions with his fans.

Over 20 years of music production, he has self-published over 60 singles and 10 albums. Also, according to UKF as of 2014, none of his original productions have ever been officially remixed.[3]

2001: Musique Concrete[edit]

On 25 September 2001, Calibre released his debut album on the Creative Source label run by the DJ and Drum & Bass veteran Fabio. Spanning 5x vinyl / double CD, the album began to define Calibre's soulful and melodic sound and imprint his name amongst the emerging Liquid Funk artists of the time.

CD1

  1. Deep Everytime
  2. Right Stuff
  3. Version
  4. Untitled
  5. Say If You Love
  6. Run Again
  7. Vice
  8. U Make It Hot
  9. Things A Re-Arranging
  10. Always

CD2

  1. Our Love Part 1
  2. Our Love Part 2
  3. Feeder
  4. Sax Track
  5. Inflicted
  6. What U Need
  7. Let The Music Play
  8. Parallels
  9. Future Life
  10. Crazy
  11. Light Years

Signature Records[edit]

In 2003, Martin decided to launch a self-published record label, Signature Records, which became his vehicle for publishing his music. Martin states, "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 published most of his work and news through his own MySpace page however he deleted this in early July 2011.

2005: 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

2007: Shelflife[edit]

In October 2007, 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

2008: Overflow[edit]

Martin released Overflow in Spring 2008. Overflow features vocals from Martin himself, along with his artwork.

CD1

  1. Savannah Heat
  2. Slums (Featuring – DRS)
  3. Alone In A Crowd
  4. Overeaction Featuring – Lariman
  5. Suddenly
  6. Into The Groove
  7. Leave Me
  8. Klute – Part Of Me (Remix)
  9. Lo Note
  10. Beat Goes On

CD2

  1. TV On
  2. Shine (Featuring – Spacek)
  3. Always Lovin You
  4. You Used To Listen (Featuring – DRS)
  5. Big Bang
  6. Honeypot
  7. Gage
  8. Reach You Everywhere
  9. So Blue

2009: Shelflife 2[edit]

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

CD1

  1. Out Of The Box
  2. Nightlight
  3. All The Days
  4. Harbinger
  5. Nowheretobefound (Featuring – Lariman)
  6. Fine As Dust
  7. Mindprint
  8. The Cage (Featuring – Basil & ST Files)
  9. Soft Tear

CD2

  1. Lazy Rock
  2. Life
  3. Half Full
  4. What To Do In These Times
  5. Overeaction Dub (Featuring – Lariman)
  6. Harry
  7. Zombie Life
  8. Find A Way
  9. The Blues

2009: Shine a Light[edit]

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 two 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]

  1. The Truth (Feat. DRS)
  2. Change
  3. The Marchers
  4. Last Kiss
  5. Footprints
  6. Beyond
  7. Something I Said
  8. The Tide
  9. Man On The Road
  10. Devise

2010: Even If[edit]

In June 2010 Calibre released Even If on his label Signature Records. Featuring predominantly Drum & Bass, Calibre said of the album, "If I wanted to achieve anything it was mainly to write something that I personally enjoyed, on an individual basis I wanted to mix some genre’s and try to transcend the DNB tag as much as I was referencing it, and hopefully in the process reach out to those out there that like my music."[7]

  1. All You Got
  2. Even If
  3. Rose
  4. Broken
  5. Thirst Dub
  6. Me Myself And I
  7. Steptoe
  8. Open Your Eyes
  9. Acid Hands
  10. Section Dub
  11. Gone Away
  12. No Reply
  13. Manchester Nights

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."

  1. People Never Change (Featuring – DRS)
  2. Nottinghill
  3. Who's Singing
  4. Mirage
  5. No More
  6. Foreign Bodies
  7. Ugly Duckling
  8. Half&Half
  9. Garbage Man
  10. Schlager
  11. Closing Doors (Featuring – DRS)
  12. Blackhole Dub
  13. Windows

2013: Spill[edit]

In 2013 Calibre released his ninth album entitled Spill featuring collaborations with Steo and Chimpo. Of the album he states "The collaborations gave me something a little bit different and that has encouraged me to follow this path for the next lp which will be a journey of collaborations over the next year, one which I have already started. My favourite track would probably be ‘Sick Of It All’ because it feels a bit different than the rest."

  1. Dema Beats
  2. Running
  3. Think On
  4. Keep Control
  5. Close To Me
  6. Cully Bridge
  7. Simple Things
  8. Start Again (Featuring – Chimpo)
  9. Do Not Turn On Me
  10. Wilderness (Featuring – Steo)
  11. Key Flix
  12. Paragov
  13. Sick Of It All

2013: Valentia[edit]

In 2013 Calibre released the album Valentia under his own name, Dominick Martin. The album was titled after Valentia Island, located off of the south-western coast of Ireland, where much of it was recorded. Martin, who brought with him only a laptop and microphone, said of the location: "in one of the rooms sat a piano, and as my fingers touched the keys I knew there was a story there waiting to be told. The sound of the piano in that place was something very magical as 100mph winds battered the house and interrupted my recordings."[8]

In a 12 April 2013 interview with DJ Magazine, he described the project in more detail: "This album is like a singer/songwriter album, it’s like its own big story in itself. I went to the West Coast of Ireland and there was this big storm brewing, and I was scared to death, and I was writing out of fear, it was crazy. I wrote this album down there, I sampled a piano and it’s exactly that material that brings me away from drum & bass."[9] Valentia was released digitally as well as in a limited physical CD and Vinyl release through Signature records on 15 July 2013.[10]

  1. Easy Living
  2. Need
  3. Tabletop
  4. Autumn
  5. Lakeside
  6. Time
  7. My Friend Alone
  8. I Wish I Could
  9. Love Is
  10. Rebels With A Cause
  11. Valentia Paino

2014: Shelflife 3[edit]

The third addition to the 'Shelflife' series was released in 2014, Shelflife 3 contained thirteen of his most requested unreleased productions from 1997 to 2013. Production was primarily by himself with the addition of vocalist MC D.R.S. on the songs "Fear Of Letting Go" and "Eschaton".

  1. The Wash
  2. Miraculous
  3. Honey Dew
  4. Fear Of Letting Go (Featuring - DRS)
  5. Makes Me Feel Alright
  6. Bellamee
  7. Instant
  8. Off Key
  9. Sagan
  10. Eschaton (Featuring - DRS)
  11. To And Fro
  12. Rooftops
  13. Erode

2016: Shelflife 4[edit]

Released in 2016, Shelflife 4 features primarily drum & bass productions, with collaborations coming from Jazz vocalist and MC Cleveland Watkiss and fellow Drum and Bass DJ and producer DJ Marky.

  1. Latin Ways
  2. Space Time (Featuring – Cleveland Watkiss)
  3. Model Way
  4. Salsoul
  5. Down On You
  6. Spirit Catcher
  7. All One Call
  8. Amen Tune (Featuring – DJ Marky)
  9. Underfire
  10. Bottles & Airports
  11. Justice
  12. Hold The Light
  13. Love Worn Soul

2016: Grow[edit]

In 2016 Calibre released Grow on 'The Nothing Special' label run by fellow DJ and friend Craig Richards (DJ). Marking a departure from his label Signature Records, Grow is notable for its primarily downtempo productions and the absence of its title track, which featured as a separate release on the label.

  1. Sand Promise
  2. Groove Seeker
  3. Softly Softly
  4. Thunder Fog
  5. Over The Top
  6. Limbo
  7. Mention
  8. Without You
  9. Your Endless Sea
  10. Rust
  11. A River Alone
  12. Stars We Can See

2017: The Deep[edit]

Composed entirely of his own productions, 'The Deep' is a mixture of downtempo and Drum and Bass featuring Calibre's own lyrics and vocal textures.

  1. No One Gets You
  2. Up In Smoke
  3. Mr Natural
  4. Footloose
  5. Lit
  6. Give It Up
  7. Complain
  8. Enter
  9. Blind For Bang
  10. Echoes
  11. Better Than Me
  12. Gentle Push
  13. Round Box

2018: Shelflife 5[edit]

Released in June 2018, Shelflife 5 is the fifth in the 'Shelflife' series of previously-unreleased productions and includes collaborations with long-time artistic partner MC D.R.S. and producer Marcus Intalex.

  1. Makes Me
  2. Leave
  3. The Dep
  4. Addict
  5. City Life (Featuring - DRS)
  6. Jaboc
  7. Two Ones
  8. Self
  9. Deep Down
  10. Bluesday (Featuring - Marcus Intalex)
  11. Funny Games
  12. Jass

2018: 4AM[edit]

Announced exclusively via Calibre's unofficial Facebook group, 4AM was released in 2018 and showcased the darker side of Calibre's Drum and Bass sound. Departing once again from his own label, the album was released on Doc Scott's label '31 Records'. Scott said of the surprise release "We wanted this to be a surprise release and I think we pulled it off. Everyone seems to know everything nowadays and that sucks, sometimes secrets are fun."

  1. Zee Tone
  2. Dark Paths
  3. Grabber
  4. Existing
  5. Under You And You
  6. Rollover
  7. Let It Rain
  8. The Swell

2019: Planet Hearth[edit]

Calibre released Planet Hearth in 2019. First coined in 2015, the album took four years to complete and was in his own words ‘part of a slow metamorphosis that I have wanted to do for a long time’. Inspired again by the island of Valentia on the West Coast of Ireland, the album explores Calibre's ambient persona in a series of atmospheric, narrative-driven works. The album is dedicated to a close friend.

  1. Hills
  2. Colby Park
  3. Eratik
  4. Five Minute Flame
  5. Planet Hearth
  6. Walking In Circles
  7. Sheven
  8. Thought Fields
  9. Error
  10. Waiting For Reasons
  11. Chasm
  12. Pine
  13. Down That Road

2020: Shelflife 6[edit]

Released at the start of May 2020, Shelflife 6 is the latest iteration in Calibre's successful series of compilations. The album features productions spanning several years previous to its release and includes many tracks played at Calibre's previous summer residency at XOYO club in London, England.

  1. Things Like This
  2. Years
  3. Latin 2000
  4. Pillow Dub
  5. Guide You Through
  6. Puppet
  7. Trouble
  8. Crazy For You
  9. The Goat
  10. One Drop
  11. Sense Soirèe
  12. Be Beautiful
  13. When Sunday Goes

2021: Feeling Normal[edit]

Released on 26 February 2021, Feeling Normal shipped on his Calibre's own Signature imprint, and features collaborations with DRS and Cimone, the 13 track album follows 2019's Planet Hearth LP as another fully non drum & bass body of work, this time centered around a 140bpm theme with a variety of break beat and half time rhythms while remaining rooted in the familiar and warm sonic range associated with his style of mastering. [11]

  1. Barren
  2. Change With Me
  3. Time To Breathe (with Cimone)
  4. Has To Happen
  5. Feeling Normal
  6. Badman (with DRS)
  7. Good Times
  8. Say Enough (with DRS)
  9. Miami
  10. Predictable
  11. Man Got Sandwich
  12. Wrong
  13. Regular Bull

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Title Record label Release date
2001 Musique Concrète Creative Source 25 September 2001
2005 Second Sun Signature Records 24 October 2005
2007 Shelflife Signature Records 1 October 2007
2008 Overflow Signature Records 1 May 2008
2009 Shelf Life Vol. 2 Signature Records 18 May 2009
2009 Shine a Light Signature Records 16 November 2009
2010 Even If Signature Records 12 November 2010
2011 Condition Signature Records 3 October 2011
2013 Spill Signature Records 20 May 2013
2013 Valentia Signature Records 15 July 2013
2014 Shelflife 3 Signature Records 19 March 2014
2016 Shelflife 4 Signature Records 26 February 2016
2016 Grow The Nothing Special 23 December 2016
2017 The Deep Signature Records 31 March 2017
2018 Shelflife 5 Signature Records 29 June 2018
2018 4AM ThirtyOne Recordings 16 November 2018
2019 Planet Hearth Signature Records 29 November 2019
2020 Shelflife 6 Signature Records 1 May 2020
2021 Feeling Normal Signature Records 26 February 2021

EPs[edit]

Year Title Record label Release date
2003 Just Fine Creative Source -
2006 Late Night Squeeze Signature Records 24 April 2006
2006 Corner Dance Signature Records May 2006
2006 Deranged Soul:R 23 October 2006
2008 Roundhouse Signature Records 11 September 2008
2008 Don't Mind Signature Records 22 October 2008
2010 Judgement Day Samurai Red Seal 7 June 2010
2011 Hummer Samurai Red Seal 29 August 2011
2012 Renaissance EP Footprints 19 November 2012
2015 Strumpet EP EXIT Records 18 May 2015
2015 Fourfit EP Soul:R 31 July 2015
2015 Dreamz Dub EP C.I.A 18 September 2015
2015 Break That EP The Nothing Special 18 January 2019
2019 Cowper Street EP Signature Records 5 July 2019

References[edit]

  1. ^ Short Circuits: Calibre Archived 24 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine 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
  7. ^ "Calibre: Even If…" Hyponik.com: Accessed 19 January 2020
  8. ^ "Calibre announces new downtempo album". Resident Advisor.
  9. ^ "CALIBRE: RASING THE STANDARD". DJMag.com. 12 April 2013.
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "Calibre - Feeling Normal". Signature Recordings. Retrieved 5 March 2021.

External links[edit]