Desmond Williams

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Desmond Williams
Born Jamaica
Origin New Jersey
Genres Electronic, Dub, Reggae
Occupation(s) Musician, producer
Instruments Keyboards, bass, guitar, singing
Years active 1993–present
Labels RAS, ESL, Rhythm & Culture
Associated acts Thievery Corporation, Browntempo, Midnite

Desmond Williams is an American electronica musician, as well as a record producer and was the chief sound engineer for the Eighteenth Street Lounge Music record label. Born in Jamaica and raised in Montclair, New Jersey, Williams has been known for his remixing and producing style.


In 1993, Williams began working with the legendary reggae/dub engineer, Scientist. Together, they did a great deal of experimentation with new digital audio techniques, as well as mixing live events for such artists as Third World (band), Supercat, Freddie McGregor, etc. In 1995, they co-produced an album for the renowned Sugar Minott entitled "International" for RAS Records. At this time Desmond also was the house sound engineer at the world famous Takoma Station Tavern Jazz club in Washington, DC. At this time he did sound for almost every Reggae and Jazz band in town, including Chuck Brown, the godfather of Go-Go music, Little Bennie, Sugar Bear from E.U., Black Sheep, and Carl Malcolm.

In 2000, Desmond was hired by Thievery Corporation to work with their fledgling studio. Desmond performed many tasks for Thievery Corporation and the label, ESL Music. He was the head engineer, co-producer for many of Thievery Corporations tracks, played bass, guitar, and keyboards for most of the tracks on the Thievery albums, "Mirror Conspiracy", "Outernationalist" and "Richest Man In Babylon", and was responsible for basic production work on many of the Thievery Corporation remixes.

In 2000, Williams created his initial EP, Theme from a Dream. In 2002, he released his debut album, Delights of the Garden.[1] After leaving ESL Music in 2003, Williams co-founded the Washington, D.C. based Rhythm & Culture Recordings record label with then partner, Farid Ali. He released an EP entitled East West Highway, and collaborated with Philip Brooks, formerly of Avatars of Dub, to form a group called Browntempo (a phrase he coined to describe their music). Browntempo had one release on Rhythm & Culture Recordings.

In 2007 Desmond collaborated with Morel of Deep Dish for the release of his cover version of the Nirvana classic, "Smells Like Teen Spirit". This version was included in the limited edition Heart Shaped Box Box set, which included unreleased Nirvana tracks, live tracks and notable cover versions of Nirvana songs. This is an excerpt from The Daily Swarm's article about the 5-CD box set - "The music encased inside is 3 discs of 50 songs performed by Nirvana, plus another 2 discs of covers, including renditions of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Paul Anka, Scala, Tori Amos, Patti Smith, and Desmond Williams; tracks by Charlie Hunter Trio, Steve Earle, Herbie Hancock, Sinead O'Connor, and Stereophonics; and multi-song sets of Nirvana songs done as lullabies and orchestral scores. 500 numbered boxes were made."

In 2008 Desmond collaborated with Vaughn Benjamin of the world famous Midnite reggae band and released an album titled Kayamagan. This album is still counted[by whom?] as one of Midnite's best albums.

In 1996, he had a son, by he name of Imani, who is currently making music, classified in genres such as Hip Hop, and R&B, and Neo-Soul, under the name of "IiMZ".


  • 1995 International w/Sugar Minot
  • 2000 Theme From a Dream (EP)
  • 2000 Cocoa (EP)
  • 2001 Um Favor (EP)
  • 2001 This Morning (EP)
  • 2002 Delights of the Garden
  • 2003 East West Highway (EP)
  • 2004 Browntempo (EP)
  • 2006 Smells Like Teen Spirit (with Morel)
  • 2008 Kayamagan (with Midnite)


  1. ^ Kincaid, Nic. "Review Delights of the Garden". Allmusic. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 

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