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Dieselboy performing at Starscape, Baltimore, July 6, 2010
|Birth name||Damian Higgins|
|Born||July 24, 1972|
Tarpon Springs, Florida, United States
|Genres||Drum and bass|
Dieselboy is the founder of the Human Imprint music label in 2002, and co-founder of its sublabel SubHuman : Human Imprint (dubstep, electro) which launched in September 2010. In February 2012, Higgins co-founded Planet Human as the umbrella label for Human Imprint and SubHuman. Dieselboy was the first American to be voted into the UK-based Drum & Bass Arena Top 10 DJs 2004 online poll. His 2002 album projectHuman reached the top 10 of the Billboard Dance/Electronic chart.
Higgins has also written about food for FirstWeFeast.com in 2012. He was selected as a presenter for the 7th Annual StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress (ICC) held September 30 to October 2, 2012, at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City.
Dieselboy was born Damian Higgins in Tarpon Springs, Florida in 1972. At the age of six he moved to Colorado City, Colorado, where he and his two sisters were raised by their mother. He moved with his family to Oil City, Pennsylvania, on the third day of school in the 9th grade, and is a graduate of Oil City Senior High School. He is the eldest son of singer/songwriter Bertie Higgins whose ballad Key Largo reached #8 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart in 1982. In April 2009, Higgins married his long-time girlfriend Ramie Roth.
Higgins's early music experience included playing drums in a school marching band and DJing for high school dances. "I originally started DJing (before learning to beatmatch) back in 1989 and 1990 at dances at Oil City Senior High School and also a small nightclub in Franklin, Pennsylvania, called Shenanigans. I DJ'ed three of my high school's dances, but I was just playing tunes, not mixing."
Higgins attended the University of Pittsburgh from 1990 to 1995 where he gained additional DJ'ing experience, and completed a degree in information science. He also played on a Carnegie Mellon University radio station (WRCT). The name Dieselboy originated from Higgins's IRC handle, "Diesel". Upon discovering a local graffiti artist shared the alias, he "made it Dieselboy."
Higgins moved to Philadelphia in 1997 to become the drum 'n' bass buyer and sometime T-shirt designer for 611 Records owned by Nigel Richards.
In 1994, Higgins created a mixtape entitled "The Future Sound of Hardcore," and sold about 100 through online LISTSERVs. "Through [the mixtape], people heard about me and I started getting bookings on the East Coast. It was a very slow process that eventually snowballed into my getting flown various places." In 1996, at the request of Dan Donnelly of British drum 'n' bass label Suburban Base, Dieselboy mixed "Drum & Bass Selection USA." In 1997, Suburban Base had him follow up with 97 Octane, this time allowing him to submit track suggestions, resulting in a more varied selection. In 1998, Nigel Richards gave Dieselboy full artistic control for his next mix-CD, 611 DJ Mix-series Vol. One (1998), for which Dieselboy did the graphics. Also in that year, Dieselboy made a mix-tape called Director’s Cut which he had packaged in film cans, his first experiment in presenting a dance mix in a quasi-cinematic framework.
In 1998, Dieselboy initiated Philadelphia's first 21+ drum 'n' bass weekly Thursday club night entitled "Platinum" at club Fluid, which ended on October 14, 2004. Platinum residents included Dieselboy, Kaos, Method One, Sine, Icon, Karl K, Mason, and MC's Dub2, Messinian, Armanni Reign, Sharpness, and Illy Emcee. It was rekindled in late 2009 featuring Mason, Sine and MC's Messinian & Sharpness.
In 1999, Dieselboy released his fourth mix CD, "A Soldier's Story" on the Moonshine label. It opened with his first original “intro” and marked his CD debut as a producer with Atlantic State, a track co-produced with Technical Itch. Also released on the Moonshine label was System Upgrade (2000) while Dieselboy joined forces with Palm Pictures/Island Recordings and his releases The Descent, Invid, Render. The 6ixth Session was a double CD release on Palm Pictures, featuring a cyborg-themed mix described by the Washington Post as “hard-edged hyperdriven dance music".
In 2001, Dieselboy founded Human Imprint, the drum 'n' bass imprint of electronic dance music label System Recordings. For projectHUMAN (2002), Dieselboy presented a mix framed as a movie trailer that reached #6 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic album chart. In 2003, Dieselboy was invited by DJ Magazine to create a mix showcasing American d&b entitled DJ World Series: D & B From The United States, on which he featured American producers Hive, Echo, Mason, Juju, Kaos, Karl K, Jae Kennedy, Stratus and Sinthetix.
For his next CD, The Dungeonmaster's Guide (2004), Dieselboy asked Peter Cullen, the cartoon voice of the Transformers’ Optimus Prime, to be the voice of the Dungeonmaster who narrates the mix. Again Dieselboy commissioned remixes, this time asking d&b producers from around the world to remix tracks by non-d&b dance music luminaries including Tiësto, Sasha, BT and Josh Wink. Dieselboy also released a triple vinyl LP pack featuring remixes by various artists such has Gridlok, Kaos, Karl K, Jae Kennedy, Stratus, and KC. Again, Dieselboy chose Akira Takahashi to design the album art.
In April 2006, Dieselboy released his first Human Imprint compilation, a 2-CD set called "The HUMAN Resource". Disc One Selected Works, is a 12-song un-mixed selection including club anthems and VIP remixes from Bad Company UK, DJ Fresh, The Upbeats, Dieselboy + Kaos and Counterstrike. Disc Two Evol Intent Assemble the Monster features a continuous DJ-mix from Evol Intent.
In May 2008, Dieselboy released his ninth major mix-CD Substance D (Human Imprint), which reached the Billboard Dance/Electronic album chart. In conjunction with this release, Dieselboy initiated the "Monsters of Jungle" tour with rotating Human Imprint label artists including Evol Intent, Ewun, Demo, Mayhem, SPKTRM, Infiltrata and MC Messinian.
In July 2009, Human Imprint parted amicably from System Recordings. In summer 2010, Human relaunched with Steve Gordon of Steez Promo and Circle Management as new co-owner with Dieselboy, and they created the SubHuman Imprint for dubstep and electro releases.
On New Year's Eve 2009 headlining a 3D Productions event at Club 24 in Washington, D.C., Dieselboy played a three-hour multi-subgenre set including drum and bass, dubstep and electro. The enthusiastic crowd response encouraged him to continue experimenting with this new open format into 2010. In January 2013 Dieselboy started playing all drum and bass sets again.
On January 31, 2011, Dieselboy released his first new mix in two and a half years, "Dieselboy - Unleashed!", as a free download on SoundCloud. He also performed with Skrillex. In 2012 he released the mix "Wake The Dead" on SoundCloud. On May 23, 2013, Dieselboy's mix "Beyond the Black Bassline" was released by Skrillex's then new NEST HQ website.
Dieselboy released his 93-track, 87-minute mix "Dieselboy - The Destroyer" on August 5, 2014. The mix and its art incorporate the aesthetics of his 2014 tour as Blood, Sweat and Bass with bass music producer Downlink and 1970s grindhouse films. It includes a new collaboration with drum and bass producer Gridlok called "MDMX," and three tracks by Faces of Def, a new collaborative project between Dieselboy and Mark the Beast ["Blvck Celebration" with Counterstrike (SubHuman); "Carcosa" with Mayhem and Downlink (SubHuman); remix of "Tuh Tuh Duh" by Sinister Souls (PRSPCT)].
In 2014, Dieselboy's passion for food advanced beyond writing about it for the James Beard Award-winning FirstWeFeast.com blog, into professional kitchens. He cooked a sold-out collaboration dinner with respected chefs Matt McCallister and Alex Stupak at FT33 restaurant in Dallas on June 9, 2014. Dieselboy competed in a nacho battle against chef Alex Stupak at Empellón Cocina in New York in February 2013, which he lost. He came back to face off against chefs Alex Stupak, Michael Anthony, Wylie Dufresne and Seamus Mullen in February 2014, beating Mullen.
In November 2014, Dieselboy's cooking was featured at his first "pop-up" event called "Burger Night with Dieselboy" at the Groningen, Netherlands restaurant De Boom, preceding his DJ performance at Subsonic nightclub. In January 2015, another pop-up hamburger event took place at P60 cafe in Amstelveen, Netherlands as a prelude to his DJ gig at the P60 club.
In 2012, Dieselboy was a co-presenter with mixologist Jim Meehan (PDT, New York City) and chef/designer Taavo Somer at the Origins and Frontiers mixology workshop at the 7th Annual StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress in New York City. Dieselboy's cocktail "The Higgins" is published in The New York Times' cocktail writer Robert Simonson's 2014 book The Old-Fashioned (Ten Speed Press).
Dieselboy collaborated with Betony restaurant chef Bryce Shuman on a limited edition hot dog as part of a monthlong "musicians and chefs" special menu at the New York City cocktail lounge PDT in May 2015. On August 9, 2015 as part of the Moonrise Festival in Baltimore, Maryland, Dieselboy and The Glitch Mob hosted a Taco Party for contest winners.
Awards and recognition
Dieselboy placed #23 in the 2014 America's Best DJ Poll, up 19 from the previous year's #42, between Moby and BT. Dieselboy was the highest ranked drum & bass DJ (#45) in the 2008 DJ Times America's Best DJ Poll.
In 1998, Dieselboy was the first American drum & bass DJ to be nominated for Best Drum & Bass DJ at the Global DJ Mix Awards, tying with LTJ Bukem.
- Patriot Games EP (2x12") – Tech Itch Recordings
- The Descent (12") – Palm Pictures (1999)
- The Trans-Atlantic Link Part 1 (12") – Tech Itch Recordings
- Invid (12") – Palm Pictures (2000)
- Render (12") – Palm Pictures (2000)
- Invid (Remixes) (2x12") – Palm Pictures (2002)
- Barrier Break/Submission (2X12") – (Dieselboy & Kaos) Human Imprint (11/17/03)
- N/V/D (12") – Dieselboy (Counterstrike Zentraedi remix) Human Imprint (5/8/08)
- Midnight Express (12") – Dieselboy + Evol Intent + Ewun, Human Imprint (5/15/08)
- Get Back (CD) – Blokhe4d & Dieselboy, Unique Artists (2010)
- W.M.F.D. (Digital) – Dieselboy & Bare, Human Imprint (HUMA 8035, 6/20/2012)
- MDMX (Digital) – Gridlok feat. Dieselboy, Project 51 (P5130, 8/25/2014)
- Hard Times – Baby Namboos (Dieselboy + Decoder) Palm Pictures (2000)
- Opticon – Orgy (Dieselboy + Technical Itch Arena mix) Reprise (2001)
- Subculture – Styles of Beyond (Dieselboy + Kaos VIP) Human Imprint (2002)
- You Must Follow – Stratus (Dieselboy + Kaos) Human Imprint (2003)
- Grunge 3 – Bad Company UK (Dieselboy, Kaos + Karl K) Human Imprint (2003)
- Moulin Rouge – Dom + Roland (Dieselboy, Kaos + Karl K) Human Imprint (2005)
- Hooked – Dom + Gridlok (Tech Itch + Dieselboy) Project 51 (P51UK10, 8.7.2006)
- Tuh Tuh Duh – Sinister Souls (feat. Dieselboy feat. Mark the Beast) PRSPCT (PRSPCTRMXEP001,1.28.2015)
For a complete listing of Dieselboy releases see his entry on Rolldabeats
- Amplitude : Styles of Beyond - Subculture (Dieselboy & Kaos Rock Remix)
- Crackdown : Dieselboy & Kaos - Barrier Break
- Gran Turismo 4 : Dieselboy & Kaos & Karl K (feat. Messinian) - Nitro
- Need for Speed: Most Wanted : Dieselboy & Kaos - Barrier Break
- Saints Row : Styles of Beyond - Subculture (Dieselboy & Kaos Remix)
Dieselboy Tracks on Other Compilations
- Opticon – Orgy (Dieselboy + Technical Itch Arena Mix) (2001) on Orgy: Opticon Remixes (12") – Reprise Records
- Opticon – Orgy (Dieselboy + Technical Itch Arena Dub Mix) (2001) on Orgy: Opticon Remixes (12") – Reprise Records
- Grunge 3 – Bad Company UK (Dieselboy, Kaos + Karl K) HUMAN (2003) on Andy C: Nightlife (CD) – Ram Records (2003)
- Get Back – Blokhe4d + Dieselboy on Unique Artists: Volume 1 – Unique Artists (UA001CD, 8/23/2010)
- Put the Needle on the Record (2004)
- American Massive (2002)
- Atlantic State (Technical Itch + Dieselboy), Sounds & Motion: V.01 (Ukraine, 2002)
- Moonshine Over America (2000)
- Boyles, Jen (November 24, 2010). "Dieselboy talks drum and bass, fashion, and food". Gimme Noise. Archived from the original on November 24, 2010. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- "Dieselboy - About - Facebook".
- Control Freq Radio Dieselboy Interview Archived 2014-05-19 at the Wayback Machine by Synba, August 26, 2012
- "Planet Human - About - Facebook".
- "Top 10 DJs Of 2004". Drum and Bass Arena. 2005-02-06. Archived from the original on 2005-02-06. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
- "Dieselboy - Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- "Dieselboy | FirstWeFeast.com". 2013-01-12. Archived from the original on 2013-01-12. Retrieved 2016-10-06.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Biography". starchefs.com.
- "The Best View of the Greenhorn Valley - Colorado City, Rye Colorado Newspaper". www.greenhornvalleyview.com. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- "How The Internet Transformed The American Rave Scene". NPR.org. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- "Nightlife Podcast: Dieselboy". LasVegasWeekly.com. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- "Dieselboy Interview: SXSW 2010 - Spinner". 2012-04-03. Archived from the original on 2012-04-03. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- Castillo, Arielle (2010-12-09). "Dieselboy Leads Dub Nation Tour to Revolution". New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- "Dieselboy - Timeline - Facebook".
- "DieselboyInterv". About.com Entertainment. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- "Dieselboy and the Dungeon Master's Guide". worldsmostdangerousdm.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- "DIESELBOY "The Human Resource" Human/System MESSINIAN "Rhymes Against Humanity" Messinian". The Washington Post. 2006-06-30. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- Jenkins, Mark (June 6, 2008). "DIESELBOY "Substance D" Human Imprint/System". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
- "Broken Beats - Interview with Dieselboy (USA) & The Upbeats (NZL)". www.brokenbeats.co.nz. Archived from the original on 2012-07-26. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- "Dieselboy Talks Online Promotion Difficulties, Labels, Free Mixes". Dotted Music. 2011-03-20. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- "Dieselboy - Facebook".
- "Dieselboy interview! + ticket giveaway tonight 12-3AM kuci.org". beatification.kuci.org. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- "Skrillex and Dieselboy | SSG Music". 2011-02-03. Archived from the original on 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- "Wake The Dead (Remastered)".
- "Dieselboy - Beyond The Black Bassline - NEST HQ". 21 May 2013.
- "Dieselboy - BEYOND THE BLACK BASSLINE will be dropping... | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- "Dieselboy - The Destroyer" by Khal, DoAndroidsDance.com, August 5, 2014
- Ulla, Gabe (2012-09-25). "Dieselboy on Great Meals and Cooking With Alex Stupak". Eater. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- Higgins, Damien (June 24, 2014). "My First Night on the Line". firstwefeast.com.
- Filloon, Whitney (23 May 2014). "Matt McCallister Teams Up With Alex Stupak & Dieselboy".
- "The Great Nacho Cook-off: Alex Stupak vs. DJ Dieselboy".
- "The Second Annual First We Feast Nacho Battle".
- "Questove's Food Salon MIAMI Featuring Daniel Patterson, Dave Beran, and Christina Tosi".
- "Burger Night with Dieselboy @ De Boom!".
- "PRSPCT Presents DIESELBOY, SINISTER SOULS, BONG-RA, ADI-J & MC SWIFT".
- "Get Caught in the Mix@ICC - StarChefs.com".
- "First We Feast and PDT Present: The Hot Dog Sessions".
- "Dieselboy - Timeline - Facebook".
- "2014 Top 50 - America's Best DJ".
- "Skrillex Wins Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical".
- "Andy C - Nightlife".
- "Various Artists - Unique Artists - Volume 1 :: Unique Artists :: UA001CD at RollDaBeats".
- "Put the Needle on the Record". 25 July 2004 – via IMDb.
- "American Massive". 1 August 2002 – via IMDb.
- "Various - Sounds & Motion:V.01".
- WhateverzOn (30 August 2010). "MOONSHINE OVERAMERICA THE DOCUMENTARY Part 3 of 5" – via YouTube.
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