High Contrast

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High Contrast
Birth nameLincoln Barrett
Born (1979-09-18) 18 September 1979 (age 40)
Penarth, Wales
GenresDrum and bass
Years active2000–present
LabelsHospital, 3Beat
Associated actsDanny Byrd, Underworld, Taxman, Utah Saints, Adele, Netsky

Lincoln Barrett, better known by the stage name High Contrast (born 18 September 1979), is a Welsh electronic music producer DJ and record producer.


Early work[edit]

Barrett was born in Penarth, near Cardiff and grew up more interested in films and film soundtracks rather than music; he cites Wendy Carlos's A Clockwork Orange soundtrack album and the Vangelis soundtrack for Blade Runner as defining musical influences. Whilst studying film making in Newport, he heard J Majik's Arabian Nights which turned the then 17-year-old Barrett on to drum and bass music. Barrett used to work in Cardiff's only electronic record shop, Catapult. A short time after he began to make music, he was given a DJ residency at Cardiff's drum and bass night, named Silent Running. During his residency at Silent Running, Barrett played alongside artists such as Grooverider and London Elektricity.


In June 2002, Barrett's debut album, True Colours, was released on Hospital Records, with "Return of Forever" and "Global Love" finding their way into the UK Singles Chart.[1] His second album was High Society.

On 6 April 2003, High Contrast was featured on the BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix show. His mix included liquid funk mostly from the Hospital Records label. On 9 January 2005, this Essential Mix was replayed on Radio 1 when another drum and bass artist, Andy C, was unable to deliver his mix. In October 2005, Barrett launched his own record label, The Contrast. The first single, "Days Go By" / "What We Do" was released in early November 2005.

In 2007, he delivered his second effort, selected as 'Essential Mix of the Year' by Pete Tong.[2] His third album Tough Guys Don't Dance was released in October 2007. The second single from the album, "If We Ever", was supported on Radio 1 by Annie Mac, Zane Lowe and Jo Whiley helping it to reach number 1 in the DnB chart, number 1 in the dance chart and number 4 in the Indie chart.[citation needed]

In 2008, High Contrast remixed the #1 single "No Way to Say" for the Japanese Ayumi Hamasaki's remix album, Ayu-mi-x 6: Silver. He also made successful remixes of "Hometown Glory" by Adele and "Pjanoo" by Eric Prydz, which were later included on the album, Confidential. He played them during his take over for the Rob Da Bank show on BBC Radio 1 in January 2009.


He played at the 2011 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Barrett currently is a resident DJ at the following clubs: Hospitality as part of Hospital Records at Matter in London (previously at Heaven); Aperture at Clwb Ifor Bach (The Welsh Club) in Cardiff; and at Roxy in Prague. He was also on regular rotation at Fabric in London.

High Contrast played a key role in selecting and producing the music for the Athletes Parade at the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony. Half a dozen tracks by High Contrast were played and are present in the event's official soundtrack Isles of Wonder.

In July 2014 High Contrast's new single with Clare Maguire 'Who's Loving You' was announced. A double release, 'Part 2'[3] was Special Delivery on Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show,[4] followed by 'Part 1'[5] as 'Hottest Record in the World' for Zane Lowe.[6]

In 2015, he remixed the R&B track Muhammad Ali by the group Faithless. The same year, the mix was included in the group's '2.0' remix album release, and also incorporated into the second half of their live performances of the song.

He signed with 3Beat in April 2016 and released his first single on the label, Remind Me.[7]

In 2017, a new song, titled "Shotgun Mouthwash", was featured on the T2 Trainspotting soundtrack. He released his latest album, titled Night Gallery, on 6 October 2017.[8]

Personal life[edit]

His father, Paul 'Legs' Barrett, used to manage Shakin' Stevens. His mother, Lorraine Barrett, was the Welsh Assembly member for Cardiff South and Penarth until May 2011.



Compilation albums[edit]


  • "Make it Tonight" / "Mermaid Scar" (2001)
  • "Passion" / "Full Intention" (2001)
  • "Return of Forever" (2002)
  • "Global Love" (2002) (UK #68)
  • "Basement Track" (2003) (UK #65)
  • "Twilight's Last Gleaming" (2004) (UK #74)
  • "Angels and Fly" (2004)
  • "Racing Green" / "St Ives" (2004) (UK #73)
  • "When the Lights Go Down" / "Magic" (2005)
  • "Days Go By" / "What We Do" (2005)
  • "Everything's Different" / "Green Screen" (2007)
  • "If We Ever" / "Pink Flamingos" (released 16 July 2007)
  • "In A Gadda Da Vida" / "Forever And A Day" (2007)
  • "The First Note Is Silent" (with Tiësto and Underworld) (2011) (UK #48)
  • "The Agony & The Ecstasy" (feat. Selah Corbin) (2012)
  • "Spectrum Analyser" / "Some Things Never Change" (2013)
  • "Who's Loving You" feat. Clare Maguire (2014)
  • "How Love Begins" (with DJ Fresh and Dizzee Rascal) (2016) (UK #53)
  • "Calling My Name" (2016)
  • "Remind Me" (2016)
  • "Shotgun Mouthwash" (2017)
  • "Questions" (with Boy Matthews) (2017)
  • "The Beat Don't Feel The Same" (with Boy Matthews) (2017)
  • "Save Somebody (feat. Callum Beattie)" (2017)[10]
  • "God Only Knows" (2018)[11]
  • "Days Go By" (2019)[12]
  • "Going Up" (2019)[13]



  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 252. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ BBC. "Radio 1 - Essential Mix - Tracklisting". BBC. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Who's Loving You (Pt. 2) by HIGH CONTRAST | Free Listening on SoundCloud". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  4. ^ "BBC Radio 1 - Annie Mac's Friday Night, High Contrast Special Delivery & More Ibiza News!". Bbc.co.uk. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "BBC Radio 1 - Zane Lowe, Blink-182, High Contrast & Clare Maguire - Who's Loving You (Part 1)". Bbc.co.uk. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 July 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Save Somebody (feat. Callum Beattie) - Single by High Contrast". apple.com. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  11. ^ "God Only Knows - Single by High Contrast". apple.com. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Days Go By - Single by High Contrast". apple.com. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Going Up - Single by High Contrast". apple.com. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Love On a 45 (MJ Cole Remix) - Single by High Contrast". apple.com. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  15. ^ "If We Ever (Unglued Remix) - Single By High Contrast". apple.com. Retrieved 7 August 2019.

External links[edit]