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High Contrast

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High Contrast
High Contrast in Miami, Florida (2011)
High Contrast in Miami, Florida (2011)
Background information
Birth nameLincoln Barrett
Born (1979-09-18) 18 September 1979 (age 44)
Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales
Years active2000–present

Lincoln Barrett (born 18 September 1979), better known by the stage name High Contrast, is a Welsh electronic music producer, DJ and record producer. He produces drum and bass music, and his 2009 album Confidential reached BPI gold certification (100,000 units sold in the UK).



Early work


Barrett was born in Penarth, near Cardiff, and grew up more interested in films and film soundtracks than rock or pop 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.[2]

In 2007, he delivered his second effort, selected as "Essential Mix of the Year" by Pete Tong.[3] 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 Japanese pop singer 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: 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'[4] was Special Delivery on Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show,[5] followed by 'Part 1'[6] as "Hottest Record in the World" for Zane Lowe.[7]

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".[8]

In 2017, a new song, titled "Shotgun Mouthwash", was featured on the T2 Trainspotting soundtrack.

High Contrast's remix of "The One" by Jorja Smith was Nominated for a Grammy at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards[9]



On 13 November 2020, he released the album titled Notes From The Underground.[10]

On 24 June 2022, he followed up with the album titled True Colours for the first time on his own label Highly Contrasting.[11]

On 23 February 2024, he released a single with two songs Anti/Thesis Vol. 1.[12]

Personal life


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



Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications Album
2001 "Make It Tonight" / "Mermaid Scar" True Colours
"Passion" / "Full Intention"
2002 "Return of Forever"
"Global Love" 68
2003 "The Basement Track" 65 High Society
2004 "Twilight's Last Gleaming" 74
"Angels and Fly"
(featuring NoLay)
"Racing Green" / "St. Ives" 73
2005 "When the Lights Go Down" / "Magic" Non-album single
"Days Go By" / "What We Do"
2007 "Everything's Different" / "Green Screen" Tough Guys Don't Dance
"If We Ever" / "Pink Flamingos"
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" / "Forever and a Day"
2011 "The First Note Is Silent"
(featuring Tiësto and Underworld)
48 The Agony and the Ecstasy
2012 "The Agony and the Ecstasy"
(featuring Selah Corbin)
"The Road Goes On Forever"
2013 "Spectrum Analyser" / "Some Things Never Change" Non-album single
2014 "Who's Loving You"
(featuring Clare Maguire)
2016 "How Love Begins"
(with DJ Fresh featuring Dizzee Rascal)
"Remind Me" Night Gallery
2017 "Shotgun Mouthwash"
(featuring Boy Matthews)
"The Beat Don't Feel the Same"
(featuring Boy Matthews)
"Save Somebody"
(featuring Callum Beattie)
2018 "God Only Knows" Non-album single
2019 "Days Go By (2019)"
"Going Up" Notes from the Underground
"Snare the Blame"
2020 "Time is Hardcore"
(featuring Kae Tempest and Anita Blay)
"Rhythm is Changing"
(featuring LOWES)
2021 "Met Her at a Dance in Leicester"
(featuring UK Apache and Ady Suleiman)
"Bourgeious Imagery"
(with Alan Fitzpatrick)
Machine Therapy
"Don't Need You"
(with Bou)
Non-album single




  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 252. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ "The Contrast - Days Go By / What We Do". Discogs.com. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  3. ^ BBC. "Radio 1 - Essential Mix - Tracklisting". BBC. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Who's Loving You (Pt. 2) by HIGH CONTRAST | Free Listening on SoundCloud". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "High Contrast & Clare Maguire - Who's Loving You (Part 1) by Clare Maguire - Hear the world's sounds". Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "High Contrast signs to 3Beat | Music Week". Archived from the original on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  9. ^ Jenkins, Dave (21 November 2019). "High Contrast has been nominated for a Grammy Award". Ukf.com. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Album: High Contrast - Notes From the Underground". Theartsdesk.com. 3 December 2020. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Album: High Contrast - True Colours". maxmag.com. 24 June 2022. Retrieved 17 March 2024.
  12. ^ "Single: High Contrast - Anti/Thesis". JungleDrumAndBass.Co.Uk. 23 February 2024. Retrieved 17 March 2024.
  13. ^ a b c "British certifications – High Contrast". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 9 January 2022. Type High Contrast in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  14. ^ "Hospital Records". Archived from the original on 11 July 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2007.
  15. ^ Peak chart positions in the United Kingdom: "BROOKES BROTHERS | Singles". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  16. ^ "Love On a 45 (MJ Cole Remix) - Single by High Contrast". Music.apple.com. Retrieved 7 August 2019.