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Background information
Also known as Kemal and Rob Data
Origin Glasgow, United Kingdom
Genres Drum and bass, neurofunk
Years active 1998–2000 as Konflict, 2000–2002 as Kemal and Rob Data
Labels Renegade Hardware, Negative, Cryptic Audio, Underfire, Audio Blueprint, Moving Shadow, Black Sun Empire Recordings, Deeper Realms, DSCI4, Cyanide, Nerve, Industry
Associated acts Paranoid User, Nomad'iqa, Velahavle
Members Kemal Okan (right)
Robert Rodgers (left)

Konflict, also known under their separate artist names Kemal and Rob Data, were a musical duo that composed drum and bass music, consisting of Kemal Okan and Robert Rodgers. Their music had a strong techno influence, and it was influential in the shaping of the neurofunk subgenre. The majority of their material was released between 1999-2002; a period which carried the Anthem status in the Drum and Bass music scene. They released their first work in 1998 under the name Konflict, but after abandoning the name in 2000, they continued to release music as Kemal and Rob Data. After the Konflict period, Kemal also released many solo works as well as collaborations with other drum and bass artists.


Kemal Okan and Robert Rodgers, both from Glasgow, United Kingdom, had their origins in the Detroit Techno scene,[1] with their preferred sound being the minimal style of Techno.[2] Kemal started to DJ at an early age and worked at the iconic[3] 23rd Precinct record store in Glasgow. Their techno background can be heard as it had a strong influence in their music. In 1998, they released their first track under the alias Konflict. The track was a remix of a trance tune named Share Of Bitterness by Paragliders.[4] It was released on a Scottish label named WAQT Recordings.

Their first breakthrough occurred when they signed to Renegade Hardware in 1999. Their most notable releases on this label include Roadblock, The Beckoning, the Maelstrom EP and their hit, Messiah, which in 2010 was named the number one most essential Drum and Bass track of that decade by the influential Knowledge Magazine.[5] After a struggle over the release of Messiah,[6] when Kemal and Rob left Renegade Hardware in 2000, they abandoned the Konflict name as it was owned by and exclusively signed to the label. They continued to make music as Kemal and Rob Data and started their own label, Negative Recordings.

Rob Data decided to quit in 2002 to return to his studies for reasons unknown, though it has been rumored that it had to do with his brother passing away at a Rave party .[citation needed] After the closing of Negative Recordings, Kemal started his own Cryptic Audio label, through which he released music until 2004. On its first release, Kemal used the alias Paranoid User, which was the only known occasion when he released under a different pseudonym.

Besides releases on Renegade Hardware and their own labels, their music appeared on labels such as Outbreak, Moving Shadow, Underfire, Audio Blueprint, Timeless, DSCI4, Cyanide Recordings, and Industry Recordings. Kemal produced much music alone as well as with his companion Rob, and he also cooperated with other artists such as Dom & Roland, Technical Itch, Paul Reset, Black Sun Empire, Rob F and Impulse, and Dresden Codex. Rob Data only produced with Kemal, and never had a solo release.

In 2004 Kemal also decided to quit, having been quoted to be, "fed up with the current state of the Drum and Bass scene"[citation needed] and returned to his studies. He continued to work on music production as he joined the arabesque world music formation Nomad'iqa and produced their first album.[7] He also produced an album for Velahavle, a Bosnian Trip hop-Electronica band from Sarajevo that was released in 2005.[8]

Recently Rob Data has begun DJing old skool rave records alongside fellow Glaswegian DJs Konx-om-Pax, Henry Hoover, Stu Alcane, Honk Master General, VICEroy and Stevie Bandwagon under the 48K banner.[9] They have organised a number of small nights at local bowling clubs[10] and supported 808 State.[11]


Their music has been cited as being heavily influential in the development of the neurofunk subgenre, which can be recognized in releases later that decade. Artists such as Phace have stated[12] that Konflict had a great influence on their sound, as Florian from Phace puts it; "I have to point out Optical and Konflict as my favourite producers of all the time. They practically paved the way for the sound we love and try to continue nowadays.". The more widely known, and these days more pop music oriented Pendulum, also named Kemal and Konflict as one of their biggest Drum & Bass influences in their early years.[13]


The title of their track "Bios-Fear" together with Stakka & Skynet got its name because of the computer trouble they experienced while writing the tune (probably it was BIOS related). "Kemal and Rob came down from Glasgow to Brighton for a few days and we all went in the studio and out of it came 'Bios-Fear'. Named because at the time because our PC had a complete meltdown and Kemal and Rob spent hours trying to revive it."[14]

It took Kemal only a few days to write the remix of Crisis, a breaks tune by Paul Reset; "I asked if he fancied taking on one of my breaks tunes. I met him for a coffee and gave him the parts to “Crisis” (originally released on NB004) and within a couple of days – he’d finished it, the man was a genius in the studio."[15] It was the biggest release in the history of Nerve Recordings, but as the distributor went bankrupt, they were never able to determine how many were sold.

The track Stranded, a collaboration between Black Sun Empire and Kemal, was made after Kemal was literally stranded at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, and then stayed with the three Dutch members in Utrecht for several days.[16]

Kemal's last releases were The Anthem (Kemal Remix) in 2006 and Tamghra Nouchen (Kemal & Dresden Codex Remix) in 2011. These two tracks were composed years before, and were released years later after Kemal left the scene, due to delays and problems with label managements.


Singles and EPs[edit]

  • RoadBlock / State Of Mind (1999)
  • Bad Acid / Doorway (featuring Usual Suspects) (1999)
  • Cyanide / Outpost (1999)
  • Obsidian / Pendulum (2000)
  • Beckoning (2000)
  • Maelstrom / Celestial / New World Order / Beckoning (Usual Suspects Remix) (2000)
  • Messiah / Kontempt (featuring Kermal & Paul Reset) (2000)
  • Messiah VIP (2000)


  • Paragliders - Share Of Bitterness (Konflict Remix) (1998)
  • Karl K - Synapse (Konflict Remix) (1999)
  • Tipple - Hope (Konflict Remix) (1999)
  • UFO! - My Personal Blackmail (Konflict's Negative Remix) (2000)
  • Usual Suspects - Killa Bees (Konflict Remix) (2000)
  • State of Play - Poor Mans Deal (Konflict Mix) (2000)
  • DJ DB - Synapse (Konflict Remix) (2000)
  • Tha Countamen & Alley Cat - Payload (Konflict Remix) (2000)
  • Faith In Chaos - Possession (Konflict Remix) (2002)
  • Bulletproof - The Nephilim (Konflict Remix) (2002)


  1. ^ Kemal biography at Industry Recordings (Retrieved September 2011)
  2. ^ Biography of Kemal under the section "our labels / kemal"
  3. ^ Daily Record: Iconic record store 23rd Precinct closes after 50 years, 2009
  4. ^ Paul Reset on nerverecordings.co.uk, October 7, 2009, Konflict remix of Paragliders “Share of Bitterness” (Retrieved September 2011)
  5. ^ Knowledge Magazine Feature: The essential DnB tracks of the 00's
  6. ^ Clayton (Label manager / Owner) on the Messiah release in a Q&A on Dogs on Acid, 2004
  7. ^ Nomad'iqa website archived by the Internet Archive
  8. ^ Velahavle biography on Myspace
  9. ^ 48K Facebook Page, 2013
  10. ^ Phuturelabs Interview with 48K
  11. ^ 808 State Event Information
  12. ^ Francesco Caccamo (ATM) - Interview with Phace, 2007, archived on dnbmovement.it
  13. ^ Pendulum Interview by dnbforum.com, 2003, [1]
  14. ^ Knowledge Magazine: Stakka & Skynet interview, 2001
  15. ^ Paul Reset on nerverecordings.co.uk, August 13, 2009, Nerve 005 – Paul Reset/Kemal/SKC/Black Sun Empire
  16. ^ Black Sun Empire Q&A on Dogs on Acid, 2005

External links[edit]