One way or another you've probably already come into contact with the Stanton Warriors. For some time it's most likely it was underfoot as the market leader in drain covers. In recent years though, it's more likely to be from one of the most popular and distinctive dance DJ, production and remix outfits about, Mark Yardley & Dominic B - the Stanton Warriors.
From the less than sleepy farms and fields of their native West Country, Dom and Mark have grown into one of the most prolific DJ acts in the world, burgeoning label bosses, and major producers on the global dance scene. It's a long way from the strange seismic rumblings of the South West but the enthusiasm and feelings behind what they're up to haven't changed too much...
Dominic B and Mark Yardley received their baptism in a burgeoning dance scene, at a 100 impromptu parties in the open air of the West Country where in the lost hours and days, they enjoyed a thriving deep house scene, laced with breaks, funk and hip hop, influences that were to play a huge part in characterising the direction of the boys own production. The focus of things centred on Bristol where Dom directed his efforts into a local record shop and promoting his own parties in the time between actually enjoying the parties, basically putting as many fingers into as many pies as were within reach. At the same time, Mark pursued his own dreams of following in the steps of hero, Prince, at least as far as his mastery of over 30 instruments goes but it is fair to say both had been soundly bitten by the music bug! It was the renowned 'Bristol Scene' that played a pivotal role in defining the sound and attitude Mark & Dom took to their music in these crucial formative years.
Following the West Country era, it was not until the mean streets of London and Tuff jam's 51st Label that the pair would be reunited. Dom, working A&R for the label soon saw a like mind in Mark as they witnessed the rise of early "UK Garage" alongside an increasingly proliferation of second rate garage mash up's going through the studios and labels. Luckily, it was at this point that the boys decided to combine forces and direct their efforts towards the studio as the Stanton Warriors exploded onto what they saw as an otherwise stagnant scene with 'What Ya Gonna Do', and '2 True' that caught the attention of their 51st Recordings bosses and saw a domestic release as it were. It was with 'Determined', their follow up on 51st that the now famiiar low end, and electro 'n' hip hop influences began to take shape.
The Stanton Warriors started as they meant to go on with the production outing that really broke them, the outstanding 'Da Virus' for Mob Recordings. Hooking up with Tayo's renowned breaks label proved a master stroke securing serious attention from the breaks world and from here paved the way for the avalanche of remix offers that were to come their way. Basement Jaxx, Missy Elliot, Azzido Da Bass and Bentley Rhythm Ace through to Jocelyn Brown, Gabrielle. All have come under the Stanton scrutiny at some point along the line and all have all benefited from the Stanton sound applied to it, their distinctive bouncing breaking sound lighting up dance floors, street parties, festivals and house parties all over the world. The Mr. Reds & DJ Skribble 'Can You Feel It' marked a defining moment going top 15 a good 2 years after originally seeing the light of day on The Stanton Session. There are not many constants in the music world, but you can pretty much rely on the Stanton Warriors treatment getting a party started. It's a principal that Mark and Dom have always adhered to and one that should be a guide to all budding producers out there: a good track is a good track the world over and a good track gets people dancing!
It's a principal they put at the forefront of things when putting together 'The Stanton Session' in 2001. XL Recordings took the boys onboard for their first compilation, and Mark and Dom continued in the inclusive spirit. The wanton eclecticism of using their own productions 'Da Virus' and 'Da Antidote', nudging up alongside tracks from Masters at Work, Isolee, Soul Fusion and bumping heads with their own remixes of Basement Jaxx's 'Jump N Shout' and peers like the Plump's, not only demonstrate the broad influences that are drawn upon for their efforts in the studio, but reveal the diversity of your average Stanton Warrior DJ set, if there is such a thing! 'The Stanton Session' took the set into the homes of a great many beat loving folks though as it received massive critical and commercial success, picking up 'Best Compilation' awards for both Muzik Mag and Dancestar somewhere along the way.
In 2002 the Stanton's marked the next phase of their career signing to 679 Recordings, sending a clear signal to the music world that the Stanton Warriors are about to take things to the next level with a focus on their own production and giving a none too subtle hint at the scale of things to come shacking up in the same label stable as The Streets! It's from this desire to continue to push at the forefront of things that spawned Punks Music. To date Punks has seen the release of 'Break Me With You' / 'Reckless Dub', tracks that met with unprecedented attention, and the next instalment is ready to drop! In it's nascent stages Punks is quickly shaping up as a sound outlet for the wilder meanderings of the Warrior minds all on the grooving breaks tip defined by the Stanton themselves.
The Stanton Warriors have succeeded in not only bucking musical definition but have picked it up by the collar and kicked it's ass out of the music world. With their eclectic past and drawing on some traditional sounds of underground house, hip hop, electro and funk, they've mixed up the old and the new and come out with something bigger than the sum of its parts, namely the Stanton sound! Not many can claim to have defined a sound but Mark Yardley and Dominic B should definitely be there if there's ever a ruck on the subject. The Stanton Warriors have carefully honed a distinct sound that carves up dance floors through 4 corners of the world sounding fresh and bringing something new to the party. As Dom said at the start of it all when he first saw the reaction to one of their tracks at the Notting Hill Carnival 'Everybody was dancing'. We're a few years down the line but it's still about 'everybody' and 'dancing' - there's just more people at the party!