'Tadd Mullinix began to DJ in galleries and clubs while composing music with a personal computer and synthesizers after seven years of playing classical cello and various instruments in punk bands. Disenchanted with reading sheet music and playing in ensembles, he positioned himself for a career in arranging and editing his own digital recordings.
After he met Todd Osborn at Dubplate Pressure, a record store in Ann Arbor which Osborn owned, the two started a ragga-jungle style drum 'n bass label called Rewind! Records. They wrote and produced nine twelve-inch vinyl singles under the names Soundmurderer (Osborn) & SK-1 (Mullinix). Several years later, the drum 'n bass world witnessed a wave of ragga-jungle reinterpretations. Rewind! singles were repressed on UK vinyl and reissued by Aphex Twin's Rephlex label.
Soon, Mullinix relocated to Ann Arbor and started working at Dubplate Pressure, where he met Sam Valenti IV, owner of the then young Ghostly International record label. Mullinix produced music of contrasting styles and created aliases in order to distinguish his projects. To Ghostly, he signed music for these aliases:
Charles Manier - influenced by groups like Talking Heads, Liaisons Dangereuses and Severed Heads.
James T. Cotton – dance music in the styles of jacking house and Detroit techno.
Dabrye - hip hip influenced by J Dilla and other golden era beat-makers.
Tadd Mullinix - experimental and braindance electronica that draws inspiration from artists like Aphex Twin, Autechre, Morton Subotnick, post-Second World War classical and avant guard composers.
Being asked often why he created separate aliases and didn't combine his projects under one name, Mullinix found that there was an illusion that electronic music must be too quickly evolving to refer to its own heritage. He had the view that it was time where the accessibility to computer technology should be stoking creativity, and that electronic music, despite its young evolutionary line as a genre, was still dependent on its context or heritage in order to be effective or subversive. This was in reaction to what he saw; a popular perception that the state of electronic music is spawned from new ideas rather than what he saw it to truly be: a recombining of elements from existing styles. In his opinion, popular music is riddled with elements that are severed from their origin and often combined haphazardly by those engaged by a trend-focused culture.
His James T. Cotton project (sometimes called J.T.C.) has played a leading part in a movement that draws inspiration from dirty soulful beats of disco, house and techno pioneers. His collaborations with Todd Osborn, D'marc Cantu and Traxx result in a sound that is in stark contrast to a recent long streak of clinical homogeneous trendy techno, and flashy saccharin club music.
As Dabrye, his collaboration with the late James Yancey (aka J Dilla) on the single “Game Over” became a Detroit underground anthem and lead to notoriety for his achievements in the hip hop world. While this project brought light to the connection between hip hop and electronic music, it is viewed as having influenced a shift in electronic music from having rigid quantized rhythms to a loose humanized feel. On his album Two/Three he made a musical statement against funkless formulaic glitch-hop, by producing beats that contain less ornamental beat trickery. Also to help him achieve this he collaborated with notable MCs such as MF Doom, Waajeed, Vast Aire, AG, Guilty Simpson, Wildchild, Invincible, Finale, Kadence, Big Tone and of course J Dilla & Phat Kat.
Mullinix recently performed at the University of Michigan John Cage's “Indeterminacy” with Laura Kuhn, director of the John Cage Trust.