Longevity in the dance music scene is hard to achieve but Alley Cat has managed to roll it out since 1997. From her DJing, to production, label work and as a director at ESP Agency she has managed to forge her way through the evolving state of the bass music scene over the last 13 years. The groundwork was set in motion many years before, when growing up, Alley spent time listening to her brother’s 80s vinyl releases and playing various instruments from clarinet to sax to guitar. The passion for music came about early and finally things were set in motion during the mid 90s when the electronic music scene was experiencing a ‘moment.’ For Alley Cat her time came in about 1995 when she first heard drum’n’bass and two years later she started DJing.
Her first drum’n’bass tune was released in 2000 and over the years others followed, including a collaboration with Native Minds on the legendary label Reinforced. Over the decade she DJed all over the globe, from Tel Aviv, to Hawaii, Reykjavik, Johannesburg, Moscow , her native San Francisco and back to London again, where she’s been planted for over 10 years. Along the way there has been various mix CDs released including a cover CD for KMag, several releases, managing a couple labels and working at ESP Agency. (see http://www.discogs.com/artist/Alley+Cat & http://www.rolldabeats.com/artist/alley_cat for more info’s).
2009 brought her first solo release on Offshore Recordings in the form of ‘Sweet Spot’ which inspired Alley Cat to really push the production forward and additionally start off her own imprint, Kokeshi, which has achieved a cult following in a fairly short amount of time.
Kokeshi was born with the desire to release Alley Cat’s own music but soon became much more. After the first release with two drum’n’bass tracks by Alley Cat (Drum’n’Lace / ‘Ice Box’) in digital format, things went onwards and upwards quickly. The Kokeshi ((pod)) kasts launched in summer 2009 and offered a moody electronic emotiveness linking dubstep and drum’n’bass together with ambient interludes. After only the 2nd edition it was already featured as ‘New & Notable’ in Itunes Podcasts and has gained more and more followers over the year.
Alley yearned to discover other young artists who share the same musical philosophies. These were featured in the Kokeshi ((pod)) kasts and offered a platform to test and showcase the new material. Having secured the epic dubstep tune ‘Afterlife’ by Lung, it brought the label to the next level after securing distribution with ST Holdings. As a top dubstep seller in numerous sales charts and featuring in the high selling and charting dubstep compilation ‘This is Dubstep Vol. 2’ it’s put Kokeshi on the map as a label with forward thinking music.
Alley Cat was back on production duties this time in the 140 bpm region for Kokeshi 003’s release, with Kiat. ‘Purple Clouds’ which was best described by Boomkat: ‘Electrified dubstep from Kiat & Alley Cat on Kokeshi. 'Purple Clouds' zooms Kraftwerk into a dubstep future populated by subbass shuddered zombies instead of robots...’ She has also done a tune with MC DRS (Runnin’ Away) which is shortlisted for his album forthcoming on Soul:r later this year. Future plans for the label include introducing more artists and a high profile remix project that will be announced soon. Kokeshi showcases have already taken place in London and Manchester with the aim to do more later in the year.
In the meantime Alley is keeping busy DJing as well since this year brought many high profile UK gigs including Hit & Run in Manchester, Detonate in Nottingham, Fabric and Hardware, In addition to regular trips to the continent, Alley Cat continues her long-standing residency at the legendary Icon Club in Berlin, where she has been holding court since 1999.
Daily Alley Cat is helping to run the boutique artist agency ESP, where she is looking after artists such as dBridge , Instra:mental, Kryptic Minds, Youngsta, S.P.Y , Marcus Intalex, Klute, Black Sun Empire, Calibre and many more. The agency is about to celebrate its 15th year in business, with Alley being on board since 2004.
As if all this isn’t enough, Alley Cat does the daily working-mum juggle as she is mother to an 8 year old daughter who keeps her busy, and grounded, every