TF Archives

Rob Playford

Author: Alias
Sunday, January 1, 1995
You may ask just who exactly Rob Playford is. This question is totallyunderstandable, because whilst Rob Playford may be the most importantman in drum and bass today, he keeps somewhat of a private profile.

Y'see, Rob Playford is the man in charge of the UK label, Moving Shadow,a label which is home to such acts as the E-Z Rollers, Flytronix, Domand Roland, Calyx, Successful Criminals, Technical Itch, Diablo, and theGuardians Of Dalliance to name but a few. This year, Moving Shadow hasenjoyed considerable success, with brilliant new albums from the likesof E-Z Rollers (Weekend World), Dom and Roland (Industry), and Flytronix(Archive).

But Playford is probably best known for his work with Goldie. Rob workedalongside El Goldo during the recording of the Timeless album. Playfordwould act as the high-tech interpreter, the man whose job it was tounderstand Goldie's complex thoughts and ideas and translate them tomusic. The working relationship between Goldie and Playford began in1993. Goldie, a would be TV presenter, met Rob when he was compiling apilot for a documentary on the dance scene. The two found they had a lotin common, both musically and personally. Tales were exchanged abouttheir shared experiences in the world of underground dance culture, andeventually the pair began to work together on tracks. Fury, was the nameof their first expedition in expertly sculptured breakbeat, which wasreleased on Moving Shadow back in 1993. Ideas evolved and in 1995 thetwo produced the definitive jungle track, the aptly titled, Timeless.Rob took time out from producing UK fabric popsters Corduroy at hisManic One studio to talk.

When you and Goldie produced Timeless, did you ever realise what you haddone, what you had started-

"Yeah, I mean even when we were making it, it just gripped us so much.We were listening to it all the time, all the strings and everythingwere just incredible. So, yeah it was obvious to me that it was going tobe something big, hence the name, we knew it was just going to lastforever. That tracks done its job, it's now a part of history, andthat's just were I want it to be."

Speaking of history, you have seen the complete evolution of drum andbass, and how do you think it has evolved through the decade. Styleshave come and gone (hello Speed Garage, Big Beat) yet drum and bass hasmanaged to avoid a backlash by continually progressing and diversifyinginto other areas-

"It has always had such strong roots, because it was ignored for solong. If people had jumped on it, in the early days, the same as theyhave with these other styles that have come along, then it might havebeen a different story. The thing is, all the media that was aroundafter the rave scene, it was all house minded people, and they reallycouldn't give a toss about talking about drum and bass. So we wentthrough a number, of years without getting any press, or very minimalpress, or anyone even knowing about our existence, and during that timeit just became such a huge underground thing. And I think the longer itstayed underground the thicker the roots got, so it's hard to knock itover, and you cannot class it just a fad, because it was an undergroundway of life for so long."

That's true, because you see people like Grooverider and DJ SS and KennyKen still releasing tracks now, and receiving some kind of success.Those guys have been involved in the scene since day one, and have nevercompromised at all in terms of staying true to themselves and the scene."Yeah definitely. The thing is that there is a core to the scene, andthere always has been. And it's pretty much the same people who havebeen in the scene since day one, actually there are a few more peoplewho have come along during that journey, and they have come along as aresult of the stuff we have done in the early days, but they've come onand are very eligible to be the a pa