Calyx biography

Last update: 2008-03-27 10:38:30

South London-based Larry Cons first appeared on the DnB scene at the start of 1998, but his history as an accomplished musician dates back to early childhood. Having studied 5 instruments from a young age, Larry has worked on projects and bands in several genres, perhaps most prominently as a guitarist in numerous Jazz and Funk bands, including his own eight-piece outfit 'Octane'. Whilst he had set his sights on establishing himself as a professional jazz guitarist, that was all to change whilst studying in Oxford from 1993-'98. Having first become obsessed with DnB in his early years at university, Larry eventually succumbed to the urge to produce his own tracks, and in 1996, he decided to team up with fellow musician, friend, and like-minded DnB fanatic, Chris Rush. Thus the original Calyx duo was born.

Having spent most of their grants and several student loans buying the studio equipment on which to record their ideas, serious work on tracks began in 1997. After putting together a demo tape of 7 tracks, they mailed their work to several labels, and it wasn't long before the calls started coming in. Releases were quickly lined up with No-U-Turn, Rugged Vinyl, and of course, Moving Shadow; their home for the years ahead! The dark and swirling 'Cubic/Narcisis' (AC001) was the first release to launch Moving Shadow's sister label Audio Couture in February 1998. Soon after Rugged Vinyl released 'Fallout/Venom' (Rugged23) and No-U-Turn included 'Slink' on the Saigon LP (SAGLP01). This was followed swiftly by the massive 'Techtonic/Recall' (Shadow118), which was released in March that year.

Late May 1998 saw the release of 'Double Zero/The Root' (AC005) which gained excellent press and set the scene for 'Megalomania/ Whole Tone' (AC08) and the much-heralded 'Distopia/ Octane' (AC012). This track, accompanied by a video played countless times on MTV, spelt out a dark vision of the future, and with swirling bass and hard-stepping beats building into a slab of twisted funk, it always induced dancefloor devastation. Next up was 'Cabin Fever/Reaction Time' (AC016) an angry tech-distorted affair that pushed the Calyx sound even further, along with their reworking of the E-Z Rollers' huge hit and album title-track 'Weekend World' (Shadow 122R).

1999 saw 'Acid Blues/Trap Door' (AC22), 'Code Red/Diablo' (Shadow 139) & the inclusion of 'Fortune Cookie' on the highly acclaimed 'Drumfunk Hooligans 2' (Ashadow24) mix album compiled by the E-Z Rollers. Calyx continued their affliation with label-mates E-Z Rollers by releasing a 12" on their label Intercom; 'Feedback/Calibrate' (ICOM005). After an astounding remix of The Bombdroppers 'Once In Our Lifetime' (Rugged25), the boys were also asked to remix the awesome old school classic 'Durban Poison' by Babylon Timewarp (Rugged 26) ? an honour that also showed how much their reputation in the scene was gathering momentum.

The turn of the millennium witnessed massive changes and incident for both Larry and Chris. The year started with the third instalment in the popular limited edition MSXEP series with 'The Catapult EP' featuring 'Catapult / Reshuffle / Transition / Decompression' (MSXEP003) and following 12 inch (Shadow149). It was to be the last release from the Calyx as a two-piece as Chris decided he was to quit making music professionally and pursue a different path. Larry made up his mind to carry the flag forward and began to develop a more organic refined Calyx sound of his own. What Larry hadn't accounted for was an unexpected twist in the plot for 2000. Having just started work on his first solo material, a 'freak frisbee accident', left him with 3 dislocated neck vertebrae, damaged cartiledge and a world of pain! Ahead lay endless x-rays, consultations and six months flat on his back in a collar. Rarely has the phrase 'happy as Larry' seemed more inappropriate!

The first solo material emerged from the streamlined calyx studios in late 2000 in the shape of 'The Downpour EP' (Downpour / Quagmire / Ripe / Exchange) (MSXEP7) and following 12 inch (Shadow 149). This new sound was immediately gathering the attention of Djs across the board of DnB, as Calyx continued to fly the flag for Moving Shadow and ensured that the label continued to reflect the evolving sound of DnB into the new millennium.

The next two years witnessed the Calyx sound pushing further afield, with many of the scene's players on Larry's case for new material to release. A stunning debut Metalheadz 12' 'Leviathan / Mindfold' (METH048), was soon followed by 'The Wasteground EP' featuring 'Wasteground / Kingdom / Deviation/ Mirror Image' (MSXEP18), the title track being chosen by the one and only Grooverider as the closing track on his highly acclaimed 'FABRICLIVE' compilation.

Fast forward to 2003, and having lined up a succession of big releases for Goldie's Metalheadz imprint, Bryan Gee's V recordings (V034) and of course Moving Shadow, Larry's reputation was now reaching unchartered territory, with all of his material making it's way into almost every main player's sets. It was clear that he was finally receiving the props he so richly deserved. On Moving Shadow, a stunning collaboration with Dom & Roland 'Pnuematix / See the Light' (Shadow 167) caused a storm on dancefloors worldwide, and was soon followed by the hugely successful 'Killa EP' featuring 'Killa/ Collision Course/ Ascension/ Just You' (MSXEP27). Meanwhile the Metalheadz release schedule continued to feature regular calyx releases; firstly Erased From Existence (featuring Kontrol) on the MDZ03 album, and then a massive Calyx EP featuring 'Inner Distance / Fear This / Dark Night (feat Kontrol) / Headhunter (feat OB1)' (METH055).

2004 proved to be an astonishingly prolific year for Calyx in the studio. Larry knew it was at last time to embark on the long-awaited debut album, and having decided to take some time out from the DJ circuit and focus all of his time on production, the results were spectacular. In addition to a mass of solo work, Larry also made some mouth-watering collaborations; with Teebee, ill.skillz, Gridlok, Dom & Roland and Kontrol. By the end of the year, an astonishing release schedule had been drawn up, and with a staggering volume of dubs being hammered by the DnB elite, demand for the Calyx sound had reached fever-pitch. The end of the year witnessed two 'pre-album' 12's as a taste of what was to come ? firstly the massive 12 with Teebee featuring 'Cyclone/Follow The Leader' (Shadow173) and then 'Are You Ready/Tearing Us Apart' (Shadow176). With every track establishing a massive reputation, three of the tracks were used by Rockstar games as the soundtracks to a global advertising campaign for the latest instalment in the massive 'Midnight Club' series, with Follow The Leader featuring on a lengthy TV commercial that gained huge publicity by being given blanket prime-time coverage for several months in every world territory.

In 2005 the fruits of an amazing year of production were unleashed: the debut Calyx album on Moving Shadow; 'No Turning Back' was hailed by many as the highlight of 2005. Featuring 6 stunning solo tracks, 4 collaborations (with Teebee, Gridlok, and ill.skillz), and remixes by Dom & Roland and Hive & Gridlok (remixing together for the first time!), every track gained massive DJ support and the album was in such high demand that three represses had to be made in the first 6 months following it's release. Given Larry's established reputation and strengths as a DJ, it's not suprising that the release of the album was followed by a deluge of bookings for an album world tour that continued for the rest 2005; two U.S. tours, two Australian tours, and countless European dates ensured that the Calyx sound spread far and wide. As the reputation and demand for Calyx's DJ sets continued to build through the year, Moving Shadow decided to employ Calyx's skills on the decks for the latest edition of the Moving Shadow Sampler CD Series (MS05.2). The release of the mix album also coincided with the release of a highly-acclaimed 12' on the ultra-exclusive Metalheadz Platinum imprint; 'True Identity / The Fix' (METPLA004), as well as a stunning remix of Echo's 'Out Of Time' for Hive's highly-respected Violence Recordings (VIO018).

2006 witnessed some massive Calyx releases: a phenomenal collaboration with Hive & Gridlok on Violence (Event Horizon) was soon followed by the long-awaited debut 12' on Calyx & Kontrol's new label 'Thunderous Audio' (Set Me Free / Drums Take Control). A monstrous track with ill.skillz on Brigand (Colours of Noize) was released in multiple formats and was accompanied by a spectacular video on the CD release. One of the landmark releases of the year was The Quest with Teebee which featured on the historic 50th release for Subtitles and is yet another Calyx track to feature on Andy C's landmark Nightlife series.

2007 proved to be a phenomenal year with the launch of a new label from Calyx & TeeBee, marking its first release with not just a 12' or an E.P., but with an entire album of Calyx & Teebee collaborations released on 4-piece Vinyl and CD. The Anatomy LP topped sales charts for weeks on end and was followed by a massive album World Tour of back-to-back Calyx & TeeBee sets.

The deluge of bookings for Calyx DJ sets and back-to-back sets with TeeBee affirmed that demand for their sound had reached unprecedented heights, but with 127 gigs in just 10 months, Larry found it impossible to spend the amount of time he wanted in the studio. As a result, he decided to book 3 months off from touring to lock himself away in the studio and get back to immersing himself in production.

Calyx & TeeBee are now working on their second collaborative album ? an LP which will see them branch into new genres with one half of the LP being DnB and the other half comprising a wide range of styles. Expect a Vinyl triple pack of the 6 DnB cuts, and all 12 tracks released on CD and mp3. 2 mouth-watering remixes of tracks from the Anatomy LP are currently in progress by 2 highly-acclaimed artists and will feature on a Momentum 12? prior to the new LP's release.

In addition to their ventures into new styles of music, Calyx & TeeBee have been pushing for more of their joint sets to feature 6 decks and 2 mixers, with both DJ's in action simultaneously. They first performed with this setup at a legendary event in Moscow, October 2007. Since then they have made a further 8 performances on 6 to 8 decks and 2 mixers. With each gig they have discovered more permutations, possibilities and ideas whilst developing an understanding that generates both spontaneous and choreographed moments. Calyx and TeeBee find it by far the most exciting, enjoyable and expressive way they have ever performed and are now looking to make every joint booking feature this setup. Rest assured, you will never have heard or seen a DnB performance like it!

Words by Alex Burton


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