2006. Stanton Warriors are the world's biggest breaks DJs.
Fighting off stiff competition from every badly-named trance jock in the world, they place inside DJmag's Top 100 DJs poll with not one of their breakbeat peers in sight. Having blazed a trail throughout every corner of the UK, it seems the world is catching up...
Flash back to 1998, when Stanton Warriors took garage and twisted it beyond all recognition. Disposing of the skippy, lightweight drums and sugar-sweet vocals they fashioned a new sound, where speaker-shattering basslines and massive beats rolled clubs harder than ever before. The purists coined it breakbeat garage, though the Warriors were always far too street-smart to be tied into any one genre.
Skip forward to 2001, the year the Warriors laid down a fresh new sound with their now-legendary compilation, Stanton Sessions. A statement of intent to those who sought to pigeonhole and tie down their sound, Dom & Mark took the breakbeat rulebook and ripped it to shreds. Signed to XL Recordings, home of The White Stripes, Prodigy and Basement Jaxx, the mix saw off competition from Fatboy Slim & Deep Dish to win best album at the Dancestar Awards, and, incredibly, again at the Muzik Magazine Awards, where they beat the likes of Dave Clarke & Danny Tenaglia.
Stanton Sessions went on to become the biggest selling breakbeat album of all time, a feat yet to be surpassed.
Overnight, Stanton Warriors became the hottest producers on the planet. Even today, no-one comes close to matching their string of high-profile remixes for such luminaries as Gorillaz (the biggest selling breakbeat bootleg of all time), Busta Rhymes, Fatboy Slim, Chicken Lips, Azzido Da Bass, Basement Jaxx, Mylo, Freeform Five, Apollo 440 and many more. They are also incomparable when it comes to working with vocalists. In a genre renowned for instrumentals, Stanton Warriors were flying out to LA and New York to work with the likes of Big Daddy Kane, Twista and The Beatnuts, in a bid to take breakbeat to the MTV generation.
"When we started out the breakbeat scene was so one-dimensional. Bringing in house, hip-hop and garage elements was crucial in tearing shit up.", laughs Dom.
Stanton Sessions prompted a fierce bidding war, resulting in Dom & Mark becoming the first breakbeat act ever to sign to a major label. However the deal went sour when the Stantons were told to compromise their musical identity so, after much legal wrangling, they upped and left for another major label. Two years on, this type of deal was still unheard of. The guys swapped Warner Music for V2, where their long-awaited debut album Lost Files was finally released to huge critical acclaim.
Alongside a huge track with The Beatnuts, the album features a killer collaboration with the UK's hottest talent Sway. It has enjoyed widespread support from MTV and Pete Tong, as well as daytime plays on Radio 1 and XFM, a massive and relatively unheard of achievement for a breakbeat act.
Recently, Dom & Mark were also asked to mix Fabric's milestone 30th compilation. Featuring a brand-new heap of exclusive material, it finds Stanton Warriors in what Dom describes as "Full-on minimal booty club mode. Fuck genres. We just want to do our own thing."
Amen to that.