“Sick.” Skream (Magnetic Man, BBC R1)
“I like it a lot. That’s the Hip Hop I love.” Maseo (De La Soul)
“This will mash up my dance.” Daddy G (Massive Attack)
“LOVE this” Mary Anne Hobbs (XFM)
These days you’d be most likely to find Hint cooking up a mixture of UK bass, house, funky and garage, getting props from people like Skream (Magnetic Man), Annie Mac (BBC R1), Mary Anne Hobbs (XFM), Benji B (BBC R1), DVA (Rinse / Hyperdub) & Toddla T (BBC R1 / Ninja Tune) but over the last decade he’s taken an ear-opening journey through downtempo beats, hip hop and electronica to get there. Here’s how the magic happened…
Hint’s first releases were on the Deep Water label. Shortly after the first promos of his debut EP ‘Beau Selector’ were circulated, Hint was invited to record Session for John Peel at the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios, which was broadcast in May 2002. He released his acclaimed debut album, ‘Portakabin Fever’, on Ninja Tune/Hombre, to widespread praise for his quirky and unique take on downtempo music.
Hint has been a good friend of Tru Thoughts for many a year now, his first release for the label (whilst still signed to Ninja Tune) being on the ‘Shapes One’ compilation with a track called “Back To The Wig” – a nod to the club night that Tru Thoughts label boss Robert Luis ran in Brighton on a Wednesday night at The Jazz Place between 1994-1999. In keeping with his ever-evolving sound, his first solo release on Tru Thoughts, “The Tremmuh” EP in 2005, was a vastly different, more dancefloor-orientated style. This dynamic EP surprised, but excited, many a new and old Hint fan.
November 2007 saw the release of his second EP on Tru Thoughts, “At the Dance”. This foot-stomping 12” shows a mix of dubstep, hip hop and big basslines whilst retaining elements of his classic downtempo style. It also featured collaborations with vocalist Laura Vane (who had been recording and touring with the Streets) and Zebra Traffic’s lyricist, Rup. This strong, hard hitting EP saw Hint rocking dance floors worldwide.
Hint’s killer remix of Me&You’s “Sneaker Thief” in early 2008 earned him more attention. After stirring up a host of reactions and enquiries from DJs and fans alike when it was made available as a limited download, it was given a highly anticipated vinyl release on the next EP in July 2008. Entitled “Driven From Distraction” and featuring collaborations with vocalists Laura Vane and Tru Thoughts label-mate Kinny, as well the 15 year-old Brighton based rapper, Rizzle – who went on to be one half of Rizzle Kicks – the EP was followed by a full-length CD album of the same name a few weeks later.
In 2009 he released two more dancefloor bombs on one EP, “C’mon Step” / “One Woman Army”. “One Woman Army” again featured vocals from the indomitable Laura Vane whilst “C’mon Step” was an out an out club banger of a tune bearing Hint’s trademark combination of heavy beats and marauding bassline madness.
Having launched a vocalist competition in conjunction with Soundcloud & iDJ in Summer 2010 he also released the first in his “Laboratory Series”, showcasing a move towards the UK Club sounds of Crack House and UK Funky, yet still finding room for an 80s electro, disco and boogie fuelled track that featured Honor Roll Crew’s Josie Stingray and 1-O.A.K on vocals.
March 2012 saw the release of an incredible new album, ‘Daily Intake’, which Hint has been developing at the same time as doing a huge number of high profile and acclaimed remixes, which have gained airplay from the likes of Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1. Amid this surge in awareness for the producer’s work, the album sees Hint finding his stride, asserting his signature sound and collaborating with US vocalists Josie Stingray and 1-O.A.K. in Oakland, T-Fly in Austin; and Natalie Storm from Kingston, Jamaica. From the UK, Hint also drafted in Profisee and labelmate Zed Bias. The first single to be lifted from ‘Daily Intake’, ‘Crash & Burn feat. Natalie Storm’, was released on limited editon 10” (Tru Thoughts first ever 10”) receiving support from Mary Anne Hobbs (XFM), Daddy G (Massive Attack), Laurent Garnier, Maseo & Mr Scruff. In the run up to album release he unleashed a four part mix series, two of which focused on the legendary Bristol Drum & Bass scene on the mid to late 90s.
A voracious record collector and highly skilled club DJ, Hint has played at venues across Europe, South Africa, Russia and Japan, he is also developing an exciting Ableton-based live show with dates confirmed for Dimensions Festival, Secret Garden Party and Shambala in the summer of 2012.