He’s one of the most established and beloved drum and bass producers in the scene and is a driving force behind the biggest label in drum and bass, Hospital Records. This Friday, London Elektricity (aka Tony Colman) will add yet another achievement to his illustrious Hospital Records career with the long awaited debut of Shockout Festival - a brand new musical venture alongside famous bass music promoters in RUN, The Blast and On A Mission.
The roots of Hospital Records stem back to 1996, when Tony Colman and Chris Goss formed London Elektricity with the plan of using Hospital as an avenue to push only their music. Drawing in regular session musicians over the years, London Elektricity quickly developed a fresh style of drum and bass that steadily snowballed into a recognisable sound embodying funk and soul driven melodies.
Roll on two decades and Hospital Records has transformed into one of the most acclaimed brands in dance music, along with a sister imprint in Med School and Tony continuing to push London Elektricity as a solo act, while also performing spectacular live shows as London Elektricity Live and the London Elektricity Big Band.
To celebrate Hospital’s upcoming milestone, we picked out some of London Elektricity’s most influential productions over the years.
Song In The Key of Knife
It’s near impossible to pick London Elektricity’s best track, but what is certain is that ‘Song In The Key of Knife’ was the first one to really start turning heads in the industry. The thrilling 11 minute composition was the title track to London Elektricity’s debut album Pull The Plug. The energetic drum intro and funky bassline resembles the foundations Hospital Records was built on and represents Tony Colman’s boisterous personality. From running across the stage at every Hospitality event imaginable, to shredding air guitar while behind the decks. This was only the beginning for London Elektricity and Hospital Records.
Billion Dollar Gravy
‘Billion Dollar Gravy’ was not only a massive track for London Elektricity, it was also a crucial album. Released in 2003, it was the first London Elektricity output following Chris Goss’ departure from the group in 2002 to take more of an active role in managing Hospital Records. Tony Colman continued under the alias and during the making of ‘Billion Dollar Gravy’, the session musicians become such a prominent part of the production, so much so that Tony took the decision to transform London Elektricity into something even more unique - a live act featuring jazz and soul singers Liane Carroll and the late Diane Charlemagne, vocalist MC Wrec, co-producer Landslide, The Jungle Drummer, Andy Waterworth and Robert Owens.
Remember The Future
In 2005, Tony Colman announced that London Elektricity had no plans to continue playing as a live act. This led to the release of Power Ballads in the same year, an album responsible for one of London Elektricity’s most beloved tracks - ‘Remember The Future’. The fun and energetic vibe surging through the track portrays the enthusiasm and joy London Elektricity has always oozed in productions and during performances. Featuring sensational vocals courtesy of Liane Carroll and an 80s disco melody, this straight up club banger has been resonating throughout Hospitality dance floors for many years.
Just One Second
Beautiful, mesmerising, euphoric, it’s hard to put into words just how special this track is. Arguably the most iconic London Elektricity track ever made, ‘Just One Second’ has found a cherished place in many people’s hearts spanning across the entire dance music spectrum. Taken from London Elektricity’s 2008 Syncopated City, the dreamy vocals combined with a hard-hitting breakbeat backbone perfectly create a catching energetic melody. With special remixes from the likes of Apex and Mitekiss, the track has made it to Hospital Records legendary status. With Apex sadly passing away last year, ‘Just One Second’ is now even more heartfelt to both Tony and the whole of the drum and bass community, and will forever be remembered as one of the greatest pieces of music in Hospital’s history.
Why Are We Here? (feat. Liane Carroll)
What better way to finish than to go back to a combination that has been going strong since the beginning of London Elektricity? In 2015 Tony astonishingly released album number seven - Are We There Yet? - featuring exciting new vocal talents and up and coming producers. But one familiar name that returned once again on the album was Liane Carroll, who’s been a part of the entire London Elektricity journey. From the funky guitar riff and Liane’s powerful vocal hooks, to the hilarious music video of Tony on his bicycle and fans from all walks of life singing segments of the song, the song perfectly demonstrates the feel good factor Hospital Records has always conveyed.
London Elektricity plays the inaugural Shockout on Saturday 24th February, and then has both Hospitality In The Dock and Hospitality On The Beach to look forward to in the coming months.
Photo courtesy of London Elektricity
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