Ollie Jones had the good fortune to be working at the Big Apple record store when he first started making beats at age 15 and armed with a cracked copy of the Fruity Loops music-making software.
Big Apple was at the center of the early development of U.K. garage's dark, half-speed offshoot dubstep before it was even called dubstep, and it was at Big Apple that Jones, who recorded as Skream, met fellow beatsmiths Benga and Hatcha. Hatcha was a DJ at the seminal club Forward and was only too happy to debut the dubplates of both Skream and Benga's early recordings. Their music took the tension and release formula of dance music, removed the release and layered in more tension instead. With slow and pounding basslines and wobbly treble they were creating a kind of music that summoned and summed up feelings of urban paranoia, but in an enjoyable way. Emphasizing the sub-bass made them popular with clubbers, but they were also popular with bloggers. Championed and spread by word of mouth on the Internet Skream went straight from being a name in Croydon to being known around the world. When the owner of Big Apple founded a label to give a home to the albums of dubstep artists, Skream was one of those who released material on it, including his breakout classic track "Midnight Request Line." His first full-length album, Skream!, was released in 2006 on the Tempa label. ~ Jody Macgregor, Rovi