DJ Icey's breakbeat funk helped jump-start the increasingly fertile dance scene in and around Orlando, FL, during the '90s.
Born and raised in the Sunshine State, Icey first got into music via early-'80s synth pop, industrial, and hip-hop. The boom in club music during the late '80s hooked him as well, and when he began DJing early in the '90s, he usually played out acid house and funky breaks. He gained a residency at The Edge, one of Orlando's seminal clubs, and soon began playing farther afield thanks to the burgeoning U.S. dance underground. (The club later went under, though not before hosting the Chemical Brothers
' first American appearance, an invite extended by Icey himself.) When British DJ and longtime A&R kingpin Pete Tong
heard an early single produced for Icey's own Zone Records in 1996, he signed the big-beat precursor Galaxy Breaks to his ffrr label. Even while spinning in several cities per week, DJ Icey managed to produce a good dozen singles per year for Zone, usually out of his studio in Orlando. His first major mix set, 1997's The Funky Breaks, was followed one year later by his full-length production debut Generate. Following in the footsteps of notable DJs from Tong
to Fatboy Slim
, DJ Icey released a volume in the Essential Mix series in 2000. Three years later, DJ Icey returned with his slickest breakbeat effort to date. Different Day appeared on System in March 2003. ~ John Bush, Rovi