Before 2012 Duke Dumont was known as a ‘producer’s producer’. He was the name on a 12” record the DJ knew to reach for when he wanted to please the crowd, without them knowing who had constructed the mesmerising sonic confection they were dancing too.
In 2012, two EPs on Tiga’s Turbo Recordings (with whom Duke has had a long standing relationship) changed all that. ‘For Club Play Vol. 1 & 2’ offered up sweet ecstatic deep house & UK bass cuts that have united people across the spectrum of music, from early club adopters like Annie Mac, Erol Alkan, Diplo, Martyn and Jackmaster to Fearne Cotton on daytime Radio 1, Trevor Nelson on 1xtra and even podcasts by Tiesto and Avicci. On some nights in Duke’s beloved Fabric London, you would hear the anthemic ‘The Giver’ being played in all three rooms at the same time.
Duke’s early career was mentored by Switch (last sighted producing for Beyoncé) and he made his name as the ‘go-to’ man to remake a pop song for the dance floor (Lily Allen and Bat For Lashes were notable clients). In 2011, he moved out of London to the countryside (Hertfordshire, where his studio overlooks a forest) to focus on his original material.
Synthesising his influences from techno to UK garage and house he brought back goodies from this zen-like exile. ‘For Club Play Only Vol. 1 & 2′ on Turbo Recordings made Duke the man to watch. ‘The producer’s producer’ had become the ‘people’s producer’.
In 2013 Dumont topped the UK charts on his newly minted Blasé Boys Club label, with the now Grammy nominated ‘Need U (100%)’ featuring A*M*E* on singing duties & co-written by teenage wonder-kid MNEK. With a chunky low-end, funky stabs and silky vocals this is like an early 90s house classic couched in 2013 techno techniques. In 1988 Inner City would have been jealous of this one. The most played song on Radio 1 / 1Xtra in the UK, #1 on Billboard’s National Club Chart, had Duke performing at over 200 live shows around the world and the official video has now surpassed 17 million views on YouTube.
Having ended last year signing an album deal with Virgin Records, Duke’s been in the studio nailing his debut offering. New single ‘I Got U’, featuring the first Blasé Boys Club signing, fellow producer Jax Jones, promises to shake up the dance too.