SOUR Records

SOUR Records

The story of SOUR Records started way back in 1985 when `a `guy called Dave Stone, co-owner oF SOUR, was living in Amsterdam, Holland. At this time his business was the jewellery trade, jetting oFF to Thailand once a~'month to buy supplies, then returning to Amsterdam to sell it on Whilst living in Amsterdam, Dave became involved in a band and it was through this association that he rnet Norton Blue, who is the other half of SOUR Records. As time went on Dave and Norton carne to know each other better, Dave became aware that he and Norton shared the same musical vision...

So in 1986 they both decided to leave Amsterdam and return to London to pursue a musical career. They met up with another musician called Aaron who played the saxophone and became part of the band. The breaks then were few and far between and after much discussion the trio decided to fly out to Thailand where Dave had many contacts and friends. At this time the Thai music consisted of The Beatles, Rod, Stewart, etc. Dave Norton and Aaron quickly set about putting together a demo tape. Armed with their demo tape they met up with Gasten Goosens who worked for Clarke Technique, who are big audio company in Thailand. Impressed with their work, Gasten decided to allocate them some studio time. The boys called their band The Big E and went on to record an album entitled `Mightier Than Mike', featuring the iron man Mike Tyson on the album cover. After a couple of years in Thailand and with an album under their belts, the boys returned to England to see what response they would get from the album. Unfortunately the response was not good, indeed it was very bad. It seemed that the past three years were completely wasted.

It was now 1989 and Dave was penniless and back in London. He got himself a job at a youth hostel where he earned £60 a week. Still driven by his love of music, Dave invested £40 towards studio time and the other £20 towards food. Together with his friend Norton they formed a new band called KTP and recorded a new demo tape. They met up with the A&R man for Beggars Banquet aka XL Recordings, Nick Hawkes, who got KTP signed to Dave Lee (Joey Negro). Soon after they signed, Tim Jefferys, a music journalist for the Record Mirror, gave them some major press coverage. This exposure lead to a £40,000 publishing deal with Virgin Publishing. The ball was beginning to roll, Dave and Norton's persistence seemed to be finally paying off. Then, out of the blue, Republica Records whom they were signed to, suddenly went bankrupt leaving the group in a publishing deal they could not free themselves from due to legal reasons. In the meantime, the boys not content with sitting still bought their own equipment and set up a studio in the Kings Cross area of London, and they named it Trinity Studios. Months later, to their surprise, an amazing piece of luck came their way when Virgin Publishing was bought by EMI, freeing them from their contract. This was great news and meant they could forge ahead with their own project.

By 1990 Trinity Recordings were formed and incorporated a branch off Dance ohentated label called `DJ Only'. This dance label was run by SOUR employee and artist, Levi. The first signing on the DJ Only label was a group called Bass Selective. They released a track called `SFK' which translated as `Southern Fried Kickin'. SFK was a 4 track EP and the B -side had a track called `You Had It' featuring Elizabeth Troy, which became an anthem. Further releases on the DJ Only label were from Bass Selective (second release) and Gangsta Kid (third release). In December 1992 Shy FX came onto the scene. He started out as a trainee studio engineer in the Trinity Studios, but was sacked by Dave Stone as Shy did not like the mundane side of the job, such as cleaning and making tea. After a long discussion between Dave and Shy it was decided that Shy would, be allowed to work in the studio and produce his own tracks. It was. Shy. who co-wrote and produced with his friends Gunsmoke, the third release on `DJ Only' records, the infamous `Gangsta Kid'. This track provoked amazing reaction from the scene as it sold out within three days of going on sale!

At the end of 1993 SOUR signed another artist to the ranks, in the form of T-Power who was previously in Bass Selective. T-Power had written a track called "Lipsing Jamming" which at the, time was a personal favourite of DJ Grooverider. It has often been said that this track was one of the innovators of the Drum & Bass scene as we know it. At the time of its release sales were low, as Ragga Jungle was the `in' thing ardd T-Powers' style was wider scale Drum & Bass. But since then sales have reached over 31,000 since `deep' Drum & Bass from the likes of LTJ Bukem and Fabio catapulted the music to its current status. After the T-Power project, SOUR released two Ragga Jungle tracks and it wasnt long before SOUR Records were stereotyped as a Ragga Jungle label. This was not a fair reflection of the SOUR teams vision. It was in 1994 that Vince Medley, the A&R man at SOUR, set up a meeting with a rapper called UK Apachi. `This led to a studio session between UK Apachi and SOUR's Shy FX. Little did the SOUR crew know that this young rapper had been secretly putting together a track with the same rhythms from the Gangsta Kid record. It took just one studio take for Shy FX and UK Apachi to construct a track everybody has heard, yes you guessed it, `Original Nuttah'. The SOUR team promptly listened to the result of this session and were completely blown away, realising ~they had a hit on their hands.

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