Martin Clark (better known as Blackdown) is, along with his partner-in-crime Dusk, a key figure in the Dubstep story. Together they have been contributing to the ‘scene’ for over a decade – as clubbers, a production duo and owners of the established ‘Keysound’ imprint. After falling in love with the UK Garage scene, Clark was at the original FWD>> parties where DJs began to explore the darker shades of 2-Step. He and Dusk began producing Dubstep for the club night and the scene growing around it, and in 2005 they formed their own label Keysound on which to release. Their first record was ‘Drenched/Submerge’, which was followed up by a series of their original productions over the following couple of years. In 2006 the duo landed their regular Rinse FM show, the station on which they still host once a month.
After the release of their debut album, Dusk & Blackdown moved the label into new territory by signing external music. Over the releases that followed the label’s aesthetic expended but remained cohesive – combining elements of UK Garage, Dubstep, Grime, Funky and even Jungle into something refreshing. This chapter (roughly 2008-11) was followed by what Blackdown has described as the label’s ‘third wave’ which began around the time of Bias & Gurley’s ‘Roll’ release. The label’s two recent compilations – ‘This Is How We Roll’ and ‘Certified Connections’ showcase the strength of this new sound, which sits more settled at 130BPM.
Blackdown has also been running his own Blogspot page for a decade. It is regularly updated with insightful articles, interviews and detailed tracklists for previous Keysound radio shows and sets.