Lancashire-born producer Sam Shackleton, now resident in Berlin, emerged in the mid 00s just as dubstep began its international spread. He operated the influential label Skull Disco with Appleblim from 2005-08 and launched another imprint, Woe To The Septic Heart!, in 2010.
Shackleton played in punk bands when growing up and brings the DIY, no-holds-barred ethos to his solo work while embracing an idiosyncratic darkness and fragility. Since his earliest record – Stalker, released as a single sided 7” on the Mordant Music label in 2004 – Shackleton has been an outlier. His singular approach to music making sets his productions apart from dubstep and other genres; he crafts an identifiable aesthetic without shuttering his sound into a particular style. One of the most successful “crossover” stories of dubstep, Shackleton has collaborated with Ricardo Villalobos, T++, and others far removed from South London’s bass scene.
Shackleton’s music has been released on labels including Hotflush, Perlon, Fabric, and Honest Jon’s. After regular appearances at London’s Fabric, 2010 saw the release of a Fabric mix CD (Fabric 55), a collage of original material, much of it unreleased. Shackleton’s most recent published work is the sprawling box set of grotesque dub madness entitled Music for the Quiet Hour / The Drawbar Organ EPs (Woe to the Septic Heart, 2012).