Calibre 'Second Sun Remastered' [full colour sleeve / incl. dl code] 4LP
Calibre's mighty wind has blown through the drum 'n' bass scene ever since his first tentative forays into production in 1998. As a trained musician and student of the genre, he quickly developed a unique sound that was warm, orchestral and hypnotic. Attracting the attention of tastemakers like Fabio, the Belfast-born producer and DJ was encouraged to work harder and faster on this liquid funk, resulting in what would become his signature sound. By the time his sophomore album, "Second Sun", came into orbit, Calibre was recognised as a shining star of the scene.
One of the few who had realised the potential of the album format, he crafted dubbed out house grooves, jazzier downtempo numbers, and introspective vocal-led tracks amongst the more trad tempos the largely dancefloor single-based genre was known for.
The album is awash with high points, from the anthemic "Drop It Down", to the more reflective MC tracks like "Timeout" and "Blink Of An Eye". Most producers would labour over such delicately balanced arrangements for weeks, but the fact that Calibre can knock such masterworks out in a matter of hours tells you how effortlessly and naturally his music comes to him.
"Working quickly gives me a unique and personal sound," says Calibre. "It also helps that I like to sample my own playing. Any type of instrument I could get my hands on, I'd record it live. Maybe quite badly, but I still did it. It helped create my own sound. If you can play an instrument, and you can play it with a little bit of passion and a little bit of love, it'll give you something back."
In the fourteen years that have passed (Second Sun dropped in October, 2005) Calibre has written more material than quite possibly anyone else in the scene, and this year shows no sign of him slowing up. Besides the usual wealth of remixes in the pipeline, and a forthcoming techno album on Craig Richards' label, a sixth Shelflife compilation of unreleased Calibre material will be dropping on his own Signature Records label. But for now, let's rewind the story, as the man himself takes us, track by track, through Second Sun.