Calibre, birth name Dominick Martin, is a drum and bass and liquid funk, music producer and DJ hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He started producing at a young age. He is a classically trained musician, playing a variety of musical instruments. Martin started producing Drum and Bass in 1995 and his first signed release was credited under the now defunct Quadrophonic label.
He soon came to the attention of drum and bass DJ Fabio, who signed Calibre to his Creative Source label. While studying Fine Arts at the University of Ulster in Belfast, he became interested in the music of John Cage whose work was influential in titling Martin’s first album release Musique Concrète in 2001. Since his initial releases in 2001, Martin has been known for his consistent signature style and sound.
Short Circuits Magazine refers to him as "one of the quietest people in drum and bass". He shares tracks with only a small circle of friends. Martin has no website or even any blog presence to distribute his tracks online.
Over 20 years of music production, he has self-published over 60 singles and 10 albums. Also, according to UKF as of 2014, none of his original productions have ever been officially remixed.
In 2003, Martin decided to launch a self-published record label, Signature Records, which became his vehicle for publishing his music. Martin states, "There won't be any other artists on the label for the foreseeable future". For a few years the label's website ran of the back of Soul:R, the record label he ran alongside Marcus Intalex. With the Soul:R website receiving very few updates since 2006, Calibre has published most of his work and news through his own MySpace page which he however deleted in early July 2011.
November 2005 marked Martin's second full-length album release, through the Signature label, entitled Second Sun. Second Sun was released after much anticipation following his 2001 release. He stated, "I look upon my move to Logic as a process in the studio to be a second part of the story. But having said that, the 22nd is my birth date, it's my second album, I'm the second son in the family, this is the second phase production wise but for me its nothing to do with numerology, its more to do with reinvention, a new life." The album Second Sun is regarded by those working in and those listening to drum and bass as a landmark release for the genre. On 17 September 2008, BBC 1Xtra drum and bass DJ Bailey gave special praise to the title track of the album, noting it as the tune of the festival for Sun and Bass 2008, a dedicated drum and bass festival which is held in Sardinia.
In October 2007, Martin released Shelflife a retrospective album featuring 21 unreleased productions spanning from 1998-2005.
Martin released Overflow in Spring 2008. Overflow features vocals from Martin himself, along with his artwork.
In January 2009 there were final confirmations from S.T Holdings and Calibre's MySpace, Shelf Life Vol. 2 was to be released on 11 May 2009. Another retrospective album including the long lasting dubplates "Life" and "Why Time". As with previous albums, this release featured few guest artists, but there were vocal contributions from Lariman and MC D.R.S..
Again, as with previous albums, this was a double album. It also includes many downtempo tracks.
Very soon after the release of Shelf Life Vol. 2, Calibre stated he would be releasing his long anticipated downtempo album, Shine a Light. In October 2009 S.T Holding announced it to be released on Monday 16 November. Calibre stated that he has wanted to release a downtempo album for the last 2 years, but decided to release his second retrospective album first. “I have spent over 10 years writing music, the majority of my work being drum and bass, so i wanted to write an album that wasn’t attached to a particular musical genre; to me it felt like feeling my way in the dark”
Released in October 2011, Condition was described by Mixmag magazine as “a shape-shifting trove of wonders that leaps ambitiously from the serene to the brutal”, awarded Drum ′N′ Bass album of the month and rated 5/5.
Calibre himself describing this album:
"Condition is my drum and bass follow up to "Even If", I originally wanted to make an album that was more dance floor influenced, to have a more light hearted approach, in some ways it has that, but I couldn’t stop myself from making the deeper material, for years i have wrestled with the subtle side of drum and bass, my journey has been one that tries to attain the simple groove, to keep removing the layers of this music, this album is an expression of this, and how im still feeling the underdog waiting for the cycle……. it came about as it always has and that's the way its supposed to, enjoyable and moving fast to discover the stillness."
In 2013 Calibre released the album Valentia under his own name, Dominick Martin. The album was titled after Valentia Island, located off of the south-western coast of Ireland, where much of it was recorded. Martin, who brought with him only a laptop and microphone, said of the location: "in one of the rooms sat a piano, and as my fingers touched the keys I knew there was a story there waiting to be told. The sound of the piano in that place was something very magical as 100mph winds battered the house and interrupted my recordings."
In a 12 April 2013 interview with DJ Magazine, he described the project in more detail: "This album is like a singer/songwriter album, it’s like its own big story in itself. I went to the West Coast of Ireland and there was this big storm brewing, and I was scared to death, and I was writing out of fear, it was crazy. I wrote this album down there, I sampled a piano and it’s exactly that material that brings me away from drum & bass.” Valentia was released digitally as well as in a limited physical CD and Vinyl release through Signature records on 15 July 2013.
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