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King Unique are two guys called Matt who make rough-edged dirty house music, Matthew Roberts and Matt “Watkins” Thomas, a pair of studio junkies with a taste for bulldozer beats and sick synthesizers.
Over the last five years their records, remixes and re-edits have hit home with house-heads, nu-ravers and electro-rockers alike, being championed by everyone from Sasha to Soulwax, Danny Howells to Tiesto, and Pete Tong to Zane Lowe. Their music has turned up everywhere from Hollywood soundtracks to mobile ringtones, not to mention countless compilations and mix albums.
Their decks’n’fx DJ sets have made them regulars in some of the world’s most respected clubs and biggest festivals, while the "King Unique Broadcast" radio mix series regularly airs to countries across the globe. 2006 has seen them starting their own residency, "Curfew Time" at London's Turnmills, bringing Loud Electronic Dirt to the capital.
King Unique hit the floor running in 2001, claiming the title of Undisputed Remix Champs by scoring five Essential New Tunes in five months on Pete Tong’s BBC Radio 1 show. The King Unique sound has been in constant demand since, appearing on dozens of remixes including King Dong sized floor-fillers such as Underworld’s “Two Months Off”, Las Vegas rockers The Killers’ “Somebody Told Me”, Planet Funk’s “The Switch”, Mutiny’s “The Virus”, Jamiroquai’s “You Give Me Something”, The Freemasons’ "Love On My Mind", Luke Slater’s “Nothing At All”, and Chable and Bonicci’s “Ride”. Most recently King Unique have reworked Teamsters "Feels Like Love", Mish Mash's "Speechless", and Suicide Sports Club's “I Don't Know”.
The productions make for an equally impressive line-up; "Dirty", "Sugarhigh", "Lighters" and new cut "Flashing Lights". “Obscene, dirty, filthy, immoral” set out the King Unique agenda on “Dirty” by Dirty, the first of a series of singles released on Junior Boys Own. Next they raised the stakes with “Sugarhigh”, a track dreamt up in a tiny techno bar in Tokyo whilst under the influence of too much vodka and too little sleep. A melodic powerhouse of a track that fused classic house and melodic Detroit vibes, “Sugarhigh” gave KU a sixth Essential New Tune. The next King Unique single “Lighters/Music Please” followed in early 2003 and saw KU experimenting with new sounds. “Lighters” poured out a relentless cascade of slow and heavy electro-house that “sound like it’s raining synthesizers on your head” (Mixmag), while the DJ-friendly “Music Please” delivered a slice of psychedelic breakbeats favoured by Danny Tenaglia and James Zabiela. KU closed 2005 with “Flashing Lights/Curfew Time” another double A-side release. "Flashing Lights" is a big room grunge-house monster with a dumb bass line that’d make The Kinks proud; “Curfew Time” kicks out a spiky slab of riff-house, then throws in a jungle-flavoured break down of Amazonian proportions. (The full list of more than 40 releases can be found on the Trax page)
King Unique's renowned DJ sets have made them regular names in the world's biggest clubs and festivals, playing everywhere from ultra-hip blacked-out sweat boxes in Tokyo to euphoric crowds of thousands on the tropical beaches of Madeira. Since their first shows in 2001 they have consistently blown minds (and speakers), bringing more than just record boxes into the DJ booth. By packing their studio into a pair of laptops, KU are able to re-edit and re-work any track on the fly, creating a four-armed, twin-headed, single-minded mash up of CDs, custom made re-edits and live samples. End result? You may know some of the records, but you won't have heard them sound like this before.
This hotly demanded sound has made it’s mark at all the best UK clubs; Turnmills (home to KU's own "Curfew Time" nights), Tribal Sessions, Renaissance, The End, Ministry Of Sound, Godskitchen and Lush. Worldwide demand for the King Unique sound has seen them playing Tokyo, Paris, Reykjavik, Amsterdam, Malta, Moscow, Athens, Auckland, Bucharest, Singapore, Sydney, Milan, Kiev, Buenos Aires, etc (you get the picture). Not forgetting the festivals; the huge Skol Beats in Brazil, the UK's Global Gathering, Weekenddance in Madeira and the renowned Exit festival in Serbia amongst others.
On the very few days they aren’t making tracks in the studio or diving into DJ booths the Matts can be found chopping up the very latest cool and dirty music from across the globe, reassembling it into the "King Unique Broadcast" radio mix series. Broadcast through an ever increasing network of stations from Argentina to Iceland, these are no ordinary radio mixes; each KU Broadcast features dozens of tracks, with single tunes built from pieces of three or four different records, cut up and re-assembled into exclusive King Unique edits and mash-ups. Many of the biggest tunes in King Unique's DJ sets started life as tracks for the KU Broadcast shows; the re-edit of Mylo's "In My Arms" that was picked up for the single release, and "Big Dirty Dreams" that mashed up the Martini Bros with the Human League. Despite huge support for the track from Soulwax, Tiga and Erol Alkan it proved impossible to clear "Big Dirty Dreams" for release - guaranteeing it legendary status. DJs eh? Many more custom made edits and mash-ups are locked away in the King Unique vaults; the Nine Inch Nails and LCD Soundsystem collision of "Nine Inches Of Love", Tiefschwarz and Soulwax butting heads on "Any Muthafucking Excuse" and Alter Ego doing battle with Midnight Mike to create "Hot In The Bush" - to name just a few.
So that's the first five years, not a bad start. What are King Unique cooking up next?
King Unique = Dirty House
That’s all you need to know.