'Calyx' - the female bud of a plant that is the ovum for the seed.
South London-based Larry Cons first appeared on the DnB scene at the start of 1998, but his history as an accomplished musician dates back to early childhood. Having studied 5 instruments from a young age, Larry has worked on projects and bands in several genres, perhaps most prominently as a guitarist in numerous Jazz and Funk bands, including his own eight-piece outfit ‘Octane’. Whilst he had set his sights on establishing himself as a professional jazz guitarist, that was all to change whilst studying in Oxford from 1993-’98. Having first become obsessed with DnB in his early years at university, Larry eventually succumbed to the urge to produce his own tracks, and in 1996, he decided to team up with fellow musician, friend, and like-minded DnB fanatic, Chris Rush. Thus the original Calyx duo was born.
Having spent most of their grants and several student loans on buying the studio equipment on which to record their ideas, serious work on tracks began in 1997. After putting together a demo tape of 7 tracks, they mailed their work to several labels, and it wasn’t long before the calls started coming in. Releases were quickly lined up with No-U-Turn, Rugged Vinyl, and of course, Moving Shadow; their home for the years ahead! The dark and swirling 'Cubic/Narcisis' (AC001) was the first release to launch Moving Shadows’ sister label Audio Couture, in February 1998. This was followed swiftly by the awesome 'Techtonic/Recall' (Shadow 118), which was released in March that year and reached No. 13 in the CIN Dance Single charts.
Late May 1998 saw the release of 'Double Zero/The Root' (AC005) which gained excellent press and set the scene for ‘Megalomania/ Whole Tone’ (AC08) and the heralded 'Distopia/ Octane' (AC012). This track, accompanied by a video played countless times on MTV, spelt out a dark vision of the future, and with swirling bass and hard-stepping beats building into twisted funk, it always resulted in dancefloor devastation. Next up was 'Cabin Fever/Reaction Time' (AC016) an angry tech-distorted affair that pushed the calyx sound even further, along with their reworking of the E-Z Rollers' huge hit 'Weekend World' (Shadow 122R). With a 12” on Doc Scott’s legendary 31 recordings confirming Calyx’s elevation to the elite of the DnB circle, the boys were also asked to remix the awesome old school classic “Durban Poison” by Babylon Timewarp – an honour that also showed how much their reputation in the scene was gathering momentum.
1999 saw ‘Acid Blues/Trap Door’ (AC22), ‘Code Red/Diablo’ (Shadow 139) & the inclusion of ‘Fortune Cookie’ on the highly acclaimed ‘Drumfunk Hooligans 2’(Ashadow24) mix album compiled by the E-Z Rollers.
The turn of the millennium witnessed massive changes and incident for both Larry and Chris. The year started with the third instalment in the popular limited edition MSXEP series with ‘Catapult / Reshuffle / Transition / Decompression’. It was to be the last release from the Calyx as a two-piece as Chris decided he was to quit making music professionally and pursue a different path. Larry made up his mind to carry the flag forward and began to develop a more organic refined Calyx sound of his own. What Larry hadn’t accounted for was one more twist in the plot for 2000. Having just started work on his first solo material, a ‘freak frisbee accident’, left him with 3 dislocated neck vertebrae, damaged cartiledge and a world of pain! Ahead lay endless x-rays, consultations and six months flat on his back in a collar. Rarely has the phrase ‘happy as Larry’ seemed more inappropriate!
It took a while but the first material finally emerged from the streamlined calyx studios in 2001 in the shape of ‘ Downpour / Quagmire / Ripe / Exchange’ (MSXEP7). This new sound was immediately gathering the attention of the likes of Bryan Gee and Grooverider who now cut pretty much every new Calyx tune as soon as Larry gave it to them.
The next two years witnessed the Calyx sound pushing further afield, with many of the scenes players on Larry’s case for new material to release. A stunning debut Metalheadz 12” (Leviathan / Mindfold), was soon followed by ‘The Wasteground EP’(Wasteground / Kingdom / Deviation/ Mirror Image - MSXEP18), the title track being chosen by the one and only Grooverider as the closing track on his highly acclaimed ‘FABRICLIVE’ compilation.
Fast forward to 2003, and having lined up a succession of big releases for Goldie’s Metalheadz imprint, Bryan Gee’s V recordings and, of course, Moving Shadow, Larry’s reputation was now speaking for itself, with all of his material making it’s way into almost every main player’s sets. It was clear that he was finally receiving the props he so richly deserved!
On Moving Shadow, a stunning collaboration with the mighty Dom& Roland (‘Pnuematix / See the Light’ Shadow 167) caused a storm on dancefloors worldwide, and was soon followed by the hugely successful ‘Killa EP’ (Killa/ Collision Course/ Ascension/ Just You - MSXEP27). Meanwhile the Metalheadz release schedule continued to feature regular calyx releases; firstly Erased From Existence (featuring Kontrol) on the MDZ03 album, and then a massive Calyx EP (Inner Distance / Fear This / Dark Night / Headhunter).
2004 proved to be an astonishingly prolific year for Calyx in the studio. Larry knew it was at last time to embark on the long-awaited debut album, and having decided to take some time out from the DJ circuit and focus all of his time on production, the results were spectacular. In addition to a mass of solo work, Larry also made some mouth-watering collaborations; with Teebee, ill.skillz, Gridlok, Dom & Roland and Kontrol. By the end of the year, an astonishing release schedule had been drawn up, and with a staggering volume of dubs being hammered by the DnB elite, demand for the Calyx sound had reached fever-pitch.
And so to 2005. The fruits of an amazing year of production are unleashed: a 12” on the ultra-exclusive Metalheadz Platinum imprint, a debut 12” on Calyx & Kontrol’s new label “Thunderous Audio”, several high-profile remixes, and most importantly of all, the debut Calyx album on Moving Shadow: “No Turning Back”. As the Calyx sound takes over… Watch this space!