Sunday School #27: Dieselboy

By: Forward Musiq

On this edition of Sunday School we will chronicle the adventures of drum and bass mainstay Dieselboy

Damian Higgins, also known as Dieselboy is undoubtedly the most legendary and biggest name ever in the drum and bass world to come out of the United States. Dieselboy is from Tarpon Springs, Florida born in 1972 and has been playing music since 1989 in his High School and a local Pennsylvania nightclub.  In 1997, after graduating from the University of Pittsburg and refining his DJ craft being a part of beat-matching records, Dieselboy moved to Philadelphia where he started working for 611 records and created a weekly drum and bass night, Platinum at club Fluid.

1994: Dieselboy releases his first mixtape called The Future Sound of Hardcore.

1996: Dieselboy remixes “Drum & Bass Selection USA” as a personal petition from Dan Donnelly from the British label Suburban Base.

1997: Dieselboy mixes “97 Octane” again for Suburban Bass but this time he got to choose his own tracks, making it a more fluid and natural mix.

1998: Dieselboy releases his first all fully controlled mix CD called “611 DJ Mix-series Vol. One”. Also he created a mix called “Director’s Cut” and it was packaged in film cans.

1999: His fourth mix album, “A Soldier’s Story” is released on Moonshine and became 1999’s most sold American drum and bass album. The intro for the album is Dieselboy’s first original production.

2000: First release of the year was System Upgrade. In this year Dieselboy releases “The DescentInvidRenderThe 6ixth Session“. His most critically album to that point it was a double CD released. The Washington Post hailed it as “hard-edged hyperdriven dance music,”. This was the beginning of Dieselboy’s VIP mix era.

By 2002 Dieselboy reached the next great phase of his career creating Human Imprint, System Recordings drum and bass division. He released music from many artists from this imprint but also released his own, “projectHUMAN” and “The Dungeonmaster’s Guide”. This got him enough recognition and importance in the drum and bass world to get him signed by DJ Mag to create a mix of American drum and bass talent called DJ World Series: D & B From The United States.

In 2008 Dieselboy released his ninth mix album called Substance D. This is his largest mix album including spanning 2 CDs. The first CD includes mixes by Dieselboy himself and members of his imprint, while the second CD includes original tracks by him, Evol Intent, Ewun, Demo and SPKTRM. In July of the following year Human Imprint left System Recordings and Dieselboy along with Steve Gordon created SubHuman imprint to release dubstep and electro.

After so many years of relentless touring, Dieselboy took a break and surfaced back in 2011 with his mix called “Dieselboy-Unleashed” as a free download in Soundcloud. This mix achieved great success clocking in at 115,014 plays, 37,674 downloads, and 1,734 favorites. But his biggest mix ever came in February 6, 2012called “Wake The Dead”. This is what Dieselboy had to say about this epic mix to Crowdnoize, “My goal is to make the most intricate, layered, and amazing mix that’s ever been done. Period. I’m not trying to just put out a mix; I’m trying to put out a mix that other DJs will listen to and aspire TO do. I don’t fuck around. I want to be amazing.” –  “This isn’t a rinseout of big rave anthems. This isn’t a collection of his latest top 20 tunes. This is an archive designed to stand up to repeated listens, slowly revealing new sounds and elements over time. Taking a conceptual cue from The Walking Dead and referencing what DIeselboy feels is a definite ‘bar lowering’ of current dance/DJ culture, Wake The Dead is his effort to break boundaries yet again. Featuring almost an hour of heavyweight drum and bass and another 25 minutes of blistering dubstep from his SubHuman label ‘family and friends,’ Wake The Dead has more bass pressure than you can handle.”

Dieselboy has basically toured everywhere in the world. His relentless touring ethic has compiled a list of festivals played and places visited too long to post here. Here goes. He has played in England, Scotland, Finland, France, Austria, Serbia, Holland, Macedonia, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Lithuania, Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Venezuela, Costa Rica, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Puerto Rico, and all major cities in the United States and Canada. And his festivals include  Bonnaroo , Camp Bisco 9 , Jisan Valley Rock Festival, PHAT 09, Pirate Station , Summerfest “The World’s Largest Music Festival” (Milwaukee, 2008), Sanctuary Drum & Bass Festival (Dieselboy vs. Noisia), US Virgin Mobile Festival (Baltimore, 2007), South by Southwest , Coachella, Electric Daisy Carnival (Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver, Puerto Rico, Orlando), Ultra Music Festival ,Love Parade, Bassrush, Creamfields, Shambhala , DEMF (Detroit Electronic Music Festival), Starscape , Global Gathering (UK, 2004),HFStival.

Dieselboy is undoubtedly one of the most trancendent, arguably the most, drum and bass act in the history of the genre and the most transcendent figure in American drum and bass. He brought to the masses the fierce Jungle subgenre of drum and bass. His music has gone beyond the boundaries of this type of EDM being featured on MTV, ESPN and video games such as Amplitude, Crackdown, Gran Turismo 4, Need For Speed Most Wanted, Saints Row and Test Drive Off Road 3. Dieselboy was also in 2004 the first American to be voted on Drum & Bass Arena Top 10 DJs of 2004 and became the first drum and bass DJ to have a single in  Billboard’s dance chart in 2000. His impressive resume has very deservingly given him the title of “The Destroyer”.


One response to “Sunday School #27: Dieselboy

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