Calibre : The genre-bending producer

Published on Tuesday 16 August 2022

Venturing beyond the drum’n’bass soundscape, Calibre will display his techno, breaks and acid aesthetic at our Waterworks afterparty on Saturday, 17th September.

Celebrated for his vibrant drum'n'bass productions, Calibre also makes techno and breaks, but it's not every day the Berlin-based artist leans into these sound palettes. Having released on labels like Spearhead, Metalheadz, Footnotes and his imprint Signature over the last two decades, it's no secret that the man loves to write. Garnering a back catalogue with over 17 albums and singles across the D'n'B board, techno and acid is something of a rare treat from Calibre.

Growing up in Northern Ireland, Calibre soaked up the sounds of folk and punk. A multi-instrumentalist from a young age, he delivered his first D'n'B release in 1995 on the record label Quadrophonic. Legendary artist Fabio copped the potential in the young producer and supported Calibre's early work by releasing it on his label, Creative Source. Since then, Calibre has coined a consistent style as a producer and gained a legion of fans across the UK and Ireland, despite his unassuming character and media-shy profile.

Today, Calibre is more than a producer and DJ. He's a singer, songwriter, painter, illustrator and musician. The latter art form channels his blues, jazz and soul vibes, which he performs and releases under his real name, Dominick Martin. He's lived between Belfast, Valentia island on the west coast of Ireland and Cologne, no doubt taking influence from each location and weaving it throughout his storied output.

Looking at Calibre's sound beyond D'n'B, Craig Richard's label The Nothing Special homes most of Calibre's explorative material. Debuting on the imprint in 2017 with the album Grow, Calibre delivered a cosmic 12-track body of work that introduced a techno mood—far from the fast-paced D'n'B for which he's most aligned.

Richard's label is the perfect entry point to the Belfast-born artist's cross-pollinated tracks, with several follow-up releases dipping into experimental waters. Take the tune 'Double Bend' from his eponymous album. It displays Calibre's wonky, broken-beat approach, whereas tracks like 'Hornage' from the Break That EP lean into a more laidback, house-led texture. Calibre doesn't fit into a genre box which is why his longevity runs deep.

After playing the 2022 instalment of Waterworks, Calibre will join us in the Warehouse to take us into the wee hours. This is where he'll play a techno, acid and breaks-shaped DJ set, and for an artist known to be selective about gigs, we're more than stoked to host him in London. A friendly request to the D'n'B heads—come with an open mind.

Tickets for Waterworks at E1 here: