A Warrior’s Story: Shogun Audio Reaches 100 Releases

Posted by Adam on 30th March 2016

This year sees Shogun Audio reaching their 100th release – a huge milestone – so I thought I’d go right back to the beginning to look through the labels history and pick out some of my personal highlights from a back catalogue full with amazing music…

In 2004 Friction, who’d by this point already made a name for himself in the scene with releases on labels like Playaz and 31 Recordings, and KTee, who started out making hip hop in the early 90’s and moved into Drum & Bass after joining forces with long time friend Stakka, started what would become a staple of Drum & Bass and a label that delivered some of the most exiting music the scene had ever seen: Shogun Audio.

Where it all began…
Let’s start at the beginning. The first Shogun Audio release came on 10th May 2004 and featured Friction’s remix of Jo – Type-R with the original on the flip. Fun fact: Jo was one of the 2 female dancers who appeared with SL2 live and in their video’s (Source: Discogs)

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Bring In The Militia
Next saw The Militia, which consisted of Friction, KTee, Stakka and Nu Balance, make their debut on the album with what would become a classic release. I miss this sound…

Here comes the noise(ia)
Skipping forward a couple of releases now to SHA005 we get to Noisia’s debut on the label at a time when the Dutch trio weren’t that far into their journey to become superstars of Drum & Bass.

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The first compilations
We’re now in 2006 and the label’s already gaining a reputation for releasing some seriously good music. Towards the end of the year Shogun launches their first compilation series with Shogun Assassins parts 1 and 2 coming out in August and September ’06. This was also the year that SGN:LTD was introduced. This sister label served as a platform that launched Spectrasoul, Alix perez and Icicle.

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Alix Perez makes his Shogun Debut
In 2007 Alix made his debut on the label and started a relationship with Shogun that would produce some of the labels best music.

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THAT tune
No words needed. This iconic Shogun anthem which came out mid 2007.

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From Russia, with love
In 2008 Shogun Assassins returned for parts 3 and 4 along with something a little bit different from Subwave. Shogun now had a solid foundation and could begin pushing boundaries with what they were releasing.

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Sho-gunning for gold
Another legend, another classic. Aztec is a tune that, to this day, will destroy a rave.

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1984
The penultimate release of 2009 was Alix Perez’s classic album 1984, the first artist album on Shogun. It was unlike anything else around at the time and is one of the all time great Drum & Bass albums.

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Introducing….Rockwell
2010 saw the launch of the Evolution EP series, Spectrasoul graduated from SGN:LTD for their first solo release on the main label and Rockwell made his Shogun debut with this…

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Under The Ice
Icicle, another artist that worked his way from SGN:LTD to the main label, released his debut album in 2011 to critical acclaim. This was still only the 2nd artist album on Shogun…

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More, more, more…
2012 was a bumper year for releases from Shogun. There were 2 more instalments of the Evolution Series, EPs from Friction, Icicle & The Prototypes and the jewel in the crown…Spectrasoul’s stunning debut LP ‘Delay No More’

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Shogun unlimited
In 2013 SGN:LTD went all out with a massive 8 releases from a plethora of artists including Liz-E, Xtrah, Fourward and this stunner from Technimatic.

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Up, up and away (with me)
Not to be outdone the main label had a great year too with Friction & Skream’s collaboration ‘Kingpin’ smashing it, Alix Perez returning with his 2nd album ‘Chroma Chords’ and Calibre delivered one of the best remixes he’s ever done.

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Double digits
2014 was a big one for Shogun as it was their 10th birthday. Bart Simpson famously said “Everything changes when you get to big one-o. Your legs start to go, candy doesn’t taste as good any more” but the good ship Shogun kept going full steam ahead. Joe Ford made his label debut, the first Friction VS. was released (I really hope there’s more of them to come…), Technimatic’s stunning debut album Desire Paths was released and the year culminated with the Ten Years Of Shogun box set which, as well as being rammed full of amazing tunes, was properly sexy.

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Good karma
The big news of 2015 was Karma’s exclusive signing to the label, albums from Rockwell, Icicle and Spectrasoul, the brilliant Point Of Origin LP and the best release on SGN:LTD to date – Submorphics’ Divine EP.

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2016
At the start of the year Shogun announced the signing of Ed:it which was quickly followed by his debut EP and now it’s all about the 10 years celebrations with a 4 part EP and shows across Europe.

Over the last 10 years Shogun has proved that you don’t have to follow trends to have a successful label. They’ve pushed boundaries, crossed genres and gained fans all over the world.

Congratulations Shogun, here’s to another 10 years.

FrictionShogun Audio

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