Flex hooked up with a krew who wanted the same things out of the scene as himself; Flex “I ended up linking with Uncle 22 who lived just down the road to me and another guy called DJ Tek. Uncle 22 already had tunes out at that time on a label called WAU who were like a major company, and he showed me a lot of things that I didn’t know”. Soon after Flex and Uncle 22 had their first release under the guise Dubwise 2 on Reel2Reel Records at the end of 1990. This led onto Flex’s big break on the producing side of things with the B side of the infamous tune “We R E” in 1990/early 91 on white label; Flex “I done the B-side which was called “Feel the Rhythm” and Lenny D Ice done the A-Side which was We R E”. Other producers involved were A-sides who now runs the Eastside/Fuze Recordings stable and Uncle 22, the latter of which made the Hardcore anthem “6 million ways to die” released on Ram Records and remixed by DJ Hype.
In the year of 1994 the record shop De Underground was born. Prolific DJ/Producer, brother of both Mike Aymer aka Mike De Underground and John Aymer aka Reel II Reel. Cool Hand Flex and Randall used to play on Centreforce together and worked in his brother Mike De Underground’s records shop. Based in Forest Gate in the East End of London, this was to be a focal point for many in the area and an important base for Flex being a key member; “My brother Mikee, Mikee De Underground they used to call him, teamed up with Randall, they got their heads together and decided they had to sort something out because this part of East London needed something, people wanted to hear music. I think the closest record shop around was in Hackney so something had to be done”.
De Underground’s legendary status was interrupted with the closure of the shop in 1997 as Flex explains; “The profit in tunes wasn’t really paying for the rent of the place, the record business is a really hard business. We actually set up the shop to see what sort of tunes people would buy so we knew what kind of tunes to produce, that gave us a bit of an edge”. With this in mind, De Underground was a foundation for releasing tunes on De Underground’s own imprints such as IE Records, Oddball Records, De Underground and Intouch Recordings, it was this label that saw another massive release from the Flex with “Melody Madness”, which also got the remix treatment from no other than Roni Size and was the tune that finally got Flex’s name noticed. Flex describes his technique of producing; “I like to get a nice beats section rolling, from there I like to get some strings to give it some direction and then the b-line I always leave till last. Once you’ve got the direction of the tune the b-line then kicks it off. You can start off with a good b-line and then put everything else around it but then it doesn’t sound right and you work for ages trying to get the sound to blend in”. I asked Flex about the influences he uses in his producing; “My influences come from the tunes i’ve collected over the years, like Rare Groove. Funny enough the D&B I produce now incorporates some Rare Groove, like for the break downs”.
Flex has been producing tunes for A-Sides Eastside Label since day one, having already met A-Sides many years before, the first release was a collaboration with A-Sides called “Uptown/Afterdark”, Reinforced Records and is also on Randall’s own imprint Mac II.
Flex see’s Default Recordings as a step in a new direction for himself and D&B.
With his legendary production skills and unique style the aim on Default Recordings is to experiment with new flava’s.