A maverick trio of eccentric UK-based DJ/producers, namely Timmy Christmas (b. Tim Sheridan), Keith Binner and Chico Ijomanta. The three bearded Yorkshiremen met in the mid-80s when they DJed on the well-known Leeds student dance music scene, where they could regularly be found behind the decks at the ‘Mile High Club’ nights at The Gallery, a venue that also gave rise to the Utah Saints. It was this same scene that was the fertile breeding ground for celebrated nights such as ‘Vague’ and the legendary ‘Back To Basics’ and ‘Manumission’. Famous for marathon DJing sets, Timmy Christmas later played for 48 hours non-stop at the Glastonbury Festival and his average performances behind the decks continue to reach the six-hour mark. After several years in the dance music wilderness, the trio made a purposeful foray into more commercial territory with two singles featuring heavy use and sampling of old dance staples. The first was ‘The Word’, from the soundtrack of the 1978 hit movie, Grease and the second, ‘Double Double Dutch’, featured extensive ‘recycling’ of Malcolm McLaren’s ‘Double Dutch’. Neither was well received by the UK music press but did make a slight impact on the singles chart. In the meantime, the Dope Smugglaz had negotiated a remarkable seven-album contract with Paul Oakenfold’s label, Perfecto Records. In 1999, they also began a Friday night DJing residency at the high-tech club, home in London’s west end. The trio’s remix credits include those for the Utah Saints, Finitribe, Moloko and Fuzz Townsend. Their debut, Dope Radio, was an unusual journey through a range of styles from dub to pure pop, a psychedelic concept album, based around the broadcasts of a fictional radio station. The first single from the album, ‘Barabajagal’ featured vocals from the singer Shaun Ryder and Howard Marks. The latter choice of vocalist was somewhat ironic, considering Marks’ notoriety as a massively successful international marijuana trafficker. The single was also remixed by the band’s old friends, Utah Saints. The Dope Smugglaz continue to DJ around the UK and Europe and at home.
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