One of the most prominent of a growing population of women composers working in post-techno experimental electronics, Riz Maslen's work as Neotropic and Small Fish with Spine combines ambient, dub, and electro with shards of house, hip-hop, and drum'n'bass. Although she's released nowhere near the amount of material as labelmates such as Coldcut and London Funk Allstars, consistency and a stylistic listlessness have proven key in elevating her to near peer status. Signing with the NTone and R&S labels in the mid-'90s (as Neotropic and Small Fish with Spine, respectively) with only a compilation track and a four-track EP to her name, Maslen has wasted no time filling her vida with some of the finest recent examples of downbeat breakbeat and experimental ambient/dub.
Ironically, Maslen's career in the upper reaches of the European experimental dance establishment didn't begin until she moved to New York, where she released the Stickleback EP through Apple-housed dance label Oxygen Music Works. After a pair of tracks on a compilation for Ninja Tune offshoot NTone, Maslen headed back to London in 1995 to release the Tumble Weed EP and, the following year, a single ("Laundrophone") and album (15 Levels of Magnification) for the label. Belgium-based R&S' release of her self-titled Small Fish with Spine EP followed soon after. Maslen has also risen to acclaim through her association with the Future Sound of London, with whom she appeared on U.K. music show Top of the Pops, as well as collaborated with on a number of their recordings.