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Minus 8

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  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

By the end of the '90s, Minus 8 producer Robert Jan Meyer had developed a diverse, unique style of beat-driven jazzy dance music that won him much acclaim. His late-'90s drum'n'bass-influenced recordings for Inflamable and Higher Ground had been successful, but Meyer's work for Compost took him to another level alongside similarly adventurous beatmakers as Jazzanova and the Tr├╝by Trio. Like these producers, Meyer crossed all boundaries as Minus 8, at times making music that's jazz-inflected, other times making music with a strong Latin feel. His work for Compost also distanced him from the drum'n'bass scene and moved him closer toward the burgeoning nu-beat scene of the early 2000s. In addition to his best-known work for Compost, which includes full-length albums, the Swiss producer also compiled CDs for Mole and remixed many of his peers.

Bringing together drum'n'bass-style breakbeat percussion, a down-tempo sense of Latin rhythm, a jazz approach to arrangement, and a deep dose of funk, Robert Jan Meyer's Minus 8 project originally resulted from his years as a bass player in funk bands. Perhaps more notably, though, his music resulted from his urge to present an alternative to the sped-up "plus eight" style of dance music sweeping across Europe during the early '90s (a reference to the positive and negative pitch adjustment on turntables). Meyer first made a name for himself as a DJ, touring with many of the U.K.'s drum'n'bass elite: Grooverider, Bad Company, Goldie, and Krust, among others. DJ Cam then released Meyer's first Minus 8 productions on his Paris-based Inflammable label. The second Minus 8 full-length, Beyond Beyond, appeared on the U.K.-based Higher Ground label, and the prominent Munich, Germany, label Compost released Elysian Fields, the third and most celebrated Minus 8 album to date. His second release for Compost, Minuit, confirmed his move away from the drum'n'bass motifs that had characterized his late-'90s work.