Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Like many before him, Henry Smithson's career in dance music began in 1990s dance culture and the long trips to the Renaissance raves prompting him to launch his own promotions closer to his home in Newcastle. The success of the club spawned the Switch record label, whose releases eventually made the record bag of Manchester hip-hop patriarch Mark Rae, who subsequently offered Smithson a job at his Fat City record shop in Manchester and an outlet for his solo material as Riton (French slang for Henry) to Rae's accomplished Grand Central imprint. Although at first glance the brew of soul, R&B, and house of the resultant debut long-player Beats du Jour seemed some distant from his contemporaries at the label, Smithson's consistently growling low end and Funkadelic keys provided the all-important link to hip-hop.