At the age of 16, Lincoln Barrett (aka High Contrast) impulsively bought a Cubase demo, intrigued by the claim: 'With this, you can even make your own jungle tunes!' With a background rooted in the film industry and minimal knowledge of jungle (or music for that matter), he didn't have high expectations. Little did he know that only seven years later he'd be flourishing: signed to Hospital Records, locked in a bulky international DJ schedule and causing a deafening buzz around the world with his illustriously received debut LP 'True Colors.' High Contrast entered the world of drum n bass without pretence or warning, lighting up the scene with his dazzling tunes and irrevocably changing its composition. As he spent the majority of his life engrossed in films, he had the objectivity needed to pan out from the norm and focus on a different angle. His imaginative singles and remixes find comfortable homes in the record boxes of the scene's most notable DJs, and influence other DJs across the musical spectrum.
"It was quite bizarre listening to the music back then and just not having any idea about what the drums were, you know, it was just alien to me. It was so different to anything I knew because growing up there was no one around who had any interest in dance music. So I just started playing around with Cubase, really just taught myself everything. I started off trying to make jungle at 120 beats per minute! Not being someone totally immersed in drum n bass culture, I wasn't really aware of how different what I was doing was, you know? I played it to some people that were more long-term junglists and they'd be a bit like: "Well, it's a bit too different." People used to think I was nuts for going and buying an old disco record to sample, whereas now it's completely acceptable." High Contrast
As a DJ, High Contrast mirrors his reflective production approach by finding the fine balance between the chaos of a heaving dancefloor and the serenity of at-home listening. His eclectic sets are a true antithesis to the criticism that drum n bass is jarring and redundant. His DJing style is highlighted on Fabriclive 25: a warm, glittery mix that provides a vivid snapshot of some of drum n bass' most exciting artists. It explores the wide grounds of the genre from the smooth, sunny 'Restart' by DJ Marky, Bungle & DJ Roots to the turbulent, thunderous beats of Sparfunk & Joe Solo's 'Rapture.' The mix is pushed forward by classic rolling basslines from Blame, swept by stunning melodies on Klute's celestial 'Hell Hath No Fury,' and infused with Miami breaks and bass on 'Ghetto Blaster.' It ends with High Contrasts' own 'Days Go By,' a palpable wave of soul and emotion that brings the things to a delicate close as it slowly fades to black.