Sidestepper

Sidestepper began as the studio project of producer Richard Blair in the mid 90's, making instrumental dancefloor tunes that mixed the hard and heavy emerging London drum and bass sound with Latin sounds and breaks, trying to do with Latin music what bands like Massive Attack and Smith and Mighty were doing with reggae, soul and funk to make that new Bristol sound.

Blair worked for Peter Gabriel at Real World in the early 90’s where he made a record with Colombian legend Totó La Momposina. He went to Colombia to work with her in ’93 and has been there pretty much ever since. Through his work as a producer he met many great musicians, singers and writers, and Sidestepper began to evolve into a full live band. They signed to Palm Pictures in 1999 and made two highly influential albums – More Grip and in 2003 3AM In Beats We Trust. The latter yielded a big hit in Colombia and Sidestepper earned their place as the originators of a new Latin beats movement. Many players and singers from Sidestepper went on to great success with such bands as Chocquibtown, Bomba Estereo and Sistema Solar.

Each Sidestepper album has been a new proposal, with a new sound. It’s no coincidence that they are regarded as pioneers, who opened the doors for a lot of bands that followed them.

Further reading

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan at WOMAD 1985: Were you there?

Nusrat's concert at the festival in 1985 was the first in front of a primarily non-Asian audience

Live: Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali UK Tour

The Pakistan-based Qawwali group returned to the UK for their first tour since 2017.

Sheila Chandra recalls her first visit to Real World Studios

A blog by Sheila as part of Real World Tales, marking the label's 25th anniversary in 2014.

Track of the Day: ‘Meáchan Rudaí’ by The Gloaming

The Gloaming's third album opens with a song based on a poem of the same name by Liam Ó Muirthile.