Dirty Le Roi aka DLR (James Rowbotham) is an original member of the Leeds based collective Central Beatz who have pushed alternative dance music in Leeds for the past 6 years starting their first major monthly club night in 2005.
When James was 16, he moved away from his Punk Rock and Ska roots and got into drum & bass, attending many club-nights and raves in his home town of Bristol, at a time when Roni Size – ‘New Forms’ had won a mercury music prize and had put Bristol on the map for underground dance music. Soon after, he began creating his own music using an early version of ‘Logic’ – experimenting with drum & bass, hip-hop and breakbeat. Having become hooked on bedroom production, James moved to Leeds to study music production at Leeds College of Music. It was in Leeds that he met Dom (Ruckspin) and Chris (LD50) the co-founders of the Central Beatz collective who at that time ran a radio show on Leeds Student Radio based in Leeds University. After joining Dom & Chris on LSRfm, he met not only the other members of Central Beatz, but also a whole network of DJs and producers who (along with himself) guested on the radio show. With an ever-increasing collective of DJs and like-minded enthusiasts, the group started up a small weekly night featuring up and coming local talent as well as the usual Central Beatz crew. Things moved on quickly from these weekly sessions, and the collective began running monthly events at venues ranging from Leeds University Union to the legendary West Indian Centre (home of Subdub & Exodus), as well as some club-nights in Munich, where one of the residents had moved.
Rarely happy with the level of sound quality reproduced in many of the venues they used for the events, James and some friends from music college invested in what is now known as the Central Beatz Soundsystem. This enabled the central beatz collective to take part in festivals, free parties and start a business renting out professional audio equipment acrossLeedsto all styles of music and events (ranging from simple club-nights to more complicated events such as the recent dubstep concert at Yorkminster Cathedral).
“We teamed up with Marcus P45 who promotes Room 237 to put on free nights in a quality underground venue in ‘The Northern Light’ club, there were 3 main nights, headlined by Noisia, Tech Itch and Dom and Roland, all of them were free in before 11 and completely sold out. The club opened at 10pm and didn’t stop until 6-7am – everyone had an amazing time to some seriously high quality original music. The headliners tore the soundsystem apart with sounds that I had no idea to create, setting a standard for me so high it demoralized me at first, but after some months of experimentation and practice, it just inspired me to work even harder”.
Unfortunately the legendary ‘Northern Light’ club got shut down, but this did not demoralize J or any of the crew, instead they carried on pushing alternative Drum and Bass and Dubstep in Leeds bringing more artists to the area for the first time than anyone else, expanding the soundsystem and hire company and continuing to step up the production and DJing, establishing Central Beatz as one of the most original bunch of artists in the Leeds area. J now finds himself living in Leeds still for his 6th year, with a track made with Ruckspin and Planas called ‘Heart Murmur’ signed to Ranking records getting radio support from Mary Anne Hobbs and across the dubstep scene, as well as being signed up to Ant TC1′s label ‘Dispatch’, with his first release ‘Space and Time’, a collaboration with Ant coming out on DIS33 and many more in the pipeline, as well as the forthcoming label Central Beatz Recordings which is planned to be launched late 2009.