DJ Format’s debut album MUSIC FOR THE MATURE B-BOY was one of the slowburn success stories of 2003. An album of soulful, funk-fuelled hip hop packed with infectious beats and lyrical dexterity, it delivered the promise of his early releases for ‘Mo Wax and Bomb Hip Hop. Received with quiet acclaim in the press it quickly became a word of mouth triumph, going on to establish itself as one of the most successful debut artist albums from
the UK alternative/urban scene. The campaign was successful for a number of reasons not least it’s supporting batch of three incredible music videos all directed by the then unknown Ruben Fleischer. The most famous of these being the rapping and breakdancing costumed animals of WE KNOW SOMETHING YOU DON’T KNOW featuring the vocals of Chali 2na and Akil of Jurassic 5 – played out by a shark and tiger respectively on the big screen it is an
unforgettable piece of feel good hip hop. ‘Music For The...’ also led to Format supporting (alongside MC Abdominal) Jurassic 5 on their European tour, and through subsequent touring in 2003 establishing Format as one of the hottest live Hip Hop tickets in town.
2005’s follow up album IF YOU CAN’T JOIN ‘EM...BEAT ‘EM saw Format step up a gear, tightening the loops for a tougher sound. A heavy schedule of acclaimed live shows and DJ sets followed the release throughout 2005/06.
In 2006 Format was asked to contribute to the successful Fabric DJ mix series.Format's FABRICLIVE27 was one of the most well received of the series. His DJ sets are renowned for their boundary-crossing selection of the funk, soul, rock & hip-hop and his fabric mix showed of a condensed version of the party set that he's built a solid reputation on. This was followed up in 2007 by another mix album, this time for the legendary Fania label, applying his signature b-boy style to the world's foremost catalogue of latin music.
By 2008 Format was back in the studio laying down ideas for a new album but found himself frustrated by the limitations of working with samples. He joined forces with old friend Simon James and together they formed The Simonsound. Inspired by music for film & TV ‘and 50s & ‘60s pioneering electronic music , they used Moog synthesizers,tape machines and other vintage studio equipment to create their debut album REVERSE ENGINEERING released in
2010. The album was championed by Gilles Peterson but also received massive support in the hip hop community from the likes of DJ Spinna, Kenny Dope and Lord Finesse.
It was whilst working on the LUNGBUTTERS mix CD in 2008 that Format met Diggers With Gratitude founder member Sureshot La Rock. They immediately hit it off and it wasn’t long before Format had persuaded Sureshot to dust off his microphone and start writing rhymes again. By early 2011, they had recorded several songs together and MR DJ was released on Project Blue Book, Format’s own label.
2012 finally saw the release of Format’s third album STATEMENT OF INTENT boasting vocal collaborations with Edan, Mr Lif and Phill Most Chill as well as the ever present Sureshot La
Rock. Format also showcased his wide and varied musical tastes way beyond hip hop, exploring jazz and blues with The Nostalgia 77 Quintet, spaced-out electronics with The Simonsound and offered more of his own trademark instrumentals.
After Phill Most Chill’s appearance on STATEMENT OF INTENT, it was clear that the chemistry between Format and Phill justified a whole album together. THE FOREMOST was released in 2013 to great critical acclaim, with many citing it as the pair’s best work to date.
In 2015 Format went back to his B-Boy roots with a self-released instrumental 45. KOOL & THE GANGSTARR GENERATION was a homage not only to the early work of Kool & The Gang, but also to some of the massively influential hip hop producers that sampled them in the ‘80s & early ‘90s. It caused quite a stir in the worldwide 45 collecting community and sold out within a week. Towards the end of 2015 Format reunited with Abdominal for the first time in 10 years and embarked on a UK tour. The overwhelming public response and subsequent success of the tour took both Format & Abdominal by surprise. They finally collaborated on their first full album together and Still Hungry was released in March 2017.