Ambient, world fusion, experimental, chillout, electronica; these are just some of the genres Bob Holroyd’s music has been described as. But, not wanting to be categorised, he has long pioneered music that crosses musical and cultural boundaries.
Spiced with world influences, his music touches all corners of the globe and he has worked with such a diverse range of artists that his music knows no boundaries and becomes almost impossible to describe. Almost.
Just think Brian Eno meets Groove Armada round at Mory Kante’s Buddha Bar, having cocoa down in Acapulco and you’re nearly there.
As well as releasing his own critically-acclaimed studio albums and remix albums, including remixes by Nitin Sawhney, Coldcut, Mogwai, Lemonde and The Album Leaf, his music appears on over 50 compilations. His music has also featured extensively on TV and films, including Lost, The Sopranos, Friends, The Secret Millionaire, Panorama, Coast, Horizon, The Nutty Professor, My Best Friend’s Wedding and the Ace Ventura films.
Other projects he has been involved with include recording the Islamic Call to Prayer inside the Regent’s Park mosque in London. Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens), sang the Holy text and Bob composed a track around this haunting vocal.
The voices of the Kalahari Bushmen feature on Bob’s track Looking Back, first released on a charity compilation titled Sanscapes to draw attention to their plight and struggle to survive. Neither spoke each others language but they each found that music can cross these cultural divides. The music of the Bushmen represents their 20,000 year old history and although their daily way of life has remained virtually unchanged for centuries, they are still a living, evolving people, perfectly demonstrated by the song they wrote after the experience of having been on a plane to England; Big Metal Bird.
Bob has DJ’d at Cargo, The Big Chill and Union Chapel.
“To fans of cult San Franciscan world beat record label Six Degrees, the name of Bob Holroyd will be familiar due a series of high quality world electronica releases that stood out from the pack. For a year or so I fantasised that he was a crazed ex-member of the Grateful Dead holed up in the Californian hills with a bottle of Jack Daniels, a fat Cuban cigar, and a pile of field recording DATS that Dr Livingston would be proud of. In fact he’s from darkest Surrey, but where he’s from matters not. It’s the music he creates that is the most important thing, and you can always guarantee that his compositions have soul and an integrity that many in his chosen field sadly lack.
Bob first made a name for himself after Coldcut released an epic mix of his already epic track ‘African Drug’ in the nineties. But Bob’s fondness for African percussion is equally matched by his love of Indian music, the minimalist soundscapes of David Sylvian, and Passion-era Peter Gabriel. All these influences are evident in his eight albums to date, including a mighty fine three CD series retrospective of Bob’s best bits, plus some juicy new remixes courtesy of Nitin Sawhney, Romanthony, and dimmSummer, to name a few. Perhaps Bob Holroyd has deserved greater plaudits over the years for his cinematic, classy productions, but for those in the know he’s always been a not-so-secret pleasure.” – Phil Meadley – (UK’s top world music journalist)
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