Moving Shadow

Moving Shadow was an English breakbeat hardcore, jungle and drum and bass record label which was founded in 1990 by Rob Playford. Moving Shadow grew to be a well-regarded[1][2] and long-lived publisher with over 200 releases.[3]

Moving Shadow
FounderRob Playford
Country of originUnited Kingdom

The label began in 1990, operating from Playford's Stevenage home. Playford had self-released a track prior to setting up Moving Shadow, entitled Orbital Madness, and had become a focal point for local, young artists and bedroom producers seeking advice on releasing their own music.[4] The label's first release arrived in 1991; the Psychotronic EP by Earth Leakage Trip.[5] Many artists attributed to early Shadow releases were Playford's aliases or collaborations, such as 2 Bad Mice, a group he formed with Sean O'Keeffe and Simon Colebrooke. As the rave scene scratched the surface of the mainstream music industry in 1991 and 1992, Moving Shadow, like its friendly rival Suburban Base and D-Zone, enjoyed UK top 75 chart success through Blame's "Music Takes You" and 2 Bad Mice's "Bombscare".

As the rave scene split over the next year, Moving Shadow gravitated towards the emerging darkcore jungle scene. Releases by artists such as Deep Blue (Sean O'Keeffe), Foul Play, Omni Trio, and Hyper-on Experience bolstered the label's catalogue, and by 1994, Moving Shadow was at the forefront of the UK jungle and drum and bass scene.

Moving Shadow's output could be seen at this time to represent the complete spectrum of the genre. The label released albums from both Omni Trio[6] and Foul Play[7] in 1995 and the first of a series of regional compilation albums such as The Revolutionary Generation,[8] Storm from the East[9] and Trans-Central Connection,[10] highlighting artists both local and distantly-located.

In 1994, Playford began working with the drum and bass artist Goldie on tracks written using his Rufige Kru alias, after Beverly Bayford (A&R at the time) heard his demo tape. The result was Goldie's Timeless album, produced and engineered by Playford and released in 1995 on the better-funded FFRR Records. Lauded by critics, the album was one of the first drum and bass titles to achieve mainstream success, going on to be one of the best-selling drum and bass albums of its time.[11][12][13]

Moving Shadow maintained its status as one of the highest-profile drum and bass labels with the next crop of producers, signing names like Dom & Roland, Aquasky, Calyx and E-Z Rollers in 1996 and 1997. EZ Rollers saw their music featured in the film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, though its chartbound jazzy sound was not representative of the label as it shifted predominantly into techstep by the turn of the century. Moving Shadow provided music for several popular video games in this time, including Grand Theft Auto 2, Midnight Club, and Grand Theft Auto III (where the label supplied an entire in-game radio station).

In 2000, the label reached a decade in business and published a retrospective of their catalogue. Following this, the label's visibility dropped noticeably and the label stopped releasing new material in 2007.[14]

See also


  1. John Bush. "Blueprint: The Definite Moving Shadow Album review at allmusic". AllMusic.
  2. Christopher Holder. "Rob Playford: Producing Goldie". Sound on Sound. SOS Publications Group.
  3. "Releases available at". Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  4. "Rob Playford Discography at Discogs". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  5. Moving Shadow discography
  6. "Omni Trio - The Deepest Cut Vol 1 (CD, Album) at Discogs". 15 April 2010. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  7. "Foul Play - Suspected (CD, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  8. "Various - The Revolutionary Generation (CD) at Discogs". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  9. "Various - Storm From The East (CD) at Discogs". 2 February 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  10. "Various - Trans-Central Connection (CD) at Discogs". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  11. allmusic ((( Timeless > Overview )))
  12. "Goldie - Timeless - almost cool music review". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  13. "breath of life ยป GOLDIE / "Timeless"". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  14. "well that's pretty sad... Moving Shadow RIP". Dogs On Acid. 28 October 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
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