In 1998, Earnshaw and friend Mark Horwood teamed up with Piers Penfold (aka Sir Piers) to create The Fusion Groove Orchestra. Richard will tell you that the collaborative efforts inherent in the Fusion’s work – with output like ‘The Dream’ featuring Simon Green; their remix of Lynden David Hall’s ‘Forgive Me’; and Boris D’Lugosch featuring Roissin Murphy’s ‘Never Enough’ – is what helped mould and shape his own soulful vibe.
After his debut release “People Are People” on Soulfuric Deep and a string of high profile productions/remixes, 2003 saw Richard and friend and fellow musician Danny Jones setting up their own label Duffnote…….
“….. it was kind of a natural progression for us….. there were things we wanted to learn about the business and there was music that we wanted to experiment with that wasn’t house music. First off Duffnote set about releasing our House music output…. And in 2004 we set up One51 Recordings…..(151 was the number of the house where we used to live!!) which was to allow us to delve into eclectic influences a little more but still mix it up with dance music…..”
Not content with just 2 labels, 2005 saw the beginnings of Guess Records, a vehicle designed to house the deeper, electronic music….
“In the early years of my productions, the jazz/soul influences didn’t feature at all, it was pure electronics. I was listening to Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, The Orb, and Future Sound Of London amongst others so naturally the music I created was a reflection of this. This is how Spiritchaser came about, meeting with Mark Bamford in a pub in 1998 who shared the same enthusiasm for electronic music. So by developing our combined sounds we found ourselves immersed in the deep house scene. After a few years in the studio making music and doing remixes we were re-thinking how or where to expose our music. The internet was fast becoming a medium from where to acquire music so that’s where Guess came in, again almost as an experiment to see if it would work…”
Over the last 10 years, Richard has been nothing short or prolific when it comes to output, having remixed and produced for many labels including Duffnote, Guess, One51, Defected, Soulfuric, King St, Swing City, Large, BMG, Ministry of Sound, Hed Kandi, Purple Music, Morehouse, Peppermint Jam to name but a few.
With years of live instrumental performance behind him, it wasn’t long before the record deck grabbed his attention;
“…. I used be one of the naïve ones that thought it was easy to simply stand there and play other peoples records, but whilst studying at University, it came to my attention that a composer called John Cage said in the 60’s that the future of music was in the record player. And I began to appreciate the art of the DJ. This was one of the catalysts in my venture into DJing myself. And then in more recent years I brought the element of live instrumental performance to my DJing, combining live keys and the decks to add a little more variety and spontaneity to my sets…”
Ask him about his influences, and he will reel off a million – Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Stockhausen, Fat Back Band, D-Train, MAW, Vangelis, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode etc..etc..etc..etc……………………..
For Richard Earnshaw, music is his passion and his joy. For him, “…it is great to think that by creating and performing music, people can forget about the negative things in life and embrace the positives. Even if only for a short time.”