Such is their swashbuckling sense of adventure, it’s hard to believe that X-Press 2 have been at the vanguard of British electronic music for two decades now. Whether it’s as musicians, DJs or remixers, the London duo share the same sense of musical discovery that first united them on the acid-house dance floors of Shoom and Spectrum and the Balearic playgrounds of Ibiza. A pioneering spirit that fuelled early Nineties underground anthems such as the percussive, US-influenced Muzik Express and London X Press. And why not? Chutzpah that helped them create languid deep house classics like Lazy and Give It with vocalists as unlikely - yet inspired - as David Byrne of Talking Heads and Kurt Wagner of Lambchop. A DJ bravado that led to them thinking, two decks are for wimps. Why not six or seven? Why not twelve?
The Three Musketeers have recently become two, with the departure of Ashley Beedle, but its full steam ahead for remaining members Rocky and Diesel. We shouldn’t read anything into Beedle's absence beyond the pressures of combining his solo and production work with X-Press 2, insists Rocky. It just got to the stage where Ash was trying to do too much. He’s the kind of guy who, if he could please everyone, he would, but it just wasn’t conducive to producing good music on either side. It’s absolutely cool between us - we're still good mates and the door is always open if he ever wants to get involved again.
So, now X-Press 2 are two, what does the future hold? In short - loads. Obviously, with Ashley leaving, the dynamic has changed, says Diesel. But we are carrying on the X-Press 2 sound and developing it. The key is that the pair are as excited about music as they were when they first met in Hayes, Middlesex in the mid Eighties. In their DJ sets - now on a relatively restrained four decks and CDJs they steer away from the Lazy era and chart a new course through 21st century house of every hue, from the lush and stately to the sparse and jacking. We are just overwhelmed by how much great stuff there is, smiles Diesel. We just can’t get everything in.
Indeed, in X-Press 2’s world of limitless possibilities, only one thing is certain. We will never make a song that says; Take me higher, insists Diesel. That’s just never gonna happen. Rest assured - Rocky and Diesel are as restless and averse to predictability as ever. Long may the adventure continue…