The Shogun Audio boss talks ten years of innovating in drum and bass.
Ed Keeley is one of the most enduring figures in an enduring genre. He waded into the UK's busy drum & bass landscape in his late teens by starting a fanzine, and the man later known as Friction made his name as a DJ before starting up the Shogun Audio label in 2004. As well-known an A&R as he is a selector, Keeley has used his imprint to launch the careers of some of the genre's most important young artists, including Alix Perez, Icicle, Rockwell and SpectraSoul. Shogun's emphasis on releasing fully considered albums—with detours, diversions and plenty of pop-worthy songcraft—also reveals a healthy interest in crossover. Zigzagging between big-tent festivals and small clubs around the world, with a regular gig on BBC Radio 1 in between, it'd be no small exaggeration to say that Friction is one of the most influential figures across drum & bass's many fragmented subgenres and scenes. Ten years into his label's run, he recently caught up with Andrew Ryce in London.