Sidestepper is a lesson about getting lost in music. Richard Blair was a rising producer in the UK, working with Peter Gabriel's Real World sound factory and a host of international stars when he took a fateful detour to Bogota, Colombia, back in 1992. Thinking he'd spend a few months, Blair tarried in Colombia for three years, transformed the local music scene, and then returned to the UK under the nom-du-club Sidestepper and did the same to London's percolating drum 'n' bass scene.
It goes without saying that you can't make Sidestepper's music without living it; you've gotta walk the walk and talk the talk. Richard Blair was no tourist. Living in Colombia's crowded, rainy capital, he learned the language, soaked up the nightlife and fell in with some of the country's most forward-thinking musicians. Blair produced and engineered pivotal albums by the pop vallenato superstar Carlos Vives and pioneering rockers Aterciopelados, becoming a catalyst for Colombian music at a time when artists were fusing Latin roots with modern sounds. Blair knew both his introduction to Colombian rhythms was producing the dynamic Afro-Colombian percussion ensemble of Toto La Momposina for Real World.
Sidestepper continues the reinvention of Latin music with subsonic bass and state-of-the-art production smarts. Where so much of today's Latin music is formulaic salsa romantica, Sidestepper's tough rhythms conjure up the spirits of bad boys like Eddie Palmieri, Willie Colon, and Larry Harlow. At same time, Blair and co. remind D&B jocks that the beats don't have to get soft to be progressive.
In 1999 Blair released Sidestepper's debut EP, Logozon, and Sidestepper began the transformation from a solo electronic project into a full band beginning to play live. 2000 saw the release of More Grip, and Sidestepper played extensively in Europe during 2000 and 2001. 2003's 3am (In beats we trust), ventured into dub and reggae territory, and saw the further evolution of Sidestepper into a live band based in Bogota. Sidestepper has toured the U.S., and continues to play in Colombia and abroad. Courtesy Calabash Music