Kemal Okan started djing at an early age, and after 4 years
of that took up producing, having tuned in to the sounds
of Detroit Techno; and a spell working at Precinct 23 record
store in Glasgow. His interest in Detroit techno and drum
& bass soon led to a keen interest in fusing the two
These early influences were soon borne out as he joined
forces with Rob Data, soon establishing a name for themselves
and their particular brand of futuristic drum & bass.
With such anthems as ‘The Beckoning’, ‘Messiah’
and Kemals remix of Trace’s ‘Mutant’ they
became one of the hottest properties in drum & bass.
It would be fair to say that ‘Messiah’ changed
the face of drum & bass and will be remembered as a
genuine turning point in the history of d&b.
Hailing from Glasgow, the two producers - real names Kemal
Okan and Robert Rodgers - have a strong Techno influence
in their music. With releases on labels such as Renegade
Hardware (where they were signed under the name Konflict),
Outbreak, Moving Shadow, Underfire, Audio Blueprint and
their own short-lived Negative Recordings, their reputation
as producers has preceded them far and wide. Their tracks
are considered by many to be among the greatest examples
of the drum and bass sub-genre known as Neurofunk.
In the wake of (and perhaps precipitated by) the huge success
and rumours of financial displeasure surrounding their 2000
release "Messiah" (Renegade Hardware), Kemal and
Rob Data left the label and the Konflict name behind, opting
to go under their existing identities as Kemal & Rob
Data. It is worth noting that though Kemal amassed a great
deal of solo work as well as producing with Rob Data, he
has production credits alongside such artists as Dom &
Roland, Technical Itch, Paul Reset, Black Sun Empire and
Dresden Codex. After the 2001 closing of Negative Recordings,
Kemal launched Cryptic Audio, a label which has seen four
releases in the space of a number of years, as well as spawning
a live stage show.
In 2004, Kemal returned to his studies, only emerging for
the occasional DJ set and to collaborate with Black Sun
Empire on "Stranded v1.0" (oBSEssions Recordings).
Progressively kemal moved away from the electronic scene
and began to find inspiration in the diversity of the World
music genre. Joining Nomad'iqa June 2004, Kemal wasted no
time in adding extra oomph to live daff (frame drum), and
head up the band's progressive Electronic Arabesque sound.
Kemal has also worked with as a producer with a number of
other bands although he has seemingly chosen to keep quite
a low profile.