The “Bristol Sound” was largely influenced by the music and productions by SMITH & MIGHTY. It all started with their Three Stripe Sound System in the early 80’s. Championing a unique mix of funk, rap, reggae and dub the name Three Stripe quickly became a name for quality. Their own productions soon followed. In 1987, SMITH & MIGHTY released a few Burt Bacharach cover versions, “Anyone (Who Had A Heart)”, and later “Walk On By” (“Walk On”). With these tracks, marked by low frequency basslines, soulful vocals and deep arrangements, SMITH & MIGHTY laid down the blueprint for the releases that followed from the British coast town, such as the debut single “Any Love” by Massive Attack. After a rather unlucky deal with London Records, SMITH & MIGHTY released their first official album in 1995, titled “Bass Is Maternal” on their own label More Rockers. During the euphoria for drum´n´bass in 1998, SMITH & MIGHTY finally had their international breakthrough. A fantastic set at Radio 1´s “Essential Mix” catapulted the Bristol outfit into the front row. The following release of their “DJ Kicks” for !K7 which in large part is made of their own productions raised the buzz to global proportions. SMITH & MIGHTY’s DJ tour which followed showcased their vast musical range and received enthusiastic responses in Germany, England, France, Japan and the USA.
The large musical spectrum SMITH & MIGHTY covered for their first releases also shaped their first album for !K7, “Big World, Small World”, which was released early 2000. Contrary to the dark and apocalyptic sound sketches by Tricky, Massive Attack and Portishead, SMITH & MIGHTY remained true to the original spirit of Bristol. With their mix of hip hop, reggae and soul and their deep love for dub, SMITH & MIGHTY produced a classic album. Following the huge success of “Big World, Small World”, !K7 re-released “Bass Is Maternal” in summer 2000 which helped to re-raise awareness for the first masterpiece by SMITH & MIGHTY. The album eventually entered the German album charts. Two years later, the album “Life Is…” was released on !K7, which highlighted further excursions into the realms of dubbed out, rhythmically versatile, urban soul.