b. 12 May 1981, England. The musically versatile Bristol-based Westbeech can lay claim to the very first release on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label. The track in question, ‘So Good Today’, was heard by the DJ at a festival in 2006 and Westbeech was signed on the spot, together with a commission for his first album. He had already built up a musical portfolio through classical training on voice, cello and piano, and was exploring a self-produced sound centering on soul but unafraid to include elements of drum ‘n’ bass, house and hip-hop. In the former style he produces under the alias Lean, and has worked on tracks with Clipz and DJ Die. 2007’s Welcome To The Best Years Of Your Life served notice of Westbeech’s adaptability while keeping the quality threshold high, the aforementioned styles incorporated to suit his lightly husky voice. Funk appeared to be the form that sat most comfortably, although with a florid, subtly jazzy piano style the drum ‘n’ bass writing generated an impressive momentum. Following the release of the album, Westbeech made a number of well-received live appearances in the UK.
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