Before emerging from the drum'n'bass underground for a major-label recording contract in 1997, DJ Rap was long one of the best mixers in the business, as well as one of jungle's best (if understated) producers. Born Charissa Saverio in Singapore, she spent her childhood living in various exotic locales around the world (her stepfather was a luxury-hotel manager) before settling in Southampton, England, as a teenager. While studying to be a solicitor, Saverio became involved with the British rave scene and soon graduated from club kid to working as a producer and mixer. Among her first released tracks was 1990's underground breakbeat favorite "The Adored" (as Ambience), recorded with Jeff B. and released on Raw Bass Records. She learned how to mix while promoting a record on the East London pirate station Rave FM and made her reputation a few years later after standing in for Fabio for a last-minute slot at the Astoria. Rap continued to produce and launched several hardcore/jungle classics of the early '90s, including Engineers Without Fears' "Spiritual Aura," recorded with Aston Harvey (later of the Sol Brothers and Freestylers). DJ Rap formed her own mixing agency, spinning it into the Proper Talent record label as well. Signed to Sony's Higher Ground subsidiary in 1997, she released her first album, Learning Curve, two years later. The mix album Brave New World (a co-headlining gig with Kenny Ken) followed in 2000, and the combination mix-album/production-collection Propa Classics appeared one year later. Rap's next CD releases were mix albums -- the double-disc set Touching Bass (Surge), followed by Chemistry (Armani Music Exchange). She returned in 2005 with Bulletproof, yet another mix album; this one boasted a half-dozen new productions amid the mix. Five years later, Synthesis appeared on the Ministry of Sound label. The album had little to do with drum'n'bass, falling somewhere between trip-hop and dance-pop. ~ John Bush
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