Blue Amazon started back 1994 as a studio collaboration between Lee Softley and recording engineer James Reid. Both west Yorkshire based(UK) the two met in Huddersfield at a local recording studio called “Beaumont St”. James was working at Beaumont St as a trainee sound engineer whilst recording for local artists such as “Shiva” who were producing vocal house. Lee was DJing locally and experimenting with recording.
Around this time “Progressive House” was on the rise with acts like Underworld, Fluke, Spooky, Justin Robertson, Sasha and The grid at the forefront of the scene.
Both influenced by the progressive sound and the energy of european techno released around that time sparked the desire for the two to start recording together and forge what become “Blue Amazon”.
“We started recording our own interpretation of progressive house and sending on demos to labels. We targeted labels such as “Warp” who unfortunately were more interested in releasing Techno and experimental at that time. As a result we released a limited amount of vinyl with a label called Creative Records and released the title “Blue Amazon . Hyper Sleep”.
As time moved on, locally Huddersfield’s vocal house act “Shiva” had started making their way in the music industry. They landed a management deal with 7pm management and went on to sign with London Records/Pete Tong. 7pm management was also management for Sasha and producers like “Tom Fredrick’s”. Since James worked with “Shiva” and both Lee & James knew band member “Paul Ross” it was only natural that Blue Amazon demos were passed on.
“At first 7pm said that they could possibly help us out by pitching our tracks to labels like “Stress Records” but were not interested a management deal. We continued to send them demos and it was our second demo set which sparked off the first Blue Amazon release with 7pm/Jackpot records. Title tracks “Four Seasons & The Runner” became the first release on 7pm’s own label “Jackpot”. “It was an exciting time for releasing progressive house and to be a part of a new label launch!” Our first release “Four Seasons & The Running” was far more rewarding than we expected and more than what we felt we deserved. We instantly had support from Sasha, John Digweed, Pete Tong as well as press from the likes of Mixmag. We continued the series and released a second single called “Star Of David and The Blessing” . This release again sparked off more interest and club support again from the likes of Sasha, Digweed, Dave Seaman, Danny Howell’s etc. The act were now being asked to remix other artists and completed a mixes of “Seal . New Born Friend” as well as “Balouga Boys” on Stress records.
Further releases included number one club record “No Other love” featuring vocalist “Vicky Webb” and remixes of Sasha, Jayn Hanna, Bedrock and Blue Amazon were being labeled one of the leaders of Epic House along with the likes of BT, Sasha and John Digweed etc
Blue Amazon were shortly signed up by Sony who released the single “Then The Rain Falls” and debut album “The Javelin”. They continued to remix other artists and were getting involved Indie guitar projects like “Skunk Anansie”! The Javelin Album was also released in Europe, Australia and the US.
Live shows were performed at the festivals in the UK including “Tribal Gathering, Phoenix festival(radio 1 Live), Cream Fields as well as clubs in the UK and oversea s..
Lee was also enjoying DJing at various UK venues and overseas including, Cream, Ministry Of Sound, Bedrock, The Rubb(Tampa Florida), Paradiso(Amsterdam), Stern Radio(Berlin) to name a few !
After The album release with Sony and with new management in place (Guy Ornadel) the act continued releases with Subversive records and remixed acts like of “Placebo, Blackgrape, Vast and Inspiral Carpets. Their own record label “Convert Recordings” was launched and several remixes were produced for artists on the label (predominately under the progressive banner).
After a few releases from the label and their own on Subversive, (around the year of 2000) for many reasons(some personal and some industry related ) James decided to take a break from Blue Amazon / Convert and a fresh start.
He has since gone on to record projects under the guise of “Forbidden Planet” , “Darcadian” as well as working as a recording engineer/producer role for other acts.
Lee continued with Blue Amazon and Convert Recordings and enjoyed remixing artists such as “New Order”, “Madonna”, Inner City and for labels such as “Maelstrom”.
Lee’s take own take on the “Blue Amazon” sound was surprising more underground than most expected. “I absorbed influences from the Berlin / German club scene through to breaks and tech house. I still have an influence of the original sound and am not scared to use Piano riffs , vocals n strings like we originally did”
The Convert label has been diverse in its releases from Progressive to Breaks and even Techno at times. Good music is good music no matter what the style. I’ve released mixes from Meat Katie, DJ Emerson(Berlin), Ocean wave through to acts like Transa.
Throughout the site you will hear music which ranges from progressive house through to Indie pop, Outlining Blue Amazon’s diversity and love for all music.