Naming yourself after a UN peace keeping force may not seem the most relevant thing to do if you’re making house music specifically designed to be played loud, but then Peace Division don’t exactly play by the rules. Making music that doesn’t rely on formulas (you won’t find snare rolls or cripplingly obvious keys here), Clive Henry and Justin Drake have carved out a niche in house music for the last 10 years, which although many have tried to imitate, is completely original.
Drake and Henry were first brought together in 1994, alongside Dylan Rhymes (who shortly left to concentrate on his solo material) when Justin (the engineer of the duo) was engineering a track Clive was producing for Skunk Records. The working relationship was so successful that the pair decided to begin a collaborative project then and there. According to the duo themselves, the partnership works due to their mutual love of house music and their contrasting studio personalities (Justin – laidback, Clive – intense, according to the boys themselves) which gives their music an undeniably edgy sound. Their respective foundations, with Justin’s in engineering and Clive’s as an integral part of the now legendary Flying Records crew (as well as Djing at his Gosh and The Bone parties to high acclaim in London) have also acted as fine apprenticeship in all things house.
With the first fruits of the Peace Division partnership (three tracks collectively named as The Cool Edge EP on Kickin Records in 1994) receiving support from the likes of Derrick Carter, the Peace Division name was quickly cemented. The next stop was the creation of the now home of PD, Low Pressings. Started by Clive alongside long-time friend and collaborator Rocky (Xpress 2) in 1996, Peace Division now had full creative freedom to hone, and spread their take on house music, and quickly established themselves as the most bankable act around. Singles such as “Body & Soul” sold over 12,000 copies worldwide on vinyl alone while their debut album “Junkyard Funk” provided a new benchmark for dancefloor orientated house albums in 2000.
Not content on providing the magic touch to their own productions solely, PD are also recognised as remix artists of the highest calibre, with remixes for Moby, Superchumbo and Yothu Yindi causing massive ripples throughout the scene (not to mention A&R meetings!). Even with a studio schedule that reads like the working week of a high-flying broker, both Drake and Henry have continued to be two of the most in demand DJ’s, individually and as Peace Division. On the rare occasions where their diaries allow them to perform together as Peace Division, they have won over some of the finest and most discerning crowds from London to Argentina (and pretty much everywhere in between) and have been name checked by so many of their contemporaries that a list would just get boring.
Even those who haven’t been lucky enough to catch the PD sound in a club have been blessed with much lauded mix compilations. The simplest point to take on board with Peace Division, is that whether they’re behind the mixing desk in a studio, in a club or lending their ear to the Low Pressings A&R policy they are consistently striving to hone and develop their sound – something which a lot of music lovers worldwide are continually thankful for. 2008 see’s Peace Division further their outstanding careers with a compilation for NRK as well as radio mixes for the BBC, Australia’s Tripple J and America’s Proton Radio amongst many more.