One of the junglists that produces hardcore, and dark core with the Technical Itch crew.

Darren Beale first made waves as a producer back in the early 90's with his hardcore project 'Orca'. He then moved on to produce deep Drum & Bass under aliases such as 'Acro', 'Koda', 'Code Blue' & 'Wild Orkid' - primarily for 'Lucky Spin' & 'DeeJay Recordings'. It was in the mid 90's that Darren first met Mark Caro (Technical Itch) & they began to work on a few tunes together. The result of this meeting speaks for itself, with both members contributing to the meteoric rise of both the Decoder & Technical Itch names - ultimately leading to the position that they are in today - leaders of their field. Over the past few years Darren's tracks as Decoder have received wide acclaim from DJs, punters & press alike; this is reflected in the number of labels that he records for - Tech Itch Recordings, Breakbeat Culture & Hard Leaders now release the majority of his material, but with remix work & production credits on most of Peshay's album tracks, Decoder's name crops up time and time again. Key recordings over the years include 1997's 'Decoded EP' (TI016) on 'Tech Itch Recordings', which was one of the biggest D&B releases of that year & achieved the position of No.18 in N.M.E.'s 'Vibes' Singles Of The Year, 1998's collaboration with Mark Caro yielded the seminal strains of 'EKO', again on Tech Itch. 1999 saw 'Headlock' (TI022) surface to a rapturous welcome alongside Technical Itch's 'Deception', whilst the Summer saw the release of Darren's 2nd EP 'Encrypted' (TIO24) which charted in the Fab & groove top 10 rollers for a month, peaking at No.3.

1998 also saw Darren deliver 'Dissection', his first artist album on Hard Leaders, to an enthusiastic reception. Mixmag's (Nov.1998) opinion was that "Dissection is proof that there is still a bright future for Drum & Bass albums"; while Muzik (Nov.1998) said of the album - "Typically excellent production & a fine blend ranging from the dynamic funk to the deepest of the deep, wracked with quality". Wax (Nov.1998) also recognised the album's merits, hailing it as "One of the more interesting long-players to surface this year". The album has also spawned the massive singles 'Stash' & 'Hacker' which join previous Hard Leaders 12" classics like 1996's 'Fog' and '97's 'Vapour Dub' and 'Turn'.

As far as remix work goes, the list is a long one with reworks of major artists like Photek (Rings Around Saturn Rmx), Adam F (Dirty Harry Rmx), & Alan McGee's The Chemical Pilot (Astral Dominoes Rmx) standing out. '97 & '98 also saw Darren produce a number of tracks for Peshay's forthcoming 'Miles From Home' album. Those cuts include the seminal title track (also the first single - released in 1998), the second single 'Switch' & it's flip side, 'Retro'.

The past year or so has seen a noticeable progression in Darren's music - fusing the tough beats and futuristic sounds he has become known for with a touch of melody, funk & soul - getting back to live instrumentation & real music. This development has been taken a step further through his ongoing collaborations with Substance, the results of which are appearing on Breakbeat Culture ('Secret World', 'Something Else', 'Encounters EP') and labels like Doc Scott's 31 Records ('Dimension' / 'Fallen') and Moving Shadow offshoot Audio Couture ('Curvature' / 'Heist').

Darren is also working on a vocal project entitled Kosheen with 'Yes Men' & ''Dangerous Waters' released on Breakbeat Culture in 1999. Comments like "the best thing to come out of Bristol since 'Mezzanine'" from Wax (May 1999) and "Original and fresh" from Update (22-28 March 1999) were proof enough that the original downbeat versions did the business, with Decoder's Drum & Bass remix still in every top jock's box, Kosheen is definitely a name to watch

A decoder, or demultiplexer, is a common digital component that takes a single input line, and connects it to a specified output line, depending on the value of the select input(s).

Here is a symbol for a 1:8 decoder, and logic functions:

  +-------+               __ __ __ 
--|EN   D0|--          D0=S2*S1*S0*EN
  |     D1|--             __ __
  |     D2|--          D1=S2*S1*S0*EN
  |     D3|--             __    __
  |     D4|--          D2=S2*S1*S0*EN
--|S2   D5|--             __
--|S1   D6|--          D3=S2*S1*S0*EN
--|S0   D7|--                __ __
  +-------+            D4=S2*S1*S0*EN
                             __
                       D5=S2*S1*S0*EN
                                __
                       D6=S2*S1*S0*EN

                       D7=S2*S1*S0*EN

Here, the encoded signal is attached to the "EN" input, and the binary value present on S2-S0 selects which "D" output the decoder connects "EN" to. For example: if the bitstring "010" (2 in decimal) is applied to S, the decoder will connect EN<->D2. If "111" (7) is applied to S, the decoder connects EN<->D7, etc. Any unconnected outputs will hold a logical '0' value, while the connected output holds whatever value is present on "EN".

Note that each of the outputs of the decoder has a logic equation which resembles a minterm. Thus, a decoder can be used as a minterm generator, and as an easy way to implement any logic function--We need only OR together all of the minterms that we want, and ignore the rest, and our function is taken care of. For example, suppose we wish to implement (on our 1:8 decoder) a function with this truth table:

A B C|F
-----+--
0 0 0|1          <-m0
0 0 1|0
0 1 0|0
0 1 1|0
1 0 0|0
1 0 1|0
1 1 0|1          <-m6
1 1 1|1          <-m7

Notice that I have pointed out minterms 0, 6, and 7. To implement this arbitrary function F, we need only take our decoder, and OR together the outputs that correspond to each minterm, and then we must connect the "EN" input so that it is always '1'.

F = D0 + D6 + D7
S2 = A
S1 = B
S0 = C
EN = 1

And, voila! Our function is implemented.

Note that a decoder need not be 1:8. It could be any of 1:2N. We just need N select inputs, and 2N outputs. (Which, of course, makes really large decoders impractical.)

See also multiplexer.

Decoder A.K.A. Darren Beale made his first appearance as a producer back in the early 90's with his hardcore project, Orca. Following this, he moved on to produce deep drum & bass under aliases such as Arco, Koda, and Code blue. It was in the mid 90's that Darren first met Mark Caro A.K.A. Technical Itch and they began producing tracks together. This meeting ultimately led to the rise of Decoder, making him one of the leaders in the field. With over 40 tracks releases, Decoder has had a huge impact on the drum & bass scene, and has continued to grow both in talent, and in popularity. His latest LP Release - Concussion - is sure to blow any drum & bass fan away, and keep the crowds moving until the early hours of the morning.

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