AskDefine | Define dextrous

Dictionary Definition

dextrous adj : skillful in physical movements; especially of the hands; "a deft waiter"; "deft fingers massaged her face"; "dexterous of hand and inventive of mind" [syn: deft, dexterous]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


Latin dexteritas, from dexter 'on the right'.


  1. Having a high dexterity.
    He is a very dextrous person.


Extensive Definition

DJ Dextrous or just plain Dextrous is the stage name of composer, producer and DJ Errol Francis. Born and bred in North London's Stoke Newington area, at Brooke House Boy's Schoolhe associated with DJ Hype as well as Smiley and PJ from the group Shut Up and Dance, DJed at school discos, played trumpet in the brass band, and sang in the school choir.

The beginning

Dextrous took his DJing up a gear when he started to play at parties and small clubs way back in 1987. At around the same time he began putting his studio together, based around an Atari 520STFM, Casio HT3000 keyboard, Casio CZ-101 Synth and Yamaha TX7 Sound Module. Dex had always been into computers and other "techie" stuff, so the marriage of music and technology was always going to be a huge attraction. He released his first record in 1992, on Ruff Quality Recordings (the sister label of Shut Up and Dance Records) entitled "Ruffneck Biznizz" which topped the Kiss FM House Charts. This track was one of the precursors to the Jungle Scene, with its sped up breakbeats and reggae/dub bass-lines.

His labels

He then decided that he wanted to be in more control of his creative output so started his own label 'King of the Jungle Records' with Rude Boy Keith (real name Keith Lawrence), who was working for Shut Up and Dance at the time, and who also attended Brooke House School during the time Dextrous, DJ Hype, Smiley and PJ were there. Dex and Rude Boy Keith also became a DJ and MC double act that travelled all over the globe, spreading their vibe through Dubplate Specials and PA-ing their latest recordings. During this time the pair signed to Suburban Base to release 'Da Kings of the Jungle' trilogy. At this time Dextrous was one of the leading lights within the ever growing Jungle scene, and could also be tuned into on a Sunday morning playing on Kool FM (94.6 FM), one of the main pirate radio stations in London.
Never one to keep still, Dex parted company with the radio station and then subsequently King of the Jungle Records in 1995. By then he had already launched two further record labels, Subversive Recordings (formerly Subliminal Recordings) and State of the Art Recordings alongside partners Paul Brown and Jon Stewart. These labels allowed Dex further creative freedom, the latter being his platform to express his jazz roots. As a trio Paul, Jon and Dex recorded under the moniker 'Solid State'. Together they created the sound they branded "'Urban Fusion'". Collectively they have been credited one of the pioneers of the so called "Liquid Funk" scene. They coined the phrase "Urban Fusion" to cover all of the creative influences evident in their music, encompassing jazz, dub, Detroit techno, garage, funk, reggae to name but a few. During this time Solid State recorded for DJ Fabio's Creative Source label as well as Renegade Recordings and Alan Mcgee's Eruption Records (Creation Records' sister label).


As well as his work within the Drum and Bass/Jungle scene Dex has recorded within many other genres Broken Beats, UK garage, Nu Jazz, R'n'B, Dub music, Jazz Fusion) under many aliases:
  • Transcendent Minds
  • Solid State
  • DJ Rus De Tox
  • Forbidden Zone
  • Fusion Forum
  • Retro-Spec
  • Da Kings of the Jungle
  • Back2Back
  • The Regulators
  • Tit 4 Tat
  • E.F.Jay
He is also credited for his library/production music he regularly composes for radio and TV.


Dex has the rare accolade of being the only producer within the Drum and Bass scene to have been awarded the prestigious Ivor Novello Award. He gained this for his soundtrack to the BAFTA Award winning documentary Feltham Sings. He was also nominated for a Royal Television Society Award for Best Original Music for TV back in 2003.

External links

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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