Diving deeper and deeper into the mysterious, often confusing underworld that is the history of Electro music, we travel back in time to Miami, and highlight one of the most legendary of all the Bass music pioneers, the iconic Maggotron.
Born James McCauley, Maggotron has been shredding subwoofers all across the planet with his intelligent, funky, and high-powered productions, that have put him on the map as one of the true godfathers of Electro Funk music; especially the Electro Bass style. Working under many aliases, most notably perhaps being “DXJ”, but usually in collaboration with Ron Sansone, Jose Martin, as well as Claudio Barella a.k.a. Debonaire, James McCauley has been responsible in more ways than one for putting Bass music on the map, not to mention founding one of the first Electro Funk groups to be born out of the Florida scene.
Maggotron’s first release was in 1984 on Bound Sound Records, with the single, “Computer Pop”, in collaboration with Richard Fields. This release showed McCauley’s roots in Hip Hop, and had not yet began his journey into Bass music, rather entering Maggotron into the earlier half of the Electro Funk movement with this classic and funky production; displaying obvious influences of Kraftwerk, and American bands like Newcleus. In 1984, McCauley also launched his own label “Jamron”, where he would go on to work under different aliases, this year releasing “Raiders Of The Lost Groove”, as “The Empyre”, with Ron Sansone. This year would also mark the beginning of what would be a troublesome and bumpy journey with the label Pandisc for McCauley, working behind the scenes on the records “Palmerforce Two – Streetwars”, and "Planet Detroit – Invasion From Planet Detroit”.
In 1985, Maggotron returned with the “Maggotron E.P.”, on Jamron Records, but it would not be until 1987, when McCauley’s beginnings in Bass music can be found with the release of “Welcome To The Planet Of Bass”. This release clearly showed a change in direction for Maggotron’s music, and helped pave the way for what would soon be known in some circles as “Techno Bass”; primarily with the release of Dynamix II’s single on Chaos Records, “Techno Bass/Feel The Bass”.
1988 would see Maggotron return with one of his all-time classics, “Return To Planet Bass”, which was a ferocious attack of sub-bass drops, old school cuts, classic stabs, and sinister basslines the way only Maggotron can do. This year also brought us the release of “Bass Invaders”, which featured 3 different mixes of “Bass Invaders”, as well as the song “Fresh Beets”. Also in ‘88, one of the most sought after Miami Bass Classics, “The Bass That Ate Miami”, was released by Maggotron Crushing Crew, which was an off-shoot of McCauley’s Maggotron project.
Maggotron’s first album would come into fruition in 1989, with the release of “The Invasion Will Not Be Televised ( Cos We Don’t Have Video )”, which featured all of his releases up to date, except his Electro Funk releases from ’84, and ’85. Included in this album, was “That’s My Man Throwing Down”, another one of McCauley’s infamous releases, that was also released this year as a 12” single, and included 5 other versions of the original. The record also featured scratches by Paul “Extraordinaire” Elalouf, Raps by MC Joker, and Guitars by Paul “Fret Riddler” Harrison.
Throughout the ‘90s, Maggotron continued to release a lot of his tracks on many compilations like “This Is Bass Vol. 2” on Hot Productions, and “Miami Bass Classics Vol. 3”, on Wicked Mix Records. 2 new albums would also be released through Jamarc in the early part of the ‘90s, “Bass Man Of The Acropolis”, and “Bass Planet Paranoia”-which also had an EP on 12” vinyl that featured the tracks “Pillow Talkin’ Baby”, and “Coming Back To Bass”. A “best of” called “Early Maggots” was also released in 1990 on Po Funky Blah Records, that featured most of Maggotron’s work throughout the ‘80s; especially his Electro Funk productions like “Computer Pop”, and “Raiders Of The Lost Groove”.
Maggotron kicked off the 21st Century with a collection of tracks released on Jamron Records in 2001, called “Electro Jamz From The Jamron Vault”. This release featured collaborations with Smokey Dee, and Palmerforce Two, as well as his works as Maggotronics, DXJ, and The Empyre. In 2005, “Computer Funk” would be released on the “Toxic” compilation on Because Music, and it would not be until 2007 when we would finally see completely fresh and new solo material from Maggotron; aside from his collaboration with Palmerforce Two, on "Suburban Reality", released on the above mentioned 2001 release on Jamron.
Releasing the classic hit “Mission: Electro” on Debonaire Records, McCauley collaborated with Claudio Barella, as well as Scratch D of Dynamix II, to bring an EP to the growing Electro Bass scene that was as much of a blast from the past, as it was a transmission into the future. Featuring his signature pitched-down vocals, and comedic samples, Maggotron annihilated clubs around the world with powerful beats, and mysterious pads and stabs, as he brought back a sound that was as fresh as it was classic and familiar. The world was ready!
Since, Maggotron continues working quietly and diligently. A man of many tasks, and perhaps none as important as his wonderful family, who in no way prevent this beloved artist from concocting Bass classic after Bass classic, if anything, you could say they are a huge inspiration! Recent releases like his collaboration with Debonaire on FdB Recordings "The Rise Of Bass Planet", as well as "Hindsight Is 20/20", not to mention "Digital Bass"; both released on Debonaire Records, show the artist gracefully evolving, yet never gravitating away from his core sound that made him a legend the world over. Expect much more, as the artist is in studio as always, utilizing modern methods of production to consistently refine his craft year after year.