A piece by UK Garage-ologist Gabriel Szatan on Todd Edwards's career rebirth
"If there’s one moment of telepathic audience communication almost every Todd devotee can picture with their eyes closed, it’s this: simply utter the words ‘Jesus Loves UK Garage’, and a rippling harp ushers in the dream sequence.
"It’s New Year’s Day 2003. On the fringes of East London, history is being made. A full decade into his career, Todd Edwards is stepping up for his first club DJ set. The venue is Romford’s Time & Envy, the night is DJ EZ’s 4by4, and the jet-lagged Jersey boy is sweating with anticipation in a homemade black T-shirt proclaiming Christ’s affection for UKG...
"EZ slots his records away as Matt ‘Jam’ Lamont and Karl ‘Tuff Enuff’ Brown beam from the booth’s back wall. Todd is summoned and cues up a custom dubplate cut for the night. Around 1,200 tightly-packed fans surge forward to the sound of — wait, is that The Carpenters? Todd stands, eager but flummoxed, as people begin to cheer and shuffle to the muted intro for 45 seconds or so. Then the tune kicks in, and the venue goes absolutely doolally.
" [Todd recalls]'... They cheered every song, including that preposterous intro, which was intended to show the crowd how my samples worked. I learned so much that night: the interaction between the DJ and the crowd was like nothing I’d experienced in New York. The MC was saying things and the crowd chanting back — as an American, it just sounded like a pep rally.'”
"During his set, this innocence resulted in one amusing misunderstanding. As the crowd demands a rewind, Todd flashes a confused glance back to the MC. Unsure what was being requested, he whiffs at the chance of a thunderous reload, instead merely hitting the stop button and watching the turntable power down. He grimaces at the mention. "Tuff Jam always joke about that.”
Watch the magic and the mishap here https://youtu.be/1UxY5LonBIc - or below
Less cheerfully, there's a lot about Todd losing his way, bad management, financial struggles - and failure to capitalize on a later resurgence off the back of Random Access Memories
There's talk about his "lost" album Odyssey (actually released but not to much impact)