Steve Lawler worked his way to the top of the British dance scene before taking his dark, tribal style of progressive house internationally, spinning at all the world's biggest clubs, from Ibiza to Miami. Lawler's mix albums, including reputation-establishing entries in the Global Underground series, consistently included the latest big hits alongside hard-to-find favorites of his that made his sets so unique. More than anything, Lawler's mixing consistently emphasized house music, in particular the progressive side of house. And he was often known for his emphasis on big, dark, tribal drums — lots and lots of drums — that anchored his multi-hour DJ sets.
Born in the Midlands of England, Lawler took an early interest in electronic music, particularly Depeche Mode. More than anything, however, the bursting late-'80s acid house scene drew him deeper into the music. It no longer was an interest; it was a lifestyle. He began listening to local pirate station PCRL and frequenting warehouse parties. Between 1990 and 1994 he put on a series of illegal parties in a disused tunnel under the M42 and then made the jump to Ibiza, where he met Darren Hughes of the British superclub Cream. Hughes was impressed by Lawler and offered him the chance to spin at Cream. Before long, Lawler held a residency there and, in turn, entered elite status among his British peers.
With every passing year, Lawler's popularity grew, and he soon adopted the jet-set lifestyle, spinning everywhere from Space in Ibiza and Zouk in Singapore to Groovejet in Miami and Twilo in New York. He entered the mix CD market in the early 2000s with his Dark Drums series and, more visibly, some entries in the Global Underground series. Moreover, he began producing tracks, one of the most noteworthy being "Rise 'In" for John Digweed's Bedrock label in 2000. ~ Jason Birchmeier