DJ Stingray

Photo of DJ Stingray

Sherard Ingram is a menacing node in the vast tangle of electronic music's history, present, and future. As DJ Stingray he propagates a seer-like, totalising concept of what it is to be engaged in thinking ahead by making people move.

Permit yourself to zoom out of your singular reality enough such that all activity, all that is knowingly accumulated and all that is unnervingly accepted on this earth, is a spectrum of information. This includes the thermodynamics of our own biological structure. Now consider that music is a segment of this spectrum, and DJ Stingray's nexus of electro and techno a further specialised section forged in bypassing normalised circuits to confront the future, to articulate abstract dynamics. It's a slice of information, it is a bandwidth. Ingram's crucial and distinctive function in this system is to decode his particular nexus as a speculative software for others, and to encode its conspicuous qualities as a feedback system with the rest of the spectrum. If it sounds intense, it's because it is, and it's still just about sweating it out at a club.

A Detroit native, Ingram is an established figure in electro and techno from its earliest days. His Urban Tribe project is testament to this. First appearing on the genre-defining 1991 compilation 'Equinox,' Urban Tribe has come to call Anthony Shakir, Carl Craig, and Kenny Dixon Jr. members of the group. Though perhaps what has thus far come to be Ingram's most finely calibrated and entirely natural manoeuvre was under the wing of Drexciya's James Stinson. Performing with Drexciya's live unit, Ingram took the 'Drexciyan DJ Stingray' identity and conjured a torrential storm from the DJ booth. His aqua-genetic code persists in the form of NRSB-11, his ongoing collaboration with the other half of Drexciya, Gerald Donald.

The caustic, neuro-shock brand of apex electro that Ingram exhilaratingly pushes in every corner of the world isn't contained by this past. There's a motivating edge that's founded in his formative years, but it's one that only keeps the next page blank, with little clue of which way the swing will drill across the spectrum, gathering pace sufficient to redistribute definitions and test the limits of those being made to move.

Perhaps equally impressive is that Ingram has matched his steadfast, futurist mission with a serious expansion of his talents, without ever once compromising the distinctive intersection of his sonic heritage. Indeed, he has seamlessly carved out a unique position and storied legacy that transcends electronic music’s cyclical flavours of electro, techo and industrial.

Understandably, such vision has been complimented by a number of significant recording achievements. In 2017, DJ Stingray was invited to mix and programme the fourth edition of KERN, the mix series established by Berlin’s equally influential techno institution, Tresor, contributing a complex and searing edition that was celebrated by Resident Advisor as a document of Ingram “continuing to master a sound that seems as futuristic as ever.”

In its wake, further transmissions found Ingram positioned on the front of DJ Mag as part of an extensive cover feature, and turning in a memorably intense set for BBC Radio One’s influential Essential Mix series. Capturing a wider audience than ever, Ingram chose to deliver two-hours of music that, like his club sets, proved reverent to his heritage with both eyes firmly fixed on all possible futures. Given the widest possible audience, Ingram only continues to deliver music from another plane.

With his recent releases coming from an enviable smattering of crucial labels both genre-centric and experimental, Ingram is overhauling the very premise of the Detroit legacy he had a hand in writing, and on which others comfortably sit. With an oeuvre that touches base from Planet E to Presto!?, and from Mahogani Music to Reflex, Ingram's justified attempts at exiting the gravitational pull of genre tropes anticipate a dynamic edge of what we know is an ever-shifting centre.