The Bristol Sound was largely influenced by the music and productions by SMITH MIGHTY. It all started with their Three Stripe Sound System in the early 80s. Championing a unique mix of funk, rap, reggae and dub the name Three Stripe quickly became a name for quality. Their own productions soon followed. In 1987, SMITH MIGHTY released a few Burt Bacharach cover versions, Anyone (Who Had A Heart), and later Walk On By (Walk On). With these tracks, marked by low frequency basslines, soulful vocals and deep arrangements, SMITH MIGHTY laid down the blueprint for the releases that followed from the British coast town, such as the debut single Any Love by Massive Attack. After a rather unlucky deal with London Records, SMITH MIGHTY released their first official album in 1995, titled Bass Is Maternal on their own label More Rockers. During the euphoria for drumnbass in 1998, SMITH MIGHTY finally had their international breakthrough. A fantastic set at Radio 1s Essential Mix catapulted the Bristol outfit into the front row. The following release of their DJ Kicks for !K7 which in large part is made of their own productions raised the buzz to global proportions. SMITH MIGHTYs DJ tour which followed showcased their vast musical range and received enthusiastic responses in Germany, England, France, Japan and the USA.
The large musical spectrum SMITH MIGHTY covered for their first releases also shaped their first album for !K7, Big World, Small World, which was released early 2000. Contrary to the dark and apocalyptic sound sketches by Tricky, Massive Attack and Portishead, SMITH MIGHTY remained true to the original spirit of Bristol. With their mix of hip hop, reggae and soul and their deep love for dub, SMITH MIGHTY produced a classic album. Following the huge success of Big World, Small World, !K7 rereleased Bass Is Maternal in summer 2000 which helped to reraise awareness for the first masterpiece by SMITH MIGHTY. The album eventually entered the German album charts. Two years later, the album Life Is… was released on !K7, which highlighted further excursions into the realms of dubbed out, rhythmically versatile, urban soul.