The duo of Dingley and Jenks formed Alpha in 1996 they were originally called Ariel after working on various projects in the Bristol area. Alpha recruited singers Wendy Stubbs, Martin Barnard, Helen White and Kelvin Swaby now of The Heavy to add vocals to their downtempo, beat-driven compositions of the late 1990s, which led to them being included in the category of “Post Trip-Hop”. “ComeFromHeaven”, their debut LP was the first release on Massive Attack’s Melankolic label in 1997 and departed in 2001 after the release of ‘The Impossible Thrill’. They are currently on Don’t Touch Recordings, a label they founded and have released a further eight albums to date including the very exciting collaboration with Horace Andy ’ Two Phazed People’ which is getting outstanding reviews. Alpha is known in the industry as ‘The best kept secret’ and has worked with the likes of Madonna, Robert Plant, Massive Attack, Jarvis Cocker Alison Moyet, Benjamin Biolay and Coldplay.
More info… Alpha was formed in 1995 by two Bristol based producers and songwriters, Corin Dingley and Andy Jenks. Both were releasing records with other bands (The Experimental Pop Band and Statik Sound System) and released their debut single that year. It caught the attention of Massive Attack who signed them to their Virgin imprint Melankolic.
With the help of three sensational singers; Martin Barnard, Wendy Stubbs and Helen White, Alpha released two critically acclaimed albums and a remix mini-lp, selling 150,000 copies, gaining a credible list of admirers including David Bowie, Radiohead, Pulp, Tim Simenon and Madonna (Madonna voted their lp ‘Pepper’ album of the year in Rolling Stone magazine and asked Alpha to pitch some songs for her forthcoming lp ‘Music’). They toured extensively, both supporting Massive Attack in the UK and Europe, as well as their own sell-out shows in France, gaining a considerable fan-base there.
In 2001, Jarvis Cocker provided vocals for their cover of the Jimmy Webb song ‘This is where I came in’, and they toured Europe again, this time as a fully live 7-piece band. Alpha are also respected remixers, having mixed Robert Plant, Coldplay, Lambchop, Massive Attack, Brendan Benson, and Madredeus, among others.
Their music has been used in many movies including: Un Minute de Silence (France), My Life Without Me (Spain), No Grandpa (Japan), Derapages (France), XXXY (US), Le Poulpe (France), Accelerator (Ireland), La Novia de Lazaro (Spain), Sweet Underground (US), Beachball (UK). TV adverts include; Orange and Ford (both Europe). An extensive range of TV programmes from Channel 4’s Jam and Nip/Tuck to BBC’s Gardeners World.
The last few years have seen Alpha setting up their own label ‘dontTouch’, releasing their third album ‘Stargazing’ (featuring all their singers plus new vocalist Kelvin Swaybe), releasing an instrumental album ‘Lost in a garden of clouds’, dj-ing in Tokyo and across Europe, playing live to movies in Paris cinemas and continuing their production and remixing work.