Sam Shackleton was born in Lancashire, England. He participated in various musical projects throughout the years, playing in punk bands as a teenager and later performing as part of a dancehall duo with Earl Fontainelle (aka Vengeance Tenfold). He first began producing music on a computer in 2003. Around this time, Shackleton was becoming more familiar with grime and dubstep through regular visits with Laurie Osborne (aka Appleblim), Necta Selecta, and Engine Room to FWD>> club nights.
Shackleton’s first release was a track entitled “Stalker”, released on Mordant Music in 2004. The track was later picked up by Rough Trade Records and included on their Best of 2004 compilation. The combination of the Rough Trade release and “seeing that people were making interesting bass music” led Shackleton to create the record label Skull Disco with Appleblim in 2005. The label’s name was inspired by a book Shackleton was reading “about a tribe from Cameroon who dug up their ancestors remains so as they could enjoy watching the festivities while the living members of the tribe played music, danced and got pissed.” Shackleton was impressed with Appleblim’s track “Mystikal Warrior”, and it appeared on the first Skull Disco release, a double A-side with Shackleton’s track “I Am Animal” on the flipside. Shortly after, Shackleton created the now defunct Skull Disco club nights in London.
In 2008, Shackleton and Appleblim said goodbye to the Skull Disco label after ten vinyl releases.In the same year, Shackleton relocated to Berlin
In 2009, Shackleton released his debut album, Three EPs, on Perlon. The album was originally conceived as three separate releases and was issued on three 12″s. In 2010, Shackleton released Fabric 55, a studio mix based on a previous performance at Fabric. It was the fourth Fabric release to feature a set entirely made up of the artist’s own material. Shackleton founded the label Woe to the Septic Heart! in November 2010 with the release of the Man on a String Part 1 and 2 12″.
In 2011, Shackleton collaborated with Pinch on the album Pinch & Shackleton, released on Honest Jon’s Records. That same year, Shackleton and Venegance Tenfold were commissioned by SoundUK to create a “Sonic Journey” inspired by sections of two Devon “train lines – part of the main line between Exeter and Totnes, and a section of the Tarka Line between Exeter and Barnstaple.”
In 2012, Shackleton’s third album, Music for the Quiet Hour / The Drawbar Organ EPs, was released on Woe to the Septic Heart!, once again featuring a collaboration with Vengeance Tenfold providing spoken word vocals