Rob Deacon

Publisher of 'Volume'


Robert Andrew Deacon, publisher and music producer: born Sutton at Hone, Kent 6 August 1965; died 8 September 2007.

With CDs now stuck to the covers of most music monthlies and given away with newspapers, it is easy to forget how innovative Volume, the CD and magazine combination launched by Rob Deacon in 1991, really was. Beautifully packaged – usually with a colour picture of tropical fish on the glossy cover – the CDs contained tracks by a wide range of acts, as well as a CD-sized book packed with articles on the artists and the occasional irreverent feature. Publication was haphazard and never reached more than five issues a year, but Deacon's attention to detail and high production values, as well as the inclusion of exclusive mixes, demos and tracks unavailable elsewhere, made Volume a sought-after item.

Volume was a broad church, covering indie and hip-hop, but focusing on the various strands of electronic music, from industrial to ambient via trip-hop. With the Trance Europe Express and Trance Atlantic series, Deacon was a champion of the strand of house and techno known as trance. In the mid-1990s, he launched the Deviant label, scoring a success with the German DJ Paul Van Dyk, who achieved four Top 40 singles between 1998 and 2000. Deacon also worked with DJ Sammy & Yanou, the Spanish disc-jockey and German producer team who topped the British charts with a cheesy reworking of Bryan Adams's Eighties power ballad "Heaven" in 2002.

Born in Sutton at Hone in Kent, Deacon spent part of his childhood in Australia but completed his studies in the UK, at Dartford Technical College. He did an apprenticeship with British Telecom but by the early 1980s was already publishing a fanzine called Enzine, and soon developed Abstract which combined a 12-inch vinyl album and a magazine. He also launched the label Sweatbox, releasing limited runs of 12-inch singles, EPs and albums in beautifully embossed sleeves by cutting-edge artists like the Anti Group, In the Nursery and Meat Beat Manifesto.

Introduced nine years after CDs first became commercially available, Volume achieved healthy sales from its inception. Deacon took the photos, wrote a huge amount of copy, did most of the design on an Apple computer in his basement flat in west London and put the big publishing houses to shame. The five volumes of Trance Europe Express achieved sales in excess of 100,000. Trance became a worldwide phenomenon and Deacon travelled as far as Australia and Japan to promote events there. He also covered the evolution of Berlin's Love Parade into one of the biggest events on the dance calendar in Berlin Unwrapped, a 1996 compilation and magazine available as a CD or five 12-inch singles.

However, with publishers cutting deals with record labels and free CDs becoming ubiquitous as cover-mounts, Volume started to lose momentum. Deacon decided to go out on a high. For the 17th and final edition issued in January 1997, he put together a double CD which clocked in at over two hours.

Deacon had greater success with Deviant Records, selling 60,000 copies of Vorsprung Dyk Technik, a mix album by Paul Van Dyk, but he decided to close the label earlier this year in order to spend more time indulging his interests in photography, Chelsea football club, diving and canoeing.

Pierre Perrone

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Savvy Media Ltd: Media Sales executive - Crawley

£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible