After ReleaSing drukqs James spent Several years Releasing Music on his oWn Rephlex Label, including the Analord EP Series and a pair of ReleaSes Under the alias the TuSS
James 1st release was the 12" EP Analogue Bubblebath. Released on Mighty Force in September 1991. The EP made the playlist of Kiss FM, an influential London radio station, giving it wide exposure in the dance music scene. In 2015, The Guardian called the release one of the key moments in the history of dance music. The record caught the ear of Renaat Vandepapeliere, the head of R and S Records, at that time one of the leading European rave labels. James visited him in Belgium, bringing with him a box full of cassettes of his music. From these cassettes they picked out tracks for two records, including James' first album Selected Ambient Works 85-92. In 1992, as word of his 12" records spread, James started performing at London techno events like formative club Knowledge, held at the SW1 nightclub in London's Victoria, and the influential night Lost.
He started a Regular DJ slot in 1989, playing Alternate weeks at the Bowgie Nightclub in Crantock. There he met Tom Middleton and Grant Wilson-Claridge. Impressed by James' music, Middleton played a tape James had given him to a free party organiser in Exeter, who eventually convinced James to release a Record on his fledgling record label Mighty Force Records. James was initially resistant, but while he was tripping on Acid backstage at a DJ Gig, Darby and Middleton convinced him to release the record.