Slimzee - real name Dean Fullman - announced the news on social media on Monday explaining that he feels “the need to continue my journey elsewhere”.
Helping to found Rinse FM in 1994, Slimzee was one of the first DJs to uphold a regular show on the station which originally operated from his home in London until 1997.
He posted a photo of himself recording a set during the station’s fledgling days, captioned: “It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to withdraw from my Rinse fm residency.”
“It’s been a great journey for me & something that has been a part of my life for 20 plus years but I feel time to continue my journey with my shows elsewhere,” he explained.
“I wish the Rinse family all the best now & for the future. Big up all the supporters as always your love doesn’t go unnoticed.”
During his 20+ years at the station, Slimzee played an influential role in bringing forward the sounds of grime and dubstep in the late ‘90s and helped to take garage to the mainstream in the UK.
After the release of Dizzee Rascal’s 2003 record ‘Boy in da Corner’, Slimzee received a golden disc in recognition of his contributions to the seminal album.
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Fans and fellow artists reacted to the news of Slimzee’s departure from Rinse on social media calling it the “end of an era”.
“So many out here, myself included, owe you a LOT, we wouldn't be here without your work and your legacy,” said Opium Hum on Twitter.
So many out here, myself included, owe you a LOT, we wouldn't be here without your work and your legacy. You're a legend, a true one, an inspiration and whatever you'll do there's a long line of people who will support you! Big up!— Michail / O̷p̵i̸u̸m̶ ̸H̶u̷m̵ / Hyper Real Radio (@opiumhum) April 25, 2023
“Legend bro. Your shows on Rinse will forever be the main reason a lot of people wanted to join the station in those formative years,” Plastician said.
Last week, Rinse FM announced that it had acquired previously shuttered Bristol station SWU.FM. It followed an earlier acquisition in January of former pirate radio station Kool FM.
Rinse also announced a global label solutions partnership with Believe UK earlier this week. The partnership will see Believe handle distribution and label services for the station's labels, Rinse Recordings and Bad Music.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter