Exclusive – DJ Marky Interview
Written by Michael
January 13, 2011 9:31 pm
There are some DJ’s out there who, in their respective genre’s, command an almost unrivalled level of respect and admiration. With Drum and Bass, DJ Marky is one of the long term stalwarts of the genre who can rightfully be credited with bringing DNB to the forefront, revolutionizing a whole generation of clubbers along the way. With his up coming Fabriclive #55 due to be released, we felt it was only the right thing to do to have a catch up and get an insight into Marky’s thoughts and feelings surrounding his passion. And of course, we will be following this up with an album review before the release date.
When you first started DJ’ing in Drum and Bass, you were said to be frustrated with the limited interest in the genre. How has DNB changed for you over the years? Where do you see DNB in 5-10 years time?
Well, I was kind of frustrated with the scene in Brazil because it was pretty impossible to get hold of some of the deeper more underground tracks because only the bigger labels were exporting to us. It has changed massively though from then to now. So many more artists making good music, so many different ways to make it with various computer programs. I hope that in 5-10 years time DnB will still be as exciting as it is now and always has been.
What would you say triggered the explosion in popularity of DNB?
I think we can put it down to the crossover tracks that happened like Shy FX & T-Power’s “Shake Ur Body” and to an extent “LK” as well. If you look at the time before and even after these tunes, there has very rarely been DnB in the Top100! I know Pendulum and Chase & Status are doing it regularly now, but up until then it was pretty rare. That was what changed it. Suddenly a lot of new people heard the music and realised it wasn’t all about horrible grimy little clubs and bad attitudes.
What role has Brasil played in bringing DNB to the masses?
We’ve had some good DJs and producers bringing the Brasil sound to their productions and I think that has helped open up the genre to a more melodic and upbeat sound.
You cite the UK rave scene as being one of the major influences on you early in your career, how do you feel about the current state of the dance music scene in the UK?
It’s still like a mecca for worldwide DnB fans. They know that real DnB happens in the UK. It’s where the majority of the producers and DJs live and where a lot of the biggest and best parties happen. I still think the UK needs to adopt more extended sets as it is still quite common to only play for an hour. But in terms of atmosphere and general vibe, it is hard to beat.
Fabriclive and DJ Marky seems like perfect harmony, how did you approach the mix and what equipment did you use?
Hahahah! Well, you probably won’t believe me, but I did it in one take in my home studio in Sao Paulo. I didn’t even listen to it after I recorded it, just sent to my manager and he said it sounded amazing and the lovely guys at Fabric said the same so I knew it was all good. In terms of equipment, it was just me, my macbook Pro, Serato SL3 and two turntables.
Mixing for a CD is different because there’s no crowd to bounce off, how do you set about making sure the mix is just as effective?
It’s about the tracks you choose and the way you put them together. I try to imagine how I would build a live set and just go through the same thought process. Kind of imagining myself listening to it as I play and think “I need to step it up here” or “Let’s go deep for a few tracks”. It’s just a feeling you get. I don’t like to go too hard for too long or too deep – just try and keep it moving and taking the listener on a journey.
You’ve been DJ’ing now for nearly a quarter of a century, a staggering achievement, how have you managed to keep up your passion and not lose interest?
It’s the same for anybody, whatever their profession – if you love your job it is easy to get up and go and do it. I am privileged to have the opportunity to do what I do and to have the fantastic fans that I do, so that is my inspiration.
You’re label Innerground looks set to make waves in the scene for 2011, can you tell us about some of the artists you have?
I’m really happy with the Innerground catalogue and the artists that have released on it. I believe in every single one of them and have maximum respect for people like Smithy & Quiffy from Total Science, Logistics, Random Movement, Makoto & S.P.Y. This year we have a couple of new artists releasing on the label and the digital label like TREi, Flacco and more, so it’s gonna be exciting for sure.
You’re a DJ, a producer and you have your own record label – do you have any plans to expand further into other areas?
Not really. I think if I started to try and do anything else then something would suffer, and I don’t want that to happen. I am happy with everything at the moment so maybe when I can’t DJ anymore or something like that then I will think about trying something else. For the moment though, I am happy with what I have.
When you’re not DJ’ing, you’re…
…spending time with my son Gabriel or desperately trying to go to sleep. I have insomnia!
Fabriclive #55 Promo Video