Exclusive Mark Robinson & Sam Walker (Pukka Up Residents) Interview

Written by Michael

December 15, 2011 3:01 pm

We catch up with Pukka Up resident DJs Mark Robinson and Sam Walker, who also run the record label side of the brand, where they reveal their future plans for more Pukka Up compilations, their best bits of 2012 and who really inspires them.

First off, how do the two of you go about collaborating on a compilation? Do you allow the other free reign or do you closely look at what each other is doing for their mix?

Mark Robinson: We work together to get a long list of the tracks that are doing the business at the Pukka Up Global Events in each style (Club, Boat, Beach). Then I’ll get busy haggling with the labels to ensure we get the strongest possible track list within our budget.

Sam Walker: We go away and mix the CDs separately, this way we have a collaborative input but with an individual spin on the way each disc is mixed.

Mark Robinson Pukka Up

What method do you use for mixing the CDs? What’s your favourite piece of equipment?

S: I use a software package called Ableton Live. Its great for doing live performances, producing music and putting mixes together. However, live I use USB input into CDJs or CDs.

M: I use Serato and Ableton to do the albums and live, I’ll usually use 3 x CDJ2000 with a DJM 800. The CDJ2000 is the business as you can simply use a USB stick for your tracks which is a life saver when trying to keep up to date with all the new tracks.

Each CD has its own feel which you describe by calling them the Club Disc, the Boat Disc and the Beach Disc. What made you decide on this approach?

S: I think this is down to the brand and the direction of its growth. The brand “Pukka Up” is well known for both its exclusive boat parties and its club nights, so that was a no brainer, but the Beach Mix comes from something that is quite new, a beach style day time party we did at Sands (Carl Cox’s gaff) in Ibiza this summer.

M: Our Boat parties are legendary in Ibiza, couple them to our Space Residencies and our more recent Beach parties at Sands and we’re able to cover the full spectrum of the amazing music heard at Pukka Up parties in Ibiza and worldwide.


Resident DJs are usually the unsung heroes of labels such as Pukka Up – how involved are you with the label? Do you think it’s important that resident DJs start to gain more recognition?

M: I partly own Pukka Up Records which gives me maximum incentive to push it hard. Pukka Up have given us complete control over content, schedules and budgets, which makes things very exciting for us as we are able to bring in hot new talent and help them to develop into respected producers and DJs through the label and Pukka Up events. As a resident for the brand, the label really helps to establish me with the Pukka Up faithful away from the albums and single releases.

S: Well this seems to be an age old debate but I think being a resident is brilliant because being part of a huge brand like Pukka Up you get to be both the supporting resident and the headliner depending on the event. I think it depends on where you are a resident. We are given a lot of support and are pushed from our management a lot which gives us the support we need so I’d say myself that I get the recognition that I warrant most definitely.

What are your personal aspirations as DJs?

S: As a DJ/Producer I would like to go as far as I can. There’s no limit to what you can achieve these days but I’d like to follow my own path and continue to travel the world sharing my music taste and influence with as many people as I can.

M: I’ve been lucky enough to see hundreds of amazing and far flung places working with Pukka Up and other brands over the years. The long term goal is to become the headliner in my own right through successful productions and remixes as well as the DJing.

What was your most memorable moment of 2011, and what are you most looking forward to in 2012?

S: Well this year in Ibiza I was a resident at Space Ibiza and I did the closing set in the Covered Terrace at the Come Together Closing Party, which is the most famous room in the best club in the world. 2012?? Well let’s just say I might be there a lot more next year ;-).

M: For me it would have to be the Pukka Up Boat Parties… They are simply bonkers and so much fun.

Will we be seeing any future Pukka Up compilations, either the two of you together or individually?

S: As myself and Mark run the record label side of things we will both be involved in all of the forthcoming albums. Mixing them? Well I would like to think so! More Albums? Definitely.

Where are you and what will you be doing NYE2011?

S: I’m playing at an event called the Secret Party Project. I’ve worked with these guys before and they are great. It’s in a mansion out in Derbyshire with a pool in the middle and 2,000 people around and in it! Pukka Up will be taking over the main room and I’ll have Ralph Good, Sonny Wharton and The Futuristic Polar Bear with me.

M: This year I’ll be playing our London Boat Party on the Thames which will be spectacular with the fireworks! Can’t Wait!

And lastly, which DJ or Producer would you say has been your main inspiration behind what you do?

M: For me there’s been so many over the years. Producers Roger Sanchez, Erick Morillo, Mousse T and MAW were a key influence in the beginning, along with DJs such as Pete Tong, Danny Rampling and Judge Jules, while more recently Axwell, Deadmau5, Calvin Harris and even Chase & Status inspire daily!

S: There have been a few. Modern day I would say seeing how the Swedish House Mafia’s influence has grown and the energy they create is amazing. Then we have
Carl Cox – who I’ve been lucky to play in the same club as for the last two summers – is just a legend, and personally when I was growing up in the DJ world I played quite a few times with Judge Jules and spoke to him a lot and he advised me well and still has time for me when we bump into each other.

Mark Robinson

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