Mark E Interview
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Mark E Interview
In the last couple of years Mark E’s rise has been nothing short of meteoric. Carving his own niche as the king of the slo-mo, long drawn out, build that bad boy up before it explodes and everyone-looses-their-shit house sound, he has turned his back on the edit game and is concentrating on new material for his own label Merc and a selection of remixes. We caught up with the midlands deep house don on the eve of his Podcast and latest remix of our boy Duffstep’s latest offering on Join The Dots, just to chat about re-edits, Val Doonigan and why everyone should really love Sade.
What was the first record you bought?
Bizarre Inc – Playing With Knives
How was growing up in Wolverhampton?
I actually grew up on the outskirts in a village about 6 miles from Wolverhampton called Codsall which was very nice and sedate.
Where you brought up in a musical household?
No not at all. I mean, my parents liked music they had a record collection consisting of Val Doonigan's Christmas carols and the like, but no there is no musical background from my family.
Did moving to Birmingham influence you musically?
I guess it did, there was the whole free party scene going on at that time, and the deep house scene was big in the mid 90's, and Birmingham had some great nights. But I think this was the case across the country, every city had underground house nights, and it’s hard to sustain this now I think
When was it you moved there?
And what parties were you going to?
It was nights like, Left foot, Wobble, Bambam, Flotation, Atomic Jam, Hog, and later Jigsaw.
Can you remember some of the DJs that you were going out to see play?
The DJs I can remember seeing play are Digs & Swoosh, Simon DK, Ben Watt, Ben Davies, Charles Webster, Gilles Petterson, Jazzanova, Rainer Truby, Smokescreen Soundsystem, Ashley Beedle and also Daft Punk when they played live in Birmingham!
But yeah I would go to all these places and it was a great time.
What made you want to DJ/Who taught you to DJ?
A love for the music and going out clubbing, and buying records naturally progresses into buying some record players and a mixer and trying it yourself.
We had a group of us who were all into the same music, so we would go and buy records, I used to save up my money from working in a garage and travel up to Ruby Red Records in wolves, or Pure Records (Nathan Gregory Wilkins, Lee fisher and Surgeon used to work in here), Tempest, Plastic Factory in Brum, or Eastern Bloc in Manchester or travel down to London to quaff, black market all those shops down on Berwick street, Reckless, Select a Disc, and buy records. Come home and try mixing them together, you teach yourself.
I remember I had a Citronic belt drive with a little dial for the pitch control for one deck and another deck with no pitch control and spend hours trying to beat mix, eventually you get it.
How did you start producing?
By messing around with pieces of software that came free on the front of a music technology magazine, this soon progressed into saving up for the bigger stuff.
How do you choose what to re-edit and remix?
There aren’t really any criteria to mention here, you just get it or you don’t, hard to describe why you pick something. Maybe a little part grabs you, maybe you think it could or should be longer here or there, I don’t know. But edits have had their day I think, let’s try something new.
What inspires you to go back into the studio time and again?
Ideas, records you hear that inspire you, and love for the music again.
What made you decide to start Merc?
Up to the end of 2009, I had a pretty successful career in interior design, but due to the global recession my hours were cut to less than half a week’s work, so instead of trying to survive and carry on there, I left and went into music full time. So I needed a base, "a thing" a label a company I guess, to centre this all around, hence why MERC was started.
What is your Favourite Club to DJ in?
It doesn't exist anymore, it was the first club I ever played in, it was called SLAM, it was in Wolverhampton, and it had this perfect basement club, very small and dark. Proper scenes going off in there.
What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve seen in a club?
Sex in the foam at Amnesia Ibiza. 94.
Do you still regularly get excited by new music?
Of course, all the time, there’s loads of great music coming out everyday.
Do you still go out to parties?
Less than I used to, DJing most weekends and having a family tends to restrict things.
What are you most proud of?
The music I am making right now is my best. It’s new and original. STRICTLY NO EDITS. I’m about half way through my first artist album, and I’m really happy with it so far.I tried a few of them out at the SMS festival in Croatia and at Bestival last week, they sounded BIG!
Do you like Sade?
Yes of course, silly question, who doesn't? Haha!