Brazil's DJ Marky is a kingpin in the global drum and bass world. Credited with pushing a more liquid, funky sound in the 90's, his label, Innerground, has seen releases from huge names on the scene like Logistics, Makoto, Random Movement, A-Sides, Digital, Total Science and Calibre in its nine year history. Ahead of the 50th release on Inner Ground, we caught up with DJ Marky about what got him started, his latest release and clubbing in Brazil.
Innerground has been going for almost ten years now, what’s the ethos behind the label? The ethos is simple, just good music. We don’t try and follow trends in the genre or anything, we like to champion new, young and fresh producers and give them a platform to bring their music to the masses. The vibe has to be good with the tunes, and they have to have a serious musicality to them. We’re not into just putting out filthy tracks for the sake of it, because if I wouldn’t play it in my set then I am definitely not going to release it on my label.
You’ve got your 50th release coming up on your imprint Innerground Records, how will you be celebrating such a milestone? I’m so happy to be doing the 50th Innerground release. The label has come a long way since we started it almost 10 years ago. I’ll be putting out a very special release with two of my own solo tracks on a limited edition picture disc.
Which producers influenced you the most at the beginning of your career and has that changed, who do you listen to now? I was influenced by a lot of different producers, but I know that one of them for sure is one who I still listen to and that is Calibre. The guy has DnB in his veins and every track he writes is pure and guaranteed to be a hit.
Your latest release, Last Night/Love Affair, with S.P.Y is out now on Innerground. What was it like working with S.P.Y in the studio? It’s great working with Carlos. We have a lot of the same tastes in music and are always trying to beat each other with samples in the studio. We both have our own energy and areas that we can give some expertise so it is always fun and productive.
You are considered by many as one of the pioneers of DnB of 90s, would you say there’s been a real revival recently in 90s sounds? Well I am flattered that people would say that about me for sure. I think all of these things go in circles. What is popular now might not be popular next year, but give it another 10 years and it will be back. It’s like a lot of things, when you get a new generation coming into their own and discovering their own tastes in music they always listen to the old stuff and then it gets a big revival.
Having been a resident in some of Brazil’s biggest clubs, for people who’ve never been to Sao Paolo/Rio de Janeiro what’s it like to go clubbing there? It’s fantastic! You do get two quite different experiences in the two cities though. For example Rio has a lot more House and Electro going on, whereas Sao Paulo has a lot more DnB. I would also say that Rio has more tourists than Sao Paulo so the music you get is a little bit more crowd friendly there and you get some real deep DnB in SP.
Would you say that travelling has influenced your music? I think so. When you travel the world and play in different cities to different cultures, you understand that the music takes on a different language in each country you visit. For example the kind of set I play in the UK doesn’t necessarily work in Japan. It makes you think more globally when you sit down in the studio and start putting things together.
What are your top venues or events that you’ve played at over fifteen years? Are there any particularly fond memories you can share with us? I’ve been lucky enough to play at a lot of places across the world during my career so it is really difficult to pick somewhere out as a true hot spot. But Fabric in London, where I have my DJ Marky & Friends residency is amazing. So is WOMB in Tokyo. These are two truly iconic venues that I love to play at every time I go there. I managed to play at Glastonbury a while ago which was an experience for sure.
You’re playing at Fabric on the 6th of July, what are your top three ingredients for a good night out? Friends, vibes, good music.
As a Brazilian in London, where do you hang out when you’re over here? To be honest with you, I spend most of my time in record shops topping up my collection. There’s always some weird or collectable record to pick up so I spend a massive amount of time just flipping through vinyl and then taking samples in the studio.
What advice would you give to aspiring Drum N Bass producers out there? Work hard and be true to yourself. There is no point going out there and trying to be someone you’re not to try and gain fans. The public will see through that straight away and also it is impossible to keep up. Nail down your sound, refine it and put it out there to as many people as you can. But most of all, enjoy yourself! We are lucky enough to do something we truly love and enjoy so enjoy every minute of it and be the best you can.
Finally, what’s your greatest ‘Love Affair’ in life? No doubt, my son. He means everything to me.
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