DJ Marky is one of the most respected and well known drum & bass DJs in the world. Although still only 37, the Brazilian has been playing music in clubs for a quarter of a century, and yet instils every set he plays with an infectious enthusiasm and careful perfectionism that belies his long and experienced career as a DJ. After honing his skills behind the decks throughout the 1980s and 1990s in his home city of Sao Paulo, DJ Marky arrived in the UK around the Millennium and turned what was then a very insular, UK-dominated drum & bass scene on its head. At a time when the genre was at its most underground and masculine, Marky’s vivacious DJ performances and floor-focused, uplifting selections brought a slice of Brazilian sunshine to drum & bass.
“The first music I heard was jazz. Then I heard James Brown; when I first heard soul music, I fell in love. I got into early hip-hop in about 1983; then I switched to Detroit house, then acid house. Everything changed when I heard Altern8, The Prodigy’s ‘Charly’ and Bizarre Inc’s ‘Playing With Knives’. I totally switched and from then on all I cared about was UK music, I wanted to go to London so badly. The UK rave scene was all I would talk about. I started playing hardcore and then jungle after that; early Reinforced Records, Suburban Bass and Moving Shadow, tracks like Omni Trio’s ‘Hyper On Experience’. I’d order English music magazines and follow the scene from Brazil; I worked in a record shop so I would get my music that way, but only the biggest labels got distributed outside of the UK. It was hard work, I was very dedicated. No one in London would have believed back then that nearly 6,000 miles away someone was playing this crazy music.”
It was in 1999 that head of legendary D&B imprint V Recordings Bryan Gee stumbled upon Marky’s outlandish talents on a trip to Brazil and knew immediately he just had to bring the Sao Paulo resident home to the UK. Scratching, juggling and, of course, smiling, his way through every set, Marky made an instant impact. Studio collaborations with fellow Brazilian XRS followed for V on the ‘Brasil EP,’ but it was the release of the seminal ‘LK’ and his now-classic ‘Brazilian Job’ mix CD that firmly established Marky among the D&B elite. In 2003 Marky established his own label, Innerground, which is now on its 37th release, and remains an outlet for his own productions and the music he believes in. Now collaborating with fellow Brazilian – and one of the hottest names among D&B’s new-school of producers, S.P.Y. – Marky continual proves there’s more to him than just his incredible DJ sets.
“My label Innerground is something I’ve got a lot of love and passion for; I only put out tunes I believe in. It’s nice to keep the soul and funk alive. Production is cool. Sometimes I’m desperate to go to the studio, sometimes I don’t want to go. I’m not the kind of person that can just go into the studio and work. I need something to inspire me. Music is something I take very seriously and is very emotional to me; all the music I’ve made has a story or history behind it.”
If there’s one thing that’s predictable about a DJ Marky set, it is its unpredictability. As a genre, drum & bass is built on a huge variety of sounds, styles, influences and approaches, and with a DJ Marky set, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get. From smooth, musical ‘liquid’ to dark, cerebral atmospherics and intense floor-filling ‘jump-up’, Marky is renowned for the surprising variety of his selections.
“I don’t plan my sets, I hate playing the same set twice. I think that’s why people like me, because they never know what I’m going to play. This mix has all my favourite tracks at the moment. It’s all music I really love and am passionate about it. The first thing I thought was that I wanted to do something different to what people that come to see me play would get. I don’t like the idea of trying to put as many tunes as possible on one CD. I want people to hear the music completely, not just one minute of each track; the mix is important, but music comes first. For this CD, it’s for a different time and place, for listening to at home maybe, with your friends having a beer or a glass of wine. My concept with CDs is very, very different to in a club – I don’t want to make a banging, noisy CD. It’s totally different.”
Despite his intentions to make this CD stand alone from his club sets, FABRICLIVE55 is unmistakably DJ Marky. Thoughtfully paced and constructed, and taking in many of the very freshest tracks that the Brazilian is currently playing, Marky proves once again that, in his own words, “Drum & bass is not just men’s music”. With a consistent thread of soul, musicality and groove, tracks such as Calibre’s ‘Even If’, Die & Interface’s ‘Bright Lights’, 8-Bits & Q-Project’s ‘T1’, Marcus Intalex’s ‘Steady’ and Skream’s ‘Motorway’ are all proof of the enduring depth, variety and relevance still to be found in drum & bass.
“When I got offered to work with fabric, the first thing I asked was; ‘When do I get to do a CD?’ There are so many people that I love who have done them. Within a day of being asked to do the mix, I’d recorded it. It’s so important to me and for my career; fabric is famous all around the world and since my first Marky & Friends event here, it’s been brilliant. We try to bring a slightly different audience to fabric – a slightly older crowd. What’s really important to me is the quality of the people at the party. I play for everybody and everybody’s welcome, but it’s nice to see older people in a club. And lots of ladies – if the girls are coming, then that’s good; that’s a party!”
FABRICLIVE55: DJ MARKY
Release: 17 January 2011 (USA 15 February 2011)
Launch Party: Friday 4 February 2011
WE HAVE 5 COPIES OF THIS LITTLE BEAUTY TO GIVE AWAY. TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE SIMPLY MAIL COMPS@THERANSOMNOTE.CO.UK WITH “THAT MARKY DOESN’T HALF MAKE DRUM N’ BASS SOUND EXCITING TO SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T LISTEN TO A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF IT THESE DAYS”