There are a few names in drum & bass that carry a certain legendary status along with them. Names, which are synonymous with a certain god-like status, attracting hoards of eager fans itching to catch their sets. DJ Marky is one of them. The smiling Brazilian master of upside down turntable-ism has been around for over 10 years and is revered as one of the most respected figures in the game, and it’s no wonder why. With his own label Innerground Records, and countless appearances all over the world, not to mention his trickery on the turntables, he is considered as one of the most hard-working figures in the scene. Ahead of his next appearance in London at Village Underground, alongside dBridge and Dub Phizix, we’re giving away 2 tickets to a lucky winner, but first we caught up with Marky to see if scratching vinyl with his elbow will become a regular thing, and what we can expect from his set at Village. Check out the comp at the end of the page.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Where have we caught you today?
Right now I am at home in Sao Paulo in my studio, working on a few new tracks to take on tour with me at the end of the month.
I’ve seen you play in Australia, in Italy at Sun and Bass, and in London various times. You seem to be one of the hardest workers in the industry! It feels like you’re always on the move- is it difficult to find a work/life balance in this industry, and do you often find yourself having to say no to gigs so you can have a bit of a break?
It can be difficult, but I try not to say no to gigs whenever possible. I spend probably about a third of the year travelling and the rest of the time I am working in Brazil and South America. I can’t be away from home too much or for too long at a time because I have a young son, and anyone with kids knows it’s tough to be away from them for long periods of time.
Sun and Bass seems as though it’s on its own level. You seem to be a bit of a favourite there- what is it that makes it so special?
It has a fantastic vibe. Everything is stripped away and it is all about the music and enjoying yourself. It’s a great event to be a part of and of course the weather (apart from last year) always helps!
Your next appearance in London will be alongside dBridge and Dub Phizix at Village Underground on the 4th of April. What can people expect from you at that event?
I’m really looking forward to this one. Not only because I get to play in London with dBridge and Dub Phizix, but I also have a load of fresh tunes from the label and from myself that I am itching to road test. It should be fun!
It seems that a lot of big names reward their fans with special extended sets, with Calibre’s 6 hour set going down a treat at Fabric earlier this month, and Andy C’s 6 hour set coming up in April. You yourself have done 6 hour sets before as well. I’d imagine having so much time to work with gives you more freedom to progress the set and take the crowd on a real journey. Are the extended sets as special to you as they are to the crowd?
Definitely. I think anything between 3 and 6 hours is great for everyone. It means you as a DJ can relax into it and really start digging deep in the crates, and it also means that the crowd can go on a journey with you, as you say. Because you have more time to play with you can really explore the genre and its history, and you’re not trying to cram in as many big bangers as possible in an hour. It also gives you the opportunity to throw in a couple of curve balls, like maybe a remix in a different genre.
Does that mean you wont rule out more in the future?
Of course not! I love these sets and regularly play them in Brazil.
You recently hurt your hand- how did that happen?
Skateboarding, of all things. I landed awkwardly and it didn’t even hurt at first, but when I tried to move my hand the next morning it was agony!
I was going to ask whether it’s affecting your performances but recently I saw some footage of you scratching with your elbow instead… Have you practiced scratching with every limb just in case?
Haha! I’ve never been in that situation before so it was a genuine first for me. The thing is, people have certain expectancies when they come to see me play, jumping around when I’m in the mix is one and scratching is the other, so if they come and I don’t deliver then they lose out and I feel bad. The show must go on, so if I can do it I will.
Will the elbow be a new technique from now on?
Maybe I’ll hold it back for special occasions, as it’s quite tricky to get right.
Did it take a long time to perfect your technique on turntables?
It’s a constantly evolving process. I try new things all the time. Some work, some don’t, but I have to try it otherwise it becomes very predictable. A wise man once told me that you should never stop learning, so that’s what I try to do.
For your chance to win two tickets to see the master at work at Village Underground along with dBridge and Dub Phizix, answer this simple question by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘DJ Marky Comp’:
What is Marky’s signature move?
a) Scratching with his foot
b) Scratching with his elbow
c) Scratching his bum
d) Scratching whilst holding a turntable upside down
Note: By entering this competition you agree to be subscribed to our mailing list to get the latest news, music and competitions. Entries close Monday 24th March, 2014.