5 Minutes With: Mark XTC
Mark XTC, a name mixed in a world of deep history, huge beats and emotions. For those unfamiliar with this certified producer, the alias (alongside Marcus Intalex) Da Intalex might ring a few bells. Linking up with Exile, this talented duo are set to due some serious damage to dance floors in 2019. Read all about it below..
‘What Ya Gonna Do’ has been named countless times as one of the most important releases in jungle history. What’s the story behind the track being signed to L Double’s Flex Records?
“Marcus and I teamed up and made a tune called ‘Thunder’. We loved Mary J Blige’s vocals so decided to make another tune using them. L Double said to come over to his studio and he would engineer for us. We came up with ‘What Ya Gonna Do’ one evening in sunny Huddersfield.”
Did the ‘Sing Time’ mix in collaboration with Ray Keith ever get past dubplate? Is the DAT still kicking about?
“Ha ha! That will never see the light of day. It was just a little mash up with Ray years ago. Hopefully I will be doing a new VIP.”
People often talk about your Kiss FM shows and how important they were in reaching all walks of life and educating them to the sound of drum and bass. Do you have any particular memories of the station or the broadcast itself?
“It was some of the best times for me. We had music from everywhere, all different styles of drum and bass. There was no prejudice so we played across the board, reaching so many people from different countries.”
You’ve certainly not been shy of radio broadcasting with your name gracing many a platform. How do you feel about online streaming compared to the days of FM? Do you think anything technology wise has increased the experience for the listener?
“I love radio! Being able to interact with the audience is good but just having people buzzing off the music you are playing is what it’s all about for me. Times have changed a great deal since the Kiss FM days but online streaming seems to be everywhere. You can’t get away from it.”
The label ‘Jump Up’ seemed to pop up from nowhere back in ‘96 and with many of the A list rosta supporting the original mix of ‘New Dawn’ I assume it quickly became popular however, it only lasted 5 releases? Why was this?
“I started jump up as an offshoot to Intalex Productions, there were so many up and coming artists that were sending us music and I had other projects so needed another outlet. Unfortunately I took some time away from the scene and our backer PWL/ Eastern Bloc changed management so both labels stopped. Marcus and Lee (ST Files) carried on and you know already know what happened next.”
Both the original and remix of ‘New Dawn’ came out in the same year. It’s now 2019 and we are soon to expect a third mix courtesy of the Serial Killaz label. What made you revisit it for the new generation of ravers and old school heads alike?
“Simon and I have always thought about merging the old school with the new school so it was a no brainer when we decided to link up to do new versions of some of my old tunes.”
What’s the story behind the original link up? How was the production duo Mark XTC and Exile created?
“He was a student of mine at the college I worked at quite a long time ago. He is super talented and I could see that from early! He worked with Northbase for a while so I could see even more that his potential was growing. When he left Northbase we stayed in touch and had always said even before Northbase that we would work together one day. Here we are!”
How do you find the creative flow working together considering your influences must be from very different eras in the drum and bass and jungle scenes? Does this sometimes work to your advantage as a duo?
“Definitely to our advantage, combining both eras seriously works. There are so many people who are loving what we are doing from my 16 year old students to veterans of the scene.”
Is the plan to release more tracks influenced from the hardcore scene? It seems to be quite an unexplored territory with bags of potential.
“Our ethos is old school meets new school. We enjoy bringing both eras together and buzz off each other and what we both bring to the table.”
Could you see the mix of hardcore and drum and bass making a comeback in the raves for 2020? Imagine that, hands in the ear one second then some horrible, stinking bassline steppa!
“I really think it’s happening already. There are so many good tunes out there which are revamped mixes of old tunes or have an influence from a classic rave tune.”
Give us a list of your top 3 all time favourite anthems. These don’t have to be well known anthems as such, maybe they just sit with you as personal anthems or have a special story behind them – feel free to share!
Asmo – Jam The Dance
Renegade Soundwave – The Phantom
Nightmares on Wax – Dextrous
“All the tunes above have a special place in my heart. I still play them out when I do classics sets, they just remind me of how music has evolved. From the Detroit and the Chicago house scene to the deep nasty basslines and breakbeats which were the beginning of a jungle generation.”
What’s next after the Serial Killaz release? Any live shows? Do people still do live PAs with keyboards etc?
“Hell yeah! That’s exactly where we want to go, Simon (Exile) is so musically talented he can play various instruments live so that alongside my scratching, vocalists and MCs; the live show will hopefully come together.”
We would love to do live PA with keyboards and maybe bring the guitar out and transform it into a synth as well as keyboards that would be the dream. Maybe even using a 3D mapped live show so it’s also visual as well again tying the old skool with the new skool.”
Any shouts or big ups?
“Jason Formosa, Randall, Andy C, Bryan Gee, Frost, Billy Daniel Bunter, Tonn Piper, Slipmatt, Jay Folly, all the Unity in the sun crew, All the Slipback in Time crew, Kool London, Eastman, OSN crew, Tobie, Graham and all my family.”
Bag a copy of the EP here.