Five Minutes With Marky

Five Minutes With Marky

With past collabos with the likes of XRS, Bungle, S.P.Y, Total Science, Makoto and many more, Marky’s production crown already sits firmly on his shiny Brazilian head. Yet only last month did he release his very first solo EP! One quick blast on the effortlessly funky Ya Thing and You Know and you’d never tell they were debuts. But they are. And we rang him to find out all about them. Turns out he’s got a lot more planned. He hates computers and he might even release a bit of house music too! Read on for more chatter from Brazil’s finest premium export…

Your first solo release! What took you so long?

“I learned so much from XRS. He’s a fantastic engineer but didn’t play records, so we did a little exchange in skills. Plus I’m not into computers! Especially then, I just didn’t like them and couldn’t work on them. I found it hard to get into them. And I found Logic so difficult! I was waiting for the right program to come along, I guess. Then I had to make some edits for my Influences compilation so I asked S.P.Y for some advice and he pointed me in the direction of Ableton. It opened my eyes!”

I don’t think you’re alone there… Ableton’s changed the game for a lot of people.

“Yeah! For me it was the hands on sensation. Back in the day I made edits with reel-to-reel…”

You were physically editing them.

“Exactly! You had them in your hands! Anyway, S.P.Y told me he thought it was time I started producing tunes. I got so many samples and ideas. My record collection is over 25,000 now; funk, jazz, soul, hip-hop. I’ve been collecting them since I was eight! So I watched S.P.Y on Ableton I had the same vibe as the reel-to-reel tapes. I thought ‘shit! This is really really cool!’ That’s where it started. S.P.Y has been so supportive to me. And eventually I got to the level where I could release them.”

Being a DJ helps, right? You already know what works on the floor and have an ear for dynamics…

“That’s the thing! I knew what I wanted to do but I couldn’t get the computer to help me do it. S.P.Y showed me the way. I don’t like to force myself too much, though. If I have an idea I’ll make a track but I don’t want to sit in the studio with loops rolling and rolling. I was in the UK a while ago and had so many ideas, I made four tracks on my headphones. They needed mixing down and some Rhodes chords so I AIM’d them to Makoto. He loved them and added a few extra bits, soothed out a little trouble I had with the bass and we finished them!”

So there’s plenty more Marky shizzle in the pipeline. Are they likely to see the light of day this year?

“I hope so. But I’ve signed a lot of great tunes for the label recently. I’ve got stuff coming from Total Recal and T.I so they need to be released but me and Makoto have six tracks ready and I want to get them out very soon. They always kick off when I play them!”

The problems of being a producer AND a label owner…

“That’s the thing! Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass!”

Would you think about sending your own tracks to other labels?

“It depends man. I do like the idea of keeping stuff to Innerground. Me and Makoto released the Rush Hour EP a few years ago so it’s good to have it as a part two. I want to release a lot of stuff all the same time! It’ll work out though.”

It always does… We best chat about your single now. Two beautiful tracks. Some awesome samples too. Tell me more…

“Ya Thing is inspired by a house record I heard at a party. I love house music! I used to play house until the rave stuff sent me crazy. I heard this tune by Oliver $, I fucking loved it. So simple. So minimal. I had to find the vocal, it was a Moodyman vocal. Moodyman live. I thought ‘this is fucking cool!’ I wanted something minimal with loads of little elements, sexy and funky. You know? I sent it to S.P.Y. He said it was cool. Transit Mafia, a good friend of mine for years, he loved it and said I should release it. You Know was a totally different inspiration… I was driving in my car and feeling really down. A Harold Melvin track came on my iPod and I thought ‘shit! I need to sample this!’ Got back home and wrote the track. I sent it to Hype on the Monday and on Wednesday he played it on his show. Didn’t even email me about it! Madness. I sent it to Fabio and Bukem and it kinda went from there.”

Amazing. So, big question…. When’s the Marky solo album coming out?

“Oh man! Does the industry lend itself to albums? It’s not like back in the day when I released LK or Roni released New Forms. Singles might work better for me. Music can get lost on the albums, people only download the big tracks. So for now I’ll be putting it out as singles. I’m also going to release some house tracks. I got some tracks written already and really want to get them out there. Ben Westbeech has inspired me on that tip. He got me to play a house set at his night recently, which was so much fun. So yeah, I’m just focusing on the singles. I don’t want pressure and albums come with pressure. When me and XRS made In Rotation it was a lot of stress. My ex-girl was pregnant and I wanted to enjoy the moment but I didn’t have enough time… Too many gigs, too many demands, we need this now, you have to do this now, blah blah blah… It was bullshit man! Plus I’m still loving doing collaborations. I’ve done stuff with Calibre, I really want to do more tracks with S.P.Y too… We just buzz so much in the studio. He teaches me so much stuff!”

Ya Thing / You Know is out now on Innerground.



Drum&BassArena Editor: Dave Jenkins has documented beats for over 15 years working with the likes of UKF, Mixmag, DJ Mag, iDJ, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor, Radio 1 Xtra and many more.