Marcus Intalex: A Perfect Fit
With the likes of Calibre, Skeptical, LSB and more already contributing to Soul:r’s forward-thinking Four:Fit concept, it was only a matter of time before head honcho Marcus Intalex stepped in to lend his signature touch to the series.
Four:Fit 008 sees Intalex in top form, suggesting his passion for D&B is still well and truly thriving. We caught up with the man himself to chat about the EP and more…
Yes Marcus, thanks for taking the time to chat! Where have we caught you?
At home on an office day ☹
Straight to business then – You’ve just unleashed the eighth instalment of the Four:Fit series on Soul:r with 4 exceptional tracks – huge big ups. I found myself nodding furiously the whole way through. What made you decide to contribute to the series rather than releasing the tracks as part of a regular EP?
I can’t really ask people to contribute to a series if I don’t contribute to it myself.. It’s a good format.. producers these days tend to make more music so finding four tunes to showcase their talents is, I think, right for the times and offers better value for vinyl buyers.
How long did it take to piece the EP together? Has this been a long time coming?
No I really haven’t been concentrating too much on my output. Trevino kinda took over for a while but I have always been dabbling with d&b, I never stopped.. I decided at the turn of the year it was time for an Intalex release, so I picked a couple from the coffers that I thought had good potential and updated them and challenged myself to make a couple of new ones.. Which I did in a rainy week in February.
Seriously loving the subtle progression in Mixed Bag. I feel like the art of progression was lost in a lot of production I was hearing for a while, in favour of that instant satisfaction in the form of a dirty drop/ catchy loop… I feel like this might be changing again though, such is the cyclical nature of D&B I guess. Thoughts?
It’s almost too easy to nail down a groove, get the impact right and roll it out. Its almost like that’s what the modern d&b DJ wants. The long drawn out thought-provoker has fallen out of fashion.. It’s a shame, but it’s mainly just down to people making more of an effort. I’d say we are all guilty of complacency at times.
With so many bedroom producers able to make beats from home these days we’re seeing a real influx of producers and tracks – do you think the scene is experiencing a lot of quantity over quality these days?
I’d say over the last ten years that has been the case.. It’s still is a little over saturated with averageness and there is a lot of cloning going on, but it’s significantly in a better musical place than it was ten years ago. The new generation of producers are mastering the sound and are producing tunes much closer to being the finished product than ever before.
Very true! DRS’ dulcet tones appear in Mixed Bag – it’s no secret the Manchester crew are a tight-knit group. The talent out there is truly astounding.. Something in the water perhaps? 😉 Do you guys often jam and experiment with various ideas even when you don’t have a particular project in mind?
I don’t often see them these days as I moved out to Berlin, but I know they are a really tight bunch of friends that have a big passion for music, performing and having fun.
Who was the last person you had with you in the studio?
Sat next to George Commix as we speak… making techno though, sorry!
Hey, music is music! Back to the EP – Jupiter is a personal favourite of mine, there’s something quite emotive about it for me.. The way the percussion is arranged makes it quite powerful. Is there a story behind this one?
Kinda, though not a very entertaining one… I just got myself the soft synth version of the famous Roland Jupiter synth.. I had played with one back in the nineties and always wanted one but they were always very expensive. So I just decided to purchase the soft synth and have some fun.. the tune came together in no time at all.. They are always the best ones.
Step Forward is a naughty little stepper. This has Intalex written all over it for me. How do you think your approach to production has changed over the years?
I’m a lot more confident these days since moving to Ableton.. it’s fun and I really enjoy my time in the studio. The bonus of this is I have made a shed load of music… I really think the most important ingredient to being good at anything is to really get satisfaction and enjoyment out of the process.
Agreed! Stringray is a somewhat sinister, futuristic roller, and rounds the EP up nicely. Obviously inspired by the controversial Stingray phone tracker is it? Are we being watched Marcus? 😉
1984 arrived a little later than envisaged but it’s certainly here now…
How’s the Trevino project coming along then? Do you find having a side project outside of D&B allows you to return to D&B feeling refreshed and inspired? I’d imagine working within the same tempo and conventions for over 20 years would get pretty damn stale..
Exactly that.. it’s when the music becomes the day job that it’s actually harder to continually create. Trevino took over for a while there and it’s helped taking the edge off the need to continually create as Intalex. Therefore going back in with a more carefree attitude has renewed my passion for making d&b.
Great to hear! What’s your creative process like these days? Do you set yourself time to work, or do you only head to the studio when you’re feeling particularly motivated?
I’m pretty much in there daily… I think i’m the happiest when in the studio.. I just really enjoy it.
26 years in the game now Marcus… Any plans for another album?
No, I will just see how the next few months go in the studio then make some decisions.
It’s been about 15 years since you, Calibre and ST Files introduced us to the incredible Mist:i:cal alias – any plans to work on more material together?
Yeah that would be special. Time and logistics would be the issue with two of us living in different parts of Germany, and one still in Manchester. Throw children and families into the mix and it would look pretty unlikely sadly.
In your opinion which artists are currently raising the bar and pushing an original sound?
Predicatably I just got a new batch of Calibre.. it’s his best for a while.. Some seriousness there for sure.. I like Skeptical’s sense of minimalism, groove and his basslines.. LSB is smashing it for me though.. He has great attention to detail without getting too arsey, and he has a great ability to make his music sound simple when it isn’t at all.
Let’s chat summer vibes – Soul:ution Boat Party coming up at Outlook this year! I’d imagine the atmosphere on that boat is going to be seriously electric, especially with Calibre, LSB and yourself repping the label…. Correct me if I’m wrong but this will be Soul:ution’s first boat party at Outlook, right?
Yeah it’s the first one.. but I hear it sold out in 15 mins, so it may well not be the last one.
Great news! What are you looking forward to most going back to Croatia?
Catching up with Dom, Del and Luke, and playing some tunes in the sun.
Perfect combination! Do events like Outlook and SunAndBass allow you to have a bit of a working holiday and to reunite with colleagues you may not have seen in a while?
Yeah it’s very social.. it’s good fun.. SunAndBass especially. It’s got such a great vibe.. Very chilled and friendly. It’s like one big happy d&b family.
Ahead of events like these do you make sure you’re armed with plenty of dubs to test out?
Yeah things seem to fall into my lap without asking come festival season.
Do you prefer the more intimate venues/shows to the bigger festivals/ club nights?
Always have, always will. I really prefer to feel like I am as one with the crowd.
What else is coming up on Soul:r? Some incredible releases so far this year…
It’s LSB time after my EP. Theres a single due for the end of summer and an LP a few weeks later. It’s sounding very very good indeed.
Can’t wait! And what about you, will the summer be taken up with events or can we expect more new material later in the year?
I try and keep a balance of both. That’s when I find I enjoy life better.. Too many gigs and I start to feel the heat.. I always feel like I need plenty of studio time so I can stay in advance of my career.
Final words of wisdom / shout outs?
Nope, the suns out – its time for a beer ☺
Fair play – Cheers!
Four:Fit008 is out now. Get it here.