mark E talks
Mark E is a firm favourite at R$N, both as a DJ and a producer. From his early days making edits and chunky slo-mo house to his more recent ouput on the likes of Running Back, Bokhari, Spectral Sound and his own Merc imprint, a feeling persists of a producer with a hunger to develop his own singular sound.
Ahead of his gig at the mighty Thunder we caught up with Mr Mark Evetts himself for a brief chat taking in his favourite places to play out, the musical difference between Mark E and PROJECT E and what he’s got coming up in 2014…
Hello Mark,Youre playing at Thunder at Dance Tunnel very soon – its a great venue – great soundsystem/stripped back aesthetic/great crowd – have you played there before?
Yes I played there not long after its opening, nearly a year ago I think with Damon Martin.
Whats your own criteria for the perfect party?
Most importantly a crowd who is up for a good time and to just let them self go with the music, a good sound system and that un-quantifiable magical special ingredient.
And what are some of your favourite clubs around the world?
Air in Tokyo is very special, plastic people in London is always a treat, The sub club in Glasgow, Output in Brooklyn is great and Dance Tunnel of course.
I hear youve got your second LP planned on Spectral, when can we hope to hear it/get our hands on it?
Yes thats right, its coming out in April on spectral. There will be some streaming link I expect in some shape or form when its announced.
How do you approach making an LP, as opposed to a single or EP – or do you approach an LP as more a collection of singles, grouped together?
With this latest lp, I approached it as a collection of tracks which hopefully relate to each other in someway. I think House albums can be quite a difficult, but I treated it like a dj mix.
What else, release wise, have you got planned for 2014?
Well the next PROJECT E release is coming on Golf Channel very soon.
There are a number of singles coming out around the album on spectral too, plus some edits on MERC throughout the year.
In your own mind, how does the music of Project E and Mark E differ?
Project Es most important difference is the addition of Nat, he brings his keyboard playing ability and musical ideas, he is classically trained and heavily into Jazz and avant-garde stuff, so the music itself brings a more musical feel rather than the loopy building stuff I do alone.
Since you switched from producing in the box to using a hardware setup, what gear have you amassed – and are you falling into that endless chasm of gear addiction?!
Yeah totally fallen head over heels, its another world, I really dont know what I have been doing up until this point, I have quite a bit now, my favourite at the moment is the Roland jd800, plus my Alesis HR16 for drums is brilliant.
I remember reading that Theo Parrish, and particularly his long format approach of putting a track together, has become a big influence on the way you make music – without putting together an exhaustive list, who are some of the artists that have had the biggest influence on your production style?
Yes the earlier sample based tracks owe alot to that Detroit loopy abstract beat down sound. But now my approach via the latest equipment I have is very different, so I’m trying to carve my own sound without relying on emulating others, which perhaps I did quite obviously previously.
Likewise, for DJing, whos had the greatest influence on your own style?
Oh lots of people, everyone, from my friends to the residents at the parties I play to the big names I hear when im out. I admire the dj styles of people like Mark Seven,Theo Parrish.
Check out a wealth of Mark E’s mixes archived here:
Whats coming up on Merc in the near future?
There is a release imminent called E-Versions which is a return to edits for the label, then after that there is a release by Chicago Damn which is superb.
I particularly remember the 2012 release from Quaid was top drawer – anything else planned from him?
Yes its a wicked one, would love to hear more from him but no plans.
How do you go about finding the music that gets released on Merc, has it been submitted demos from producers previously unknown to you – or drawn from a closer circle?
Its a pretty tight ship, mainly via the musical family and friends, Gavin Chicago Damn often puts me in the right direction.
What records were the personal standouts for you in 2013, and which producers do you think are due a big year in 2014?
That Tony G on infinite juju was a big one for me, plus the T-Kut on Parkwest.
Mark E plays Thunder on 31st January – Tickets and info over here.