For the fifth instalment of our HENCH Takeover series we’re very pleased to have one of the most established heads in the game, MRK1, supply us with this exclusive mix, featuring tracks from the likes of Jakes, Subscape, and Trolley Snatcha, as well as some brilliant new music from the man himself. Hailing from Manchester, MRK1 has been a true champion of new underground music, having been involved in the worlds of drum & bass and grime, notably in the guise of Virus Syndicate, and being at the forefront of the dubstep scene since day one, before it even had a name. Check out his mix below…
We caught up with the man himself for a brief chat about his influences, Virus Syndicate, and what the future holds for MRK1…
What’s been keeping you busy lately?
Ive been doing a lot of production at the moment. Mixing up my styles a bit. I’ve got a tune with DJ Chuckie and Doctor coming out on CR2 Records in Europe and Atlantic Records in the States. I’ve also got a track coming out on Steve Aoki’s label Dim Mak in the next couple of months. Both of these tunes are 120 bpm and on a different vibe to what I usually do.
I’ve got a few releases coming with Hench featuring Doctor, Jamakabi and Virus Syndicate and I’ve just finished the new Virus Syndicate single featuring Trigga. I’ve got an EP coming out with N Type on Wheel and Deal featuring Flodan and Trigga, plus I’ve got some huge projects in the pipeline on a more commercial vibe coming up in the near future which I can’t speak about as yet, but all will come out soon.
Exciting stuff. Tell us a bit about your mix…
The mix features tracks that I’ve been playing recently in my live sets. Lots of energy and vibes!
Tell us about your musical background, how did you first get into electronic music and dubstep?
I started producing in 2000 making dubstep which at the time hadn’t been labelled dubstep at that point. Prior to that I was always into Hip Hop and Jungle. I got into production through Oris Jay (Darqwan) who showed me the ropes and linked me in with the Forward crew.
In terms of your own musical style who have been your biggest influences?
I’ve drawn influences over the years from a whole range of musics. I like to listen to all genres where I get many ideas from. I’m really into well produced shiny music and I try and make my mix-downs as clean as possible.
How have your tastes changed over time?
Over the years I’ve learnt to appreciate all music for what it is. I still listen to the same music I did ten years ago and I strive to make my music to be something that will last over the years.
You’ve released music both as a group with Virus Syndicate and as a solo producer, which do you prefer, making music on your own or as a group?
I like doing both really. I depends where my head is at at the time. Sometimes I want to make music for myself and sometimes I want to make music for others.
What are your thoughts on the dubstep and bass music genre at the moment? Where do you think the scene is headed?
Dubstep is at the strongest point it has ever been. I do however think that it’s starting to sound the same due to so many people making it. I think music like trap music is cool as it is adding something a little different to the dubstep genre. Ive been making a lot of trap recently as I can draw new ideas and try something different. I think UK bass music is getting stronger and stronger and I like how producers aren’t being constrained to tempos.
What does the rest of 2012 have in store for MRK1?
Like I said, I’m very busy with production at the moment and have a lot of music being released in the next few months.
What can we expect from your set at Chew The Fat’s HENCH records takeover at Cable in September?
I’m going to have a lot of guests come on and perform with me and it will be high energy and huge vibes!