Interview with MARK E.G.
How did you get into the Dance music scene?
I got into electro first into 1983. It was all quite weird because I was only 10 years old and all my friends thought that Rod Stewart was the future of music. I liked all the spacey noises in electro and when I heard techno a few months later I was hooked. There was a small record shop down the road from me in city centre Manchester - one of the only shops selling dance music in the UK. So I used to hang out in there all day with people twice my age. I went on to do mobile discos that played a bit of electro, techno and early Chicago house to older people in pubs. Very strange indeed.....But it was when I blagged my way into pirate radio that I really got a taste of what it was like to mix on Technics decks. What a buzz. How would you describe the music you make / play at the moment? Hey, I like everything these days, but I reckon I'm know for playing techno or trance. When Detroit techno was about I used to only like that. Then acid came in 88 and I was only into that. Techno came back after acid and guess what? I was only into techno. I suppose when trance came along and I eventually realized what was good about it that I started to stop being closed-minded. There's so much good stuff out there that you can't ignore what other people are into. My personal love though is definitely techno, even though I play 80% trance sets these days. I love the rawness of the music - it's so hard even though its not particularly fast. For club techno I look for labels such as Audio, Construct Rhythm, Proper and Primate. For listening techno I like Disko B, Ference and loads of freaked out weird shit. For trance, there's Suck Me Plasma, Bonzai and Velvet Vibe, amongst countless others.
Tell us about the tunes you have been producing under different guises recently?
I don't know really. I don't like to talk highly about our production because I don't think we've actually released that much yet. Chrissi and I have only had equipment for only two years and we've been reluctant to put too much stuff out, because we want it to be perfect. The first trance EP we produced was as MY$T:C DJZ on UK44. I look back at that now and think 'Fuck me, that was a bit shite'. Then we did a remix of one of M-Zone's tracks, which was a bit better, but we were still figuring out the equipment. I'm happier with the four tracks we put on the recent Absolute Hardcore album for Slammin' Vinyl but it's nothing compared to what were doing in the studio at the moment. For techno we've produced stuff under the name The Anxious. We released a track on the Planet Rhythm label called 'Before The End' and something on the Embryo label called 'After The Storm'. I still love those tracks. We should have something coming out soon on Cluster called the 'Killer Squad EP' by The Fuzz. But we've got this bastard timing problem in our studio at the moment and it's doing our heads in. We'll be releasing a hell of a lot in the next few years if this gets sorted!
You have a bit of legendary reputation of being a bit of a nutter and a party animal when it comes to playing out. Do you have any favourite places to play at and any memorable nights that spring to mind?
I love music. That's why I party so much. Whether it's in a club or in my front room, I'll always enjoy myself. Music turns me into a different person you see. One thing that always sticks in my mind is when I played a club in Burnley. The first time I played there I smashed the glass of the DJ box - I had to return the next day and replace it! The week after I seemed to be in more of a mess than usual. I put my second record on and danced so hard that my knee hit my face and broke my nose. It fuckin hurt so much, but I carried on and finished with blood everywhere. When I went to the hospital I had to have my nose reset. Now that was REAL pain. I think I learnt the limits to which you can take nuttiness that night.
Apart from the DJing and producing tracks what else do you get up to?
I don't class DJing as a career, so a few years ago I thought I better get myself a proper-type job. It would mean that I wouldn't have to care about the DJ money. So I wrote for Eternity until the owner turned into a psycho. He actually had an upside-down cross above his desk and proclaimed that he was the Son of God. I couldn't be doing with it. So I moved to M8 and they subsequently bought Wax, of which they made me the Music Editor. It's not an easy job and takes up a lot of time, but someone has to get the word of the underground out to the people don't they?!
What can we expect to hear / see from you over the next while?
I've actually just become the A&R man for Bonzai Records in the UK. That's pretty exciting for me, cause it's somethnig I've never done before. Then, like I said, there's this track on Cluster due out soon. Then there should be more stuff on Planet Rhythm, Embryo and UK44. I've just signed a deal with React to do a series of mix compilations with DJ Sharkey. I'll be mixing trance whilst he'll be on a harder tip. It should be a great project actually and get trance to a wider audience. Finally I've just done a mix album with Rumour Records called 'Techno Transmissions - Past/Present/Future'. I features artists like Joey Beltram, Josh Wink and Richie Hawtin. Proper techno, matey - for your mind.
Interview by Al Twisted, Febraury 1999
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