Kmag touches base with DJ Marky as Innerground hits its 50th release later this month. Having left an indelible impact on the drum & bass scene over the course of the past nine years, Marky commemorates the imprint's 50th outing with his first-ever solo release and promises the best is yet to come.
It's hard to believe it's been nine years since Innerground began! 50 releases on and the imprint shows no signs of slowing down. The 50th release is also your first solo release - how did that come about and was that a conscious decision?
I can't believe how quick it's all gone; basically I had a couple of choices but I had made 'Ya Thang', it sounded really good and I thought 'Yeah, this would be perfect for the 50th release.' It was never consciously planned to happen like this to be honest. I never make plans like that!
Your Five Tunes That Changed My Life for us was really inspiring and it's been great to see how those early influences still show up in your music today. At what point did your love of music turn into the desire to make your own music and what specifically drew you to drum & bass?
I've got a lot of passion for music no doubt and I'm such a big fan of 60s and 70s music but when I first heard hip-hop and people sampling old records that's what made me really want to make music. Sample culture for me is so important, that's the thing I really love about music. I'd listen to a tune and immediately think 'Oh my God, I've got to find this sample!'
I know that not everybody thinks like that, but that's the kind of reaction I try to create with my music. People enjoy your creations and at the same time you can spread awareness of the original music that you love.
Before Innerground was even founded, you were coming up in your local scene like the rest of us - what are some of your earliest/fondest memories of that time and at what point did you feel like it was going to be possible to make a future out of music?
I've been DJing since a very early age; I used to mix with reel-to-reel tapes back in the day which was great. Those are some of my fondest memories, mixing with really old tracks with no pitch control or anything. I'd started DJing in clubs when I was 12 so it's always been such an important part of my life.
I think the computer and technology side of things has always taken a while for me to grasp. XRS was the first person who actually said 'You've got to make tracks' to me. Then a few years ago when I spoke to Carlos (S.P.Y), we agreed to make some music together but he always told me to 'make your own tracks'. He taught me a lot of the skills involved in production, that's why I'm making music now!
Of course, in no time, you shot from being a local DJ to being internationally known and in high demand. Do you remember what that first year was like when it all broke open?
I can't really remember because it's all gone so fast, even thinking about how we've got to the point of our 50th release is crazy!
Of course, now that you've built an impressive catalogue of music and have played countless gigs around the world, is there any one place you haven't played yet that you'd still like to get to?
Oh definitely, I'd love to go to Africa. Also Lithuania, Iceland, there's so many places I'd still like to visit! But it has been fantastic to be able to travel to so many amazing cities doing what I love to do.
Words: Chris Muniz
Keep your eyes peeled as the 50th release limited edition 12" picture disc featuring DJ Marky's 'Ya Thang' / 'You Know' on Innerground Records hits the streets 30th July.
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