Key Tracks in the Record Collection: Marcus Intalex

There’s only one place to be this evening and that’s room 2 at Fabric; Marcus Intalex’s Soul:ution residency is back!  Marcus Intalex, Calibre, dBridge and Chimpo – need I say more?

Ahead of his event this evening, we had a chat with Marcus about the tracks that have most influenced, moved and appealed to him! Here’s how things went down:

Hi Marcus, hope you’re good. I’m looking forward to catching your set at Fabric this evening! 

The first tune you mention is ‘Rhythm is Rhythm – Beyond the Dance’, I’m aware that Detroit techno and The Belleville Three have had a huge influence on you – could explain why you’ve chosen this tune in particular?

“Around ‘88 I was 17 and had little money; once a month or so, I’d venture to Eastern Bloc and spend what little of it I had on records! I’d also pick up the occasional compilation tape from WH Smiths, Boots, or wherever. I mean some of these comps were the bomb – packed full off gems from the US! I recall one double tape included ‘Strings of Life’, ‘Off to Battle’ and ‘Beyond the Dance’. It absolutely blew me away.”

“I love the suspense Derrick May was able to put into his production. His sound was quite dark but very soulful and full of energy. I was totally hooked. I’d buy anything from him, Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins. It’s a musical love affair that I’ve never gotten over. Those times, things were so innovative; the music was inspiring and ground breaking. It’s hard to pick just one and in some ways there are better tunes than ‘Beyond the Dance’ but those strings captivated me. I would listen to that tune over and over in my bedroom. There’s just something about heart tugging strings and a rough beat… It gets me every time!”

Could you talk us through why ‘Fordtrax’ has been a defining track for you?

“I’ve always loved both ‘Fordtrax’ and ‘Reprise’, without a doubt two seminal UK techno tunes. If my memory serves me correctly there were these two Babyford tunes, then also an early Bizzre inc LP at a similar time, pre 1990, that really encompassed that Detroit feeling. It’s the sound; I will always be drawn to ‘machines making soul’.”

‘Cybersonik – Technarchy’ is a tune that had a huge impact on the UK music scene. What is it about this tune that stood out to you? And on hearing it, what memories do you associate it with?

“I remember buying this tune in 1990 on a white and being blown away by its boldness. It was raw, heavy and quite industrial in comparison to most music coming from Detroit at the time. You can certainly still hear its effect in music today, particularly in the UK sound; I guess it was the first real nasty reece bass line tune.”

With regards to the pre-drum and bass tracks you’ve mentioned are there any elements of these tracks or feelings within this tunes you’ve tried to emulate in your drum and bass productions?

“I like to take feelings away from those records; attitude and style are the things I look for in music so I wouldn’t say emulate is the right word, I just try and carry the feelings across into what I do. I think it’s inevitable that what draws you to music is what will come out of your studio. I’m very conscious of where I come from but in no way would I want to sound like a poor mans version of them, in many ways I’m not sure I could, I’m not good enough, but I use all the memory’s of those times and that music to inspire myself to find my own sound.”

Lennie De Ice’s ‘We Are I.E’ was arguably one of the first proto-jungle tunes, could you paint the picture of when you first heard this track and detail what it is about this tune / early jungle that appealed to you?

“The moody chords, the ragga bassline and of course  the amen that drops… This record was perfect in everyway. It’s an obvious choice I know but it’s not an all time classic for no reason. The disco biscuit version of Doc Scott’s NHS (in fact all of Scotties tunes were on the same level) is another one of those classic bassline /amen tunes… I loved the roughness of these times, when vibes and artistic ideas were far more important than production values.”

FBD Project is one of drum and bass’ forefathers, what has been the influence and importance of ‘Terminate’ to you? And could you give us a bit more detail as to how your musical path went in the direction of this form of music?

“FBD were pioneers; never afraid to take chances and do things a little bit differently! There are five or six of Neil’s tunes that really shaped how things were going to happen in the mid-90’s. When the eclipse in Coventry was in full swing the midlands ruled the scene… ‘Terminate’ was released around this time and whilst I wouldn’t say that it’s one of his most popular ones, it reminds of a time when I used to work at ‘Spin Inn’ in Manchester – we would honestly get so excited about all these records coming in, they really were great times musically!”

“It was hard in Manchester as there was a lot of trouble in the clubs so there wasn’t really anywhere to play or hear this kind of stuff. It didn’t stop us selling hundreds of copies of certain tunes though; there was a demand and a loyalty to it even though the club situation was bleak. We spent hours travelling down to Coventry, London and various other places just for our fix.”

“As mentioned in a previous answer, Doc Scott really was for me the true pioneer of the time, legendary in everyway. What he gave to the music in the early / mid 90’s I don’t think has been surpassed by anyone, maybe Goldie, but that’s in a whole different way and without Scott there would be no Goldie, which I think says it all.”

“‘Rage’ is just one of many killers; its dark and light at the same time, it has a 4/4 beat and there’s a touch of amen in there. It’s like an early ‘Shadow Boxing’, the bass line pattern is menacing yet when the chords drop it completely changes the feel. It just sounded like what the future should sound like. I do recall wishing I were Doc Scott (I think I drunkenly told him this once before I got to know him). The tunes he made I always thought would be the tunes I’d make – if at the time I knew how too.”

No doubt things will popping off at Fabric this eve! Advance tickets are sold out but plenty of tickets will be available on the door, more info here.

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