I’ve started enjoying working at coffee shops. I really don’t have much time in my schedule to study so I just try and get it in whenever I can. My job has a coffee shop in the back now so whenever I have to work in the mornings, since I’m already awake, I just go there hella early and study until it’s time for my shift.
With his debut album hitting the shops this coming Monday some 21 years after he started his journey into Drum & Bass, EDJ caught up with Mancunian Marcus Intalex for a chat about the project, nerves and just why the hell it took him so long…
EDJ Interview: Marcus Intalex
So, the album is released officially on Monday. Obviously the build up has been quite long so you’ve had time to get used to it but are you nervous/excited at all? You have mentioned in other interviews that you cared too much about what people thought when younger which is why you didn’t embark on such a project sooner – do you really not give a shit now? If it bombed and got panned by critics, you honestly wouldn’t care?
No, I definitely do care of course but only as much as everyone else does you know. The thing that’s important for me now is to have something to show for myself, my career. I’ve never really had to do anything, or been forced to do something like this before – I’ve always had plenty of gigs and I was just being lazy. I needed a challenge and needed something to commit too. I’m not trained musically, not trained in the studio, I just make music for me and I’m enjoying at the moment.
Anyway, I just don’t worry about things like nerves and that, I’m just doing things. The album is done, I’m proud of it, it’s good and I’m happy I’ve done it.
Would you say this is this more of a personal thing for you for you then, the completion of a goal for example, as opposed to a release for the public?
Yes and no. As I said I make music for myself but I did need to get something like this out in the shops. If you don’t then someone else will, someone else will be in the spotlight, and you’d be doing this interview with someone else. Plus I need it out there so people know what I’m about – it makes it harder to DJ if people don’t know what to expect, and don’t what kind of stuff I’ll be playing, and what I’m all about. Plus it really was just time I did something like this – it’s me getting involved and being proactive and positive. You can’t contribute or change things if you’re not involved and this is me getting involved…
Do you think that perhaps the lack of an album up to this point has hampered/reflected on you as an artist in any way? Many of your peers have many LPs to their name now….
Yeah maybe, but I never wanted to do something just for the sake of it. Then again as I said earlier, I you don’t do things them other people step in and do them instead.
How have you found the whole experience? Therapeutic/stressful….? Would you attempt to do it again again?
I’ve enjoyed the whole process, and yeah I think I would do it again. I’ve written 15/20 tunes since I finished the album already, I’m working very quickly at the moment. I’ve gotten away with not doing a lot the past couple of years but I would rather being creating something and yeah, it’s just been me doing something, getting involved and being proactive. The more you put into something the more you get out you know?
The lack of collaborations with ST Files seems like a glaring omission given the number of tracks you have made together in the past, and how well they are liked…Why are there no tunes from you two on there?
You know you’re the first one to ask me that. I suppose it is a bit of an omission yeah, but we’ve just been busy, been living separate lives. He’s had a kid and there’s just been that bit of distance between us. It’s not been intentional of course, and our relationship has been a long one. Do I regret it? Yeah maybe a bit, I suppose I would like to have one on there. The album isn’t a reflection of my music over the past 21 years though, it’s not about referencing what Ive done musically, it’s just a statement – I’ve been in the business 21 years, here’s my album.
Would you say it’s an accurate representation of your ‘sound’ ? Do you think it sums up what you are about musically? What would you say that is?
Tricky question. I don’t really have a ‘sound’ I think, and it’s not really for me to say. I don’t want to pigeon hole myself into categories; it’s not my thing at all. I just play music I like and I think I’m just the middle ground – not too much or one thing or the other. The music I like and play out has to have a good vibe, it’s got to be thoughtful, varied, subtle, and everything’s got to work well together and I think that comes across in the album so maybe it does me justice there.
There’s more to me than d&b too – that’s what I’m most well-known for, that’s what I play out, but the thing is today is that you don’t have to be just one thing anymore, that’s why there’s a few different styles/tempos on there too. I still buy loads of stuff, house/techno, I still collect music and that’s reflected in the LP as well.
You’ve mentioned that you wanted it to be a ‘proper’ album – do you think you have achieved that? How hard was it having the format or this process in mind whilst writing it?
Yes I think I have. Thing is though that the album pretty much came about by accident. I was just making a load of music and I just thought that I was pretty close to having an album. 75% of the stuff on the LP was made before I knew I was making an LP you know, I never intended to go into the studio and start writing an album. The idea of it as a format, as a project, kind of takes away the innocence of the music making process though, you have it in the back of your mind when you realise what you’re doing, what you’re working towards.
You’ve obviously been involved in d&b pretty much since the birth of the genre…any era you’re favourite? How have you kept your enthusiasm for it so long – ever thought about sacking it all off?
The beginning was the best bit, but I don’t mean in terms of the music, more just the being young, discovering it all for the first time, the innocence of it, the thirst for more and first experiences with rave culture/drugs/dance music. Being young, and just a fan is more exciting you know. Yeah being on the front line, in the thick of it is cool of course but it can kill your enthusiasm a little; it can be depressing when you see things going in a direction you don’t want them go in. It can be hard to get those initial feelings, that buzz back, although I do still get it from DJ’ing. The thing for me isn’t getting sent all the tunes, getting a rewind in a club, anyone can do that really, for me it’s about having that special tune that you love, and playing it in the right environment and watching other people losing themselves too it, loving it as much as you.
You know music still excites me, that’s why I’m still doing all this. If it didn’t, then I’m the kind of person to have just have stopped doing it. It’s always a battle but you got to persevere, it just the way it is, I still just love music.
What’s next for you?
All sorts. Writing some 130-ish bits, some house, some techno. I’d like to get out there into some other scenes – put out a techno record on a big label, a house record. Loefah has mentioned the possibility of maybe getting something on swamp81 which would be fantastic of course.
I’ve just stared a d&b remix for a band called little dragon, and also doing a remix of my track airbourne. That never came out ‘officially’, or on vinyl, so might put that and the remix out on wax, who knows. Working closely with SPY too, should be putting his album out in early 2012, and a DRS LP too.
The Silent Dust album?
They’re putting that out themselves now, which is a shame, but I’ve just got some much going on that I didn’t think I could give it the care and attention it deserved. The whole package is complete though– I’ve done a remix for them, there’s a Calibre remix – it’s good to go and they pretty close to sorting it. It’s just running a label is tough these days, and that project is pretty underground you know and everything I’m doing with the label has to make business sense to me as opposed to just putting out music I love otherwise I would be doing it. I’m going to be supporting them as much as I can because I really believe in the product, its fucking excellent.
Command Strange & Dynamic – Too Hot Lady
dRamatic & dbAudio – Flex Through The Solar Systems
Tokyo Prose & Phil Tangent – Parity
Mutt – ???????
Need For Mirrors – Punch Drunk
MixMaster Doc – Biomimitic
Will Miles – I
Kjell – Lincoln Place
Need For Mirrors – Triangulation Delta
Root Soul feat. Vanessa Freeman – It’s The Way (Makoto Remix)
Duo Science – Line Of The Drumz
Mutt & Grimm – Focus
J Dilla – King (Sinistarr Remix)
Command Strange & Intelligent Manners – Flirt
Survival & Paul T – Rationale
Jill Scott – He Loves Me (bootleg)
Paul SG – Whats The Time Please
Flaco – Punta Las Marias
Ayah Mara – Follow You (A.I. Remix)
Random Movement – Dropping the Chips