For over two decades, no one had pushed the legacy of bass culture like the stalwart for the deeper end of the spectrum, Marcus Intalex. And yet, despite his storied back catalog of scene-defining releases, genre-crossing remixes, and even a revolutionary LP with M.I.S.T. and calibre (as Mist:ical), the music world has never been graced with a solo album from the innovator himself. Until now, 21 years in.
Since 1990, whether DJing, promoting events (including his Soul:ution nights), radio shows, working in record shops, or running his two historic record labels, Marcus Intalex has always had his hand in music, working his way from being the assistant sweeping the back room of vinyl shops, to being the DJ in front of 50,000 people. Since bright beginnings DJing in Manchester’s underground, and his incomparable first productions with ST Files, even from the outset there was something about Intalex that refused to fit in a comfortable box. It’s a notion that’s followed his every move as a bold A&R visionary, being the first label to sign genre-challengers such as Martyn, Instra:mental and Calibre. Perhaps it can all be traced back to his early days in Manchester, when electronic music was too new to even have boxes or set genres.
“In the 80′s, I was always into synth bands, I always liked the idea of synthesized music. When I started DJing, it was just at the start of the Chicago and Detroit sound. That was really my first love of electronic music, and I caught it at the right time. It was at the beginning, there was a buzz, and then obviously the whole rave scene developed. Seeing all of that happen, and going out to the Hacienda for the first time and hearing the DJs play this music that I’d never heard before…it was such an amazing introduction to it, I never lost the love for it.”
Forever bearing a strong alliance with techno, and coming from an upbringing when music defied descroptors, it seems only natural that now, fast forwarding to the present, Intalex would be drawn to the current sounds rumbling the bass circuit (the sounds that, likewise, fall into haphazardly constructed genres like “post-dubstep” or “future bass”). It also comes as vey little suprise that his productions would sway away from conformity, as seen in his most recent productions. His downtempo tracks are currently being championed by the beatseekers of the scene, such as Radio 1′s Benji B and Eglo’s Alexander Nut, Swamp 81′s leader Loefah, 3024 boss Martyn, Scuba, Oneman and 2562.
“I’ve found alot of the new sounds are more me than anything, really. It’s influenced by everything I’ve been into for the 21 years, everything I’ve believed in – Techno, the earlier sounds of Drum & Bass, and it’s experimental. The balance in power shifted – not away from Drum & Bass, but almost away from commercial dance music. It’s a 130-140BPM tempo, and that’s all it is: a tempo; it’s an open script otherwise. It’s brilliant.
To Me, Drum & Bass is something that alot of people have ridden on success-wise, and now people have to work a little bit harder because the spotlight is elsewhere. And they are doing exactly that. There seems to be alot of innovative Drum & Bass music coming from alot of different angles and different parts of the world. It’s opened up a new appreciation for the subtelty in D&B. The deeper side has gotten more interesting than ever.”
With his first long player, ’21′ is rightly trying to go its own way, regardless of expectation or reaction, just as Intalex has always done as an artist. The result is a wildly unpredictable, yet entirely cohesive, view of where Marcus Intalex stands now, after over 2 decades of watching cycles come and go, and sounds shift and mutate.
“I do feel a tinge of regret for not doing this sooner, but I’ve never been one to do something just because it’s what you’re supposed to do. It’s not as though the whole 21 years has been building up to this moment, where I’ve been working to create a tour de force. It just so happens that right now, I’m making some music that I’m happy with; I’m enjoying the studio more than ever before.
The album’s not necessarily crying out to be noticed, and I haven’t done it with that in mind – It’s quite an introspective things, actually. I’ve had a great 21 years. Being in the business for so long, you would normally expect to feel like you’re entering the twilight of your careerm but really and truly I feel more ready for the future than I have ever felt before.”
01. Make A Raise (Ft. S.P.Y. & Ras Tweed)
02. Climbing Up The Wals (Ft. Lynx & Danny Fierce)
03. Meltdown 2012 (Ft. Calibre)
04. Hot Hands
06. Celestial Navigation (Ft. S.P.Y.)
07. Paulista (Ft. S.P.Y.)
08. TB Or Not TB
09. Regrets (Ft. Riya)
10. Wacky Races
11. Strangeways (Ft. Zed Bias)
Due for release on CD / 3×12″ Vinyl in April.
A sampler containing two exclusive non-album tracks will be released on 7th March:
a) Triband – Marcus Intalex Ft. S.P.Y.
aa) Steady – Marcus Intalex