Spanish producer Mark Alow’s steady stream of ethnic-tinged deep house releases continues to turn heads and move dance floors as the summer season winds down. His ‘Golden Tiger’ EP on Sol Selectas, with two original gems set to percussive grooves and organic melodies, is a mainstay on the top charts.
We caught up with Mark Alow to check in about his early influences in music, as well as his upcoming projects.
EG: Hi Mark, great to have you here. How are you feeling today?
Mark Alow: Thank you, It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to you.
EG: You’ve risen to the forefront of the scene with releases on the likes of Sol Selectas, Solar Distance and Akbal Music. Can you tell us about the journey to this point?
Marc Alow: The journey has been long and full of good and tough times. I was at the university studying sports science when I discovered that what I liked the most was producing electronic music – I felt that I had to dedicate all my time and energy to the music. I trusted my intuition, let myself get carried away by that internal voice, and I left the university. I studied with an electronic music production course because I wanted to learn some things as quickly as possible. Once I had my bearings, I set up the studio in which I have spent thousands of hours working in up to this point.
EG: Your track ‘White Tusk’, released in March, is still riding high in the top 10 on the Beatport Deep House chart. Can you share with us the creative process behind this track?
Mark Alow: The creative process, in this case, has been a bit special. I had used the voice in another track but I felt that this was not good enough and I decided to start a new one. I say it was special because the starting point was the vocal and I usually prefer to start making a groove and then add voices, instruments, or whatever else comes to mind.
The objective was to create a groove that fit perfectly with the vocal. I added some shakers, maracas, and the flute that gives it an ethnic and original touch in my opinion. It was not something planned – I let myself be carried away by what the track was transmitting to me.
EG: How has the Spanish scene, both in Ibiza and elsewhere, influenced your tastes as a producer and DJ?
Mark Alow: Ibiza has clearly influenced my tastes because it was the place where I fell in love with electronic music when I listened to it in a big club for the first time. I loved watching how the people were enjoying themselves and the good vibes that were there. I am sure that experience has influenced some of the decisions I have made and my musical tastes as well.
“I usually look for inspiration in melodies or sounds in genres or songs outside of electronic music”
EG: You’ve been able to work with the likes of Uner, Sabo, and Robbie Akbal through your releases on Solar Distance, Sol Selectas, and Akbal Music. What other producers and Djs have inspired you throughout your career?
Mark Alow: Ten years ago when I first started to get interested in underground electronic music, I listened to minimal producers like Richie Hawtin or Sven Vath. My first time in Ibiza I discovered Audiofly, and from then on I started to meet other producers and Djs like Techansia, Oxia, Audiojack, Kaiserdisco, Booka Shade, M.A.N.D.Y. All of these inspired me in my beginnings because I wanted to make their style of music. However, nowadays there are few Djs and producers that really motivates me – instead, I usually look for inspiration in melodies or sounds in genres or songs outside of electronic music.
EG: Do you have any collaborations in the works?
Mark Alow: Yes, I’m collaborating with Gab Rhome, a producer that I really like who has released his music on great labels like All Day I Dream and Anjunadeep. I’m also making music with Amega, a talented songwriter and producer from Australia, who has worked with artists like Henry Saiz, YokoO, Hoj, Omid 16B and Arnas D. I really like her voice and our track will see the light soon.
EG: You have quite a well-rounded collection of releases. How has your style shifted and progressed since you first began making music?
Mark Alow: Two or three years ago I was making music a little more underground and dark, very oriented to the dancefloor. I think the music I’m making nowadays can be heard in more diverse places and environments. It is more melodic and has an emotional component that makes it more interesting and special in my opinion.
EG: What have you been listening to recently – do you have a ‘track of the summer’ so far?
Mark Alow: I’ve been listening to flamenco and Andean music. I think the song that I’ve been listening to most this summer has been ‘Nana Del Caballo Grande’ by Camarón and I think I’m going to do an edit with this song.
“Ibiza has clearly influenced my tastes because it was the place where I fell in love with electronic music”
EG: What you be doing if you weren’t working in music?
Mark Alow: It is very difficult to say. I suppose I would have continued studying sports sciences and now I would be a personal trainer or something along those lines. Physiotherapy and psychology are things that I also really like.
EG: What can we expect from Mark Alow in the next year?
Mark Alow: New music that I’m sure will get people grooving! I also have a couple gigs in the works for North America during the fall. This will be my first time playing outside of Europe and I’m really looking forward to it.