Recognised in equal measures for his expert command of the dance floor and his heavyweight productions Mark Jenkyns has become an undeniable stalwart of the house and techno scene with an impressive and ever-expanding list of accolades that includes release on Suara, Crosstown Rebels, Hot Creations, Defected and VIVa.
We had the chance to talk with Mark as he recently released his latest EP ‘Soulfood’ on Hot Creations.
Electronic Groove: Hey Mark, thanks for the time to chat with us and congratulations for your new EP, Soulfood, on Hot Creations. What was the inspiration to produce these tracks?
Mark Jenkyns: Thanks to you. The inspiration was to try deliver something that was well-rounded and had a few different things to offer. I really wanted to try and use it as a release that would show a bit more from me as a producer – I feel like I manged to do that with all 3 tracks – one being more housey, one being tech-house and ‘Heated’ you could say is deep. Let’s see what Beatport have to say on that one though!
EG: This time you partner with longtime collaborator Mizbee. How did you meet each other?
Mark Jenkyns: I met her years ago at Notting Hill Carnival, but I honestly have no recollection of the meeting, she said I pied her off – I probably did?! A few years later I was listening to some tracks she posted on her personal Facebook page and thought this girl’s got something nice. I invited her to my studio to do some vocals thinking, I did actually know her but when she arrived I didn’t have a clue who she was! I think I’m just letting her know this now, too 😉
EG: Where and what kind of gear did you use to produce these tracks?
Mark Jenkyns: I made the tracks in my studio in Gateshead. Regarding the question is mainly my 909 with some percussion and just some bass notes from the Moog Little Phatty.
‘Soul Food’ is basically a cheeky under the radar vinyl sample for the groove (Shhh, don’t tell anyone!) with some layered drums from my Analogue Rytm and some other sampled drums; I tend to lean this way a lot now as the vinyl sound is already warm and crunchy and it gives my records a run out every now and then. Also, I tend to think of Fay (Mizbee) as another bit of analog gear as she’s never quiet and just has this constant noise coming from her!
‘Heated’ was more layered drums, I think some of the chords were from the Nord3 and then fattened up. There’s a few Apple loops in this one too as I was experimenting with LogicX for university, this was actually going to be part of one of my projects but I kept it for releases.
EG: The package also includes an Inxec remix. Did you ask him to be part of this project?
Mark Jenkyns: Well, it’s a bit of a long story with this one because I’d had the vocal from Sheff for a little while and did have an older version of the track originally. Then when Chris and I were doing our 12 Stories project, I played him it and we made a new version! It was going to be on Leftroom originally, but we never got around to having a version we were both happy with as well as a B-side, so it was sitting dormant for ages. I re-discovered it again last year and told Chris I was going do my own version – I was able to look at it again from a new angle and Jamie signed the version I came up with. Chris then remixed it for the EP which worked out well as we both got to put our own stamp on it and get both interpretations out.
EG: What about vocals from lyricist Sheff?
Mark Jenkyns: Me and Sheff had been talking about doing a vocal track together after he sang in my ear all the way to a gig and actually during my set! At the time, I was looking after Jamie’s place so we recorded the vocals there and 5 years later it got sorted! I have actually just found all the original takes too with added extra bits too, so expect more from me and him in the future.
EG: You also have a series of new releases planned for this year. Can you give us a sneak peek of them?
Mark Jenkyns: I can’t say too much release-wise as there are still quite a few waiting to be signed off. Ah, fu.. it – I’m hoping to finally box an EP for Moon Harbour off – that one is with Andre Salmon and I’m working on something original for Defected with Mizbee, as well as a remix for Illyus & Barrientos. I’ve also got a remix for Rhythm Masters which I’m buzzing about as the guys are legends and I’ve followed them for years – before I ever even dreamed of becoming a DJ to be honest.
EG: Tell us about DJ agenda. Any particular gig you are specially looking forward?
Mark Jenkyns: Lost Beach in Ecuador is the stand out one! I’m playing there the same weekend that this ‘Hot Creations’ EP drops – it’s been two years since my last visit and I literally can’t wait to get back there. It’s the only place in the Universe (to my knowledge) that lets you play till you want to finish – it’s a kinda ‘shut the door on your way out’ type of thing, the people are so friendly and open to what you play, and are in it for the journey.
EG: You recently took a short musical break after becoming a father. How has the experience been so far?
Mark Jenkyns: Fatherhood is life changing in every way. I literally could never have imagined it to feel this way; I was never really bothered about having kids, then one day something changed! Now my life is even more different and I have to make use of my time better, getting used to sleep deprivation with a different slant is something of an eye-opener too, but I love it! … And there’s another due in June, so life is going to get very on top!
EG: Can you share with us some of your favorite tunes on rotation?
Mark Jenkyns: At the minute, a track called ‘Wacomin’ by Creature has done very well – it’s something I’ve been hammering and starting my sets with. And then an all-time favorite of mine is Burnski’s ‘Lost In The Zoo’ – proppa belta, that one!
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