Interview: Mark Radford
Mark Radford has been a real driver of progression in the underground scene in recent years.
Not only has he been involved with Rinse FM and put out an official mix with them, but so too has he steered his own AudiO Rehab label to the top of the pile. It releases a bass driven brand of tech house that got noticed by the likes of the Guardian as a fresh new sound, and has spawned an always sell out party at Ministry of Sound. This summer Mark and his associated crew will all head to Ibiza for a regular get down that is sure to shake things up. Here we speak to him about all this and more.
“The plan is to give the clubbers the full Audio Rehab experience, big basslines, dark grooves and an electric atmosphere that we always create at our nights.”
How are you, what good, what bad?
Hi , I’m very well thanks , life is good right now so I can’t complain.
Tell us about the new album, how it came together, what the idea behind it was?
The album is something I have thought about doing for a long time, I’m constantly writing new material and I feel that with Eps or singles you can’t really show off diversity as a producer which is something I always strive to do. I love the dark underground sound that I have become know for, but I also love more musical stuff, real Basslines and melodies, and doing an album has given me the chance to show this.
The rationale behind the album was that I wanted put something out there which I paid homage to all of my musical influences which have sculpted my sound into what it is today.
How different is it writing album tracks vs singles? Do you approach them in a different way?
I guess it depends on what you are aiming for with the vibe of the album, I wanted this to be an actually Journey through my life in music so I was very conscientious of the mood I was creating with each track, I wanted them to follow on from one another, as if telling a story rather than just a collection of tracks, so I definitely approached it in a different way to making an Ep.
You have some guests on there – did they come into the studio with your or was it more an internet collaboration?
All of the collaborations were done in the studio with each artist. I prefer working that way as you get to vibe off each other create something you may not do on your own.
What gear did you use to make the album – does that matter? Are you hardware or software focused?
I use logic and a bit of analogue outboard gear. I have a mini moog, a notation bass station , the korg volac bass and a maschine which I use mainly for my drums. I think that for basslines you need the analogue gear to get the depth and warmth that we all love.
What did you make of the tag you got given for making deep tech? Do you like it? Is that the sound you aim for?
The tag came about as people where always asking me what is the style of house that I make & play. I work with a lot of new producers that are all experimenting with new sounds and I guess because it doesn’t follow any formula of anything else that was out there when we began the label people where desperate to give it a name. I always described it as a cross between deep & tech house.. so the name was adopted.
Tell us about the Ibiza season – what do you have planned, what all define the year for you do you think?
I am super excited about our debut season in Ibiza this year. It’s every DJ’s dream to play there and to be taking my brand over there for the summer is very special to me. The plan is to give the clubbers the full Audio Rehab experience, big basslines, dark grooves and an electric atmosphere that we always create at our nights. I feel the season will be defined by our line ups.. a mix of hand picked headliners and the fresh new talent that we are know for pushing to the forefront of our events.
Who have you got booked, why book them, is it cause they fit in with your aesthetic – what is that?
Im not going to announce our line up just yet.. but rest assured it’s going to be packed with world class DJ’s that fit perfectly with the vibe we live for.. high energy in you face house music..I always want the DJ’s that play for us to let loose and go full throttle as this for me is what makes our parties so special.
How important have your events at Ministry been? have they been the creative hub of your label? Will they inform the Ibai season, will the parties be similar?
Ministry has played a very important part in the growth of the label & the brand, I would be a fool to say otherwise, it’s one of the biggest clubbing brands in the world so obviously the fact that we have our residency there is huge. I find myself making music that I want to hear in the box (main room at ministry of sound) and I know a lot of the producers I’m working with do the same, so it’s also helped to sculpt the sound of the label in recent years. We are able to book acts from all over the world that have the vibe we look for and I plan to carry this through to Ibiza this summer.
What else have you got coming up, whats next for you?
I have so much in store for this year, a string of releases lined up on various labels and plenty of events in the U.K. to organise also. As well as Audio Rehab I have another label ‘Plus Recordings’ which I started a few years back as another outlet for the amazing music I’m lucky enough to be sent every week. It has grown rapidly and I have some amazing young producers coming through, we hold the label showcases for this down at the Lightbox in Vauxhall. We are about to do our 3rd event and the first 2 have been absolute quality parties so I’m looking forward to the next one this April.