Marcus Intalex – A Better Place – Tribute & Salute

DnB is a scene that draws on a lot of influences and has people coming at it from different angles. The dancefloor rules though, and it’s always been a case that more upfront tunes dominate. I love a good upfront tune as much as anyone, but DnB has always been deeper to me than just jump up. In the mid 90s the ‘Speed’ sound pushed especially by Fabio and Bukem got more of a platform, but by the late 90s it had been squeezed out again, and Upfront seemed to run everything. Yeah there were still good tunes, but too often the soul and depth was missing.

When Marcus and ST Files started putting tunes out as MIST it breathed new life into DnB for me, at a time when things could feel a little stale. Whether on a melodic soulful tip, or on a moodier techno tip, their tunes always had something to say, and drove the message home over a hypnotic groove that felt like it was drawing on Detroit.

I’m pretty sure I first heard a MIST tune (How You Make Me Feel) on Fabio’s radio show, but then not long after heard Grooverider play Dreamworld, and from then it was all over. And that’s the thing, Marcus has tunes which can sit in sets by any DnB DJ (with any taste!), whatever their style. As far as I'm concerned everything Marcus and St Files touch is gold. If a new Marcus record comes out it was buy on sight – no need to hear it first.

In my opinion no one has put the message into DnB as clearly as Marcus. Real electronic soul music. Like the tune goes: it’s a spiritual thing, a body thing, a soul thing. His music reaffirmed the family tree connection between DnB and acid house, techno, garage, soul….

I’ve been wanting to do a Marcus Intalex and ST Files mix for years now, and kept putting it off. And  this morning I woke up to hear Marcus has died. It’s a massive shock and a tragic loss. To his friends and family, of course, but to DnB and to music in general. Marcus was young and was still at the top of his game in the music he was making. He smashed it from the off with the early Da Intalex jungle material and outdid himself to the last with the killer flying-high DnB he was putting out today….and clearly there was still so much to come from him, including on his techno alias Trevino. But what he leaves behind is in my opinion the strongest discography in DnB. There isn’t a single 12” of his that isn’t worth having and hearing. Not sure anyone else can claim that. My favourite DnB producer hands down, no hyperbole.

When people talk about the great dance music heritage of Manchester they think of the Hacienda generation. To me Marcus is up there at the top with them.

Salute and rest in Peace – never to be forgotten.

This mix is a tribute of some of my favourite Marcus productions, very broadly in chronological order, and including a couple of rarer remixes from the earlier days, tunes made with ST Files, Calibre and also his solo work. So many other tunes could've gone into this mix – like I said his discography is a treasure chest filled to the brim…but a box now so sadly closed before its time. Normally I take time to plan a studio mix, but this was a throwdown off the top of my head, and when tunes like Celestial Navigation were on the deck, played with a tear in my eye...

Marcus Intalex – A Better Place – Tribute & Salute 

Better Place
Love and Happiness
Lose Control
Warp 1
Second Thoughts
Proof Rock
Red 7
Make a Raise
Step Forward
Celestial Navigation
Bitter End

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