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No slowing down for west coast bass junkie Mark Instinct

Metro’s Trevor Greenway caught up with the west coast bass junkie ahead of his Friday night beat fest at the Bourbon Room.

Calgary’s Mark Instinct plays the Bourbon Room Friday night.


Calgary’s Mark Instinct plays the Bourbon Room Friday night.

With top 10 releases on Beatport, epic and legendary performances at Shambhala and massive tracks dropped on Datsik’s Firepower Records, Excision’s Rottun Recordings and Dieselboy’s SubHuman label, there is no slowing down for Calgary bass head Mark Instinct.

Mark Instinct

Live at the Bourbon Room

Friday, Jan. 6th


Metro -  You’ve been among the elite in the bass scene for several years, racking up top 10 releases on Beatport and slaying dance floors at massive festivals like Shambhala and Miami’s Winter Music Conference. What does 2017 look like?

2017 is going to be a very busy one. I am finally finishing up an EP of some really new sounds and I am stoked to get them out to the public. On top of this I have two new collaborative projects focusing more on the heavier side of drum and bass, I will be unveiling all of this later in the year. In addition, I have been dabbling in the recording world for some time and that will be keeping me quite busy for the foreseeable year ahead.  

Metro: What does the future of bass music look like? How do you see the genre progressing in the coming year?

I started getting into electronic music in the late 90's and it has been so beautiful to see a style of music just mutate over and over throughout the last decade plus. With bass music, I feel it is very unpredictable right now.

There are so many great artists emerging onto the scene as well as old favourites and styles are changing. Even for myself, the kind of music I made now is a complete 180 from what I used to make. It will be a very cool year to see where this whole thing goes.

Metro -  You’ve been alongside some of the biggest names in bass music. Is there a collaboration or co-performance that sticks out? Why?

One of my favourite people to work with has been Mayhem from Atlanta. I was actually in Ottawa with him the last time I was out this way. He's been one of the producers that has stuck out to me for years and to watch him progress and evolve has been really amazing. We also tend to jive well in the studio so the ideas are free flowing and authentic.  

Metro -  Who has been your biggest musical influence to date, and why?

There are a few of them, but Noisia has been a group I have looked up to since my adolescence. These guys love what they do and you can hear it in the way they make their music. The engineering they do is by far some of the more superior work in the electronic world. I also have been a huge drum and bass fan from a very young age and these guys just nail the sound.  

Metro - Bass music popularity is at an all-time high, bordering on mainstream . Do you worry that its popularity will saturate the scene and overall quality will go down? Or will its popularity fuel more creativity, as DJs push harder and harder to stand out from the swelling crowd?

Well I think over saturation has already happened and yes there has been a decline in not only quality but the culture itself. I have definitely noticed this has added so much more fuel to the fire to create insane sounding shit. I have seen such an increase in producers who are pushing the envelope and really treading into unknown territory not only new producers but established ones as well.  

It’s becoming genre-less music basically, artists having their own thing again. It has been really inspirational as I too have adapted this workflow.

Metro -  Being a DJ from an early age, you’ve seen the invasion of the digital DJ. Has the transition been a good thing for the scene, or has DJing gotten too easy for everyone and their grandma to pick up?  

I remember the first time I saw a CDJ I was like how the f--- does this work lol. I grew up playing records so it was a totally different process. The digital invasion was actually really helpful though, there was a point where the mp3 revolution kicked in and the dopest songs you could play were only on a cd. This is where it parallels to the recording and production world especially with electronic music. I know a shit tonne of engineers who are analog purists, and I know a lot of people who don't really care because there is an argument you cannot really tell the difference. On the performance end, it has really brought forth some really cool tools and they still require some level of technical knowledge. They can actually add to a live performance when used effectively. If anything, there is an increase in education behind this which could make it easier for someone and their grandma to become superstar DJs lol.

Metro -  Is there such a thing as “The perfect beat” and have you found it yet?

Some of the most perfect beats I've heard, and this goes back to your last question, are ones that combine the digital synth built drums and recorded raw drum kit sounds. There is so much character in beats and drum loops that have these characteristics  

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