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12 Essential Marcus Intalex Productions

To say Marcus Intalex’s music will live forever on is an understatement. His music, and his vast body of collaborations with ST Files, changed entire lives. It informed tastes, coloured palettes and inspired approaches. It changed the face of drum & bass entirely, just as he did personally with his support, encouragement and insistence of authenticity.

Still sorely missed almost a year since he passed away, we’ve been reminded of his legacy and contributions once again with another posthumous EP. Following Untitled MCR and Acid Monday, two Spirit collaborations on Inneractive released last November, comes a three track EP on SUNANDBASS Recordings. Released April 20, it features three more evergreen reminders why Marcus’s contributions to drum & bass were in a lane of their own: Deep Stepper, Roller 170 and Ninety One.

To mark the release we’ve asked 13 artists from across the D&B spectrum who’ve all been informed and inspired by Marcus to dig deep into his body of work and celebrate just how vital his creations continue to be. Shouts and respect to FD, Randall, Marky, Lenzman, SpectraSoul, Spirit, Serum, Kasra, London Elektricity, Danny Byrd, Rene LaVice, Sam Binga and Crissy Criss for contributing. This was no easy task…

 

Marcus Intalex & ST Files – How You Make Me Feel (31 Records, 1999)

Marky: “I could mention many of Marcus tracks because in some of them I had the pleasure to be with him on the studio or I just listened since the beginning, from the idea to the final master. But for me, the most remarkable is How You Make me Feel. I’ll never forget about this Thursday night at Bar Rumba. I was going to play after Jumping Jack Frost who was like a mentor for me, just like Bryan Gee. Frost was playing and suddenly he came with this song. In that time, Bad Company was in the headlines back then and I was a huuuge fan of their music, they’re still my friends, but when Frost first played this song? It was something that I never heard before! We were at the soundcheck at this point and I just stopped the disc playing and asked Frost about it.

One day after, Friday night, I was at the Music House to do some dubplates and this guy came up to me asking if I was Marky. I told him yes and he said “nice to meet you, Marcus Intalex”. I just met the guy one day after listening the track that changed my life! Since this day, we had a truly and beautiful friendship.”

Kasra: “Marcus made so many incredible tunes and his whole catalogue, and that of Soulr, was a huge influence to me. If I had to pick one tune it would have to be How You Make Me Feel with S.T Files on 31 Records. It’s pretty much perfect and encapsulates so many of the things I love about the genre. That single (the flip, Neptune is also wonderful) had a profound effect on me. I remember around that time knowing I wanted to start a label, there’s no doubt that his music helped motivate and inspire me. RIP Marcus.”

 

Marcus Intalex & ST Files – Moonwalk (Renegade Hardware, 2000)

FD: “It’s an almost impossible task to pick my favourite Marcus tune. If it wasn’t for him, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be doing what I am today. There are countless tunes of his that I’ve played over and over again that totally informed and shaped my taste and love of drum & bass as it is today. He literally crafted and wrote so many of the defining tunes for the genre, in my opinion. Of course I say this because it’s in an area of the genre that I love and feel the most. But I think many people in the scene would agree, whatever area or subgenre of the scene they ‘exist’ in or enjoy.

To be honest I feel extremely privileged to even be having the chance to write this. When I was first hearing those tunes back in the late 90s and early 2000s, I just remember how buzzed they got me and how they just totally grabbed me. They made me happy, excited, inspired, and in a way, the person I am today. Kind of crazy to say that, but that’s what music that you love can do to you, and I guess why we all care about it so much.

I could pick at least 10 tunes for this piece, but that’s not the deal. I think I have to go for one of the early ones that I knew about, as they really did help to form my taste. I still remember running the first event I promoted at my university, with my mate Digga on the mic, and whenever I’d drop one of those Marcus (and ST Files – got to big up ST as well) tunes, he’d just turn to look at me, and do that move he did that said ‘this one’s sick mate, this is smooth, this is the one’. We still talk about those moments to this day. There was a whole bunch of tunes that did that to us then, but I’ll go for ‘Moonwalk’, just because I have to pick one. I’d rather carry on writing though and talk about all the others too….”

 

Marcus Intalex & S.T. Files – Lose Control (Metalheadz, 2000)

Lenzman: “How can you possibly pick a favourite Marcus Intalex track? He was so influential to me in so many ways and so much of his music has inspired me over the years as both a producer and DJ. But Lose Control is one of the tracks that has always stood out for me. I remember it vividly: hanging at a friends house, listening to a tape of a freshly recorded Fabio show from when he was on Radio One. It came on and just blew my mind, it sounded so futuristic at the time, and to me it still sounds quite unique today. I think the whole M.I.S.T. thing was really special – so unique sounding at the time – but this one sounded really different to their other material as well, and the vibe of it is still unmatched to me.”

 

M.I.S.T – Barracuda (Revolve:r, 2003)

London Elektricity: “Being asked what your favour Marcus track is… It’s like being asked what your favourite Bond film is. Really hard to decide. But I’ll go for Barracuda… That bassline. The subtle swing on drums. The trademark 16th note Tom fills that Marcus used years before everyone and his dog used them. The space and unhurried development of the track. My Porky’s dubplate wore out and had to be cut again before the tune was even promo’d on white label.

Marcus was pretty much the first person to welcome me and Chris Goss into D&B. It was at the awards in 1999 in Kilburn and he was the smiliest happiest most positive person in a massive room full of D&B heads, nearly all of whom felt they had to look really moody and scowl at each other. Cos that was cool back then. But Marcus didn’t give a shit about looking cool. And I loved him for that. Love you still for that Marcus xxx”

 

Marcus Intalex – Cabin Fever (Soul:r, 2008)

Randall: “The tune for me has to be Cabin Fever. I just LOVE the intro section with the synth pads leading right the way to the drop. The vibe of this tune is true Marcus/Trevino. You can feel his imprint all through this track. So dope. So many tunes so many memories, though. Times I’ve been on the road listening to his music when he just sent us a package of Soul:r Music. I tell you, his tunes will forever be in my sets… Love you Marcus, for making our sets so memorable. RIP Marcus Intalex xx”

 

Marcus Intalex – Cabal (Ingredients, 2012)

Rene Lavice: “Cabal is my favourite Intalex tune. It’s a track I’ve been playing in my sets for years because it mixes so well with other tracks. It typifies Marcus’s ability to bridge the gap between techno and drum and bass, with a modal arrangement that evolves over the course of the track. It also features a ‘running’ beat, which was the style of drumming which very much defined drum and bass music during the period in which I got into the genre. All the elements, from the beats to the bass tones to the atmospheres feel very alive and have a lot of conviction. It all sounds effortlessly energetic and very alive in the mix.”

 

Marcus Intalex – The Guillotine (Soul:r, 2012)

Spirit: “You probably couldn’t give me a more difficult task than to pick a favourite out of Marcus’ immense catalogue. You could obviously point to his work as part of Da Intalex or the amazing body of work from the early to mid 2000s that really helped spark a new generation. But for me it has to be The Guillotine from 2012. It’s just amazing, flawless and shows him all over. The moodier techno influenced organized chaos of that first section, then effortlessly slipping into those subtle euphoric keys. If you want to go on a journey in one piece of music you’d be hard pressed to find a better track anywhere. I’ve barely played a set without it since he sent it to me. Another reason it’s so important to me personally is it came at a difficult time for me. I’d just moved back from the States, was hearing very little music that I liked and really struggling to find any motivation to write any music myself. Marcus was always someone who would never let me down on that front and it told me there genuinely was still life in it all. Here he was 20 years later and to me he was just getting better and better, and continued to do so, which was a true inspiration.”

 

 

Marcus Intalex & ST Files – Universe (Metalheadz, 2001)

SpectraSoul: “Absolute classic. Always loved it and always will. It’s one of those tracks that for me, really encapsulates everything about Marcus’s sound. I remember first hearing this at a Good Looking event and being blown away. The production and sonics for the time were amazing. Takes me back to that golden early 00’s era every time I listen to it now too.”

 

Da Intalex – I Like It (Remix) (Intalex, 1995)

Crissy Criss: “It goes without a doubt that growing up one of my favourite tunes was this one from 1995. It still gets battered in my sets. You basically get two drops for price of one, this will never leave my box.”

 

Solid State – Just A Vision (Marcus Intalex & ST Files Remix) (Renegade, 2000)

Serum: “I’ve gone for a remix. This was a massive tune during my best raving years when I was a student in Birmingham and it really sums up his style as well as bringing back amazing memories of places like the Q Club and Medicine Bar. Super clean punchy drums, a really funky almost garage like bassline and much better use of the vocal hook than the original. Pretty much a perfect remix. It’s soulful and has a real groove to it but the super crisp engineering meant you could blend it with much harder tunes from that era without any loss in power. That’s something that’s always inspired me.”

 

MJ Cole – Sincere (Marcus Intalex & ST Files Remix) (Talkin’ Loud, 2000)

Danny Byrd: “Marcus was one of a kind. His music had a big influence on me at the turn of the millennium and was one of the originators of liquid funk music. My fondest memories of him are at Fabio’s swerve Wednesday night at the velvet rooms. He had a big selection of tunes on the circuit on dubplate at the time and it was the first time I heard his remix of MJ Cole’s Sincere. The soundsystem in the Velvet Rooms was ridiculously good at the time. It’s probably the best I’ve ever heard drum & bass sound. I remember asking him how they got their beats sounding so tight. Any producer knows Marcus and ST Files had the best drums in D&B. He told me he would keep all of his drums on MIDI channel 1 on the sequencer and they would be tighter as the sequencer puts preference to the first channel. A genius that is sorely missed x”

 

Trevino – Backtracking (The Nothing Special, 2016)

Sam Binga: “The famous quote about those classic early Derrick May sets is something along the lines of ‘you weren’t sure if you should be dancing or crying’. Some of the best dance music rides that bittersweet edge between joy and heartbreak, between rhythms that make you respond physically and harmonies that touch you emotionally. For me, Marcus walked that line to perfection with this timeless record as Trevino on Craig Richards’ The Nothing Special label. I didn’t know Marcus particularly well but his integrity and belief in his own way of doing things shone through. I think you can hear those qualities in this tune, as it feels completely and utterly authentic. This isn’t the sound of someone casually dabbling in house music, this is a genuine expression of a lifetime in dance music spanning acid house and techno, jungle, drum & bass and beyond. I will always find this tune and those qualities inspirational.”

Marcus Intalex EP is out now on SUNANDBASS Recordings