By: Anand Harsh
When it comes to bass legends, Mark Instinct finds himself near the top of the list. The Canadian act has played numerous shows with his fellow big-time bass countrymen, and he's also adapted to a rapidly shifting scene with grace and ease, which has kept him ahead of the pack instead of desparately trying to play catch-up and treading water in futility.
As part of his drive to keep his sound current, he's linked up with forward-thinking German label Saturate Records, which has allowed him to become sort of an elder statesman on a roster of diverse, up-and-comers who can sort of stake out their spot in the industry by taking a page from Instinct's book.
A couple of remixes and collabs here and there bring us to his latest EP, 10 Strip. His Saturate EP debut features four original tracks, incuding a collab with Holly, and gets a whole host of remixes by the likes of NastyNasty, Subp Yao, GREAZUS, Vorso, yunis, CRIMES! and more.
Today we premiere “Singularity,” a rough and tumble track that pulses with industrial hydraulics and bursts of white hot steam spraying dirty oil and grime across a worn cement floor. As experimental as the label likes to get, Mark Instinct tempers that experimental drive with the steady hand of a pro who doesn't dive too far into abstraction forsaking accesibility. There's a measured level of musicality here.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Mark about not only his relationship with Saturate, but his relationship to the EP, which drops on June 6.
You've been a staple of the bass community for a while. How did you get linked up with the young upstarts of the Saturate crew?
Last summer I met a few people at a festival that turned me onto Saturate. I was already well into the path of reforming what I was making at the time so it was almost synchronistic in how it all linked up in the end. I hit up Tuomas [BIOS] once I got a proper contact from a friend of mine and now we are here (laughs)!
Where do you see Saturate fitting into the broader industry? Are electronic music fans becoming more accustomed and hungry for experimental stuff, or am I just feeding back into my own echo chamber?
I feel the label is right on the forefront of the evolutionary game and has been for some time now. I personally have noticed a huge influx in people gravitating toward the more experimental side of the music and less toward what is considered mainstream, templated and gimmick-fueled stuff, not only for music listeners but producers, as well. It is a pretty exciting transition to watch.
Were you able to handpick your remixers for this EP, or did the label steer you towards some acts?
I had a pretty good idea of the direction to go with the roster and with a little help from the Saturate camp it was easy to get the right flips done by the right people. I did want to keep it in the family for this one so we chose a fair bit off of the Saturate camp to be a part of this. Everyone did a fire job.
During the writing process for 10 Strip did you try to avoid listening to too many of your peers or is that part of what fuels your creative fire?
I do to reference for mixdown things, but during the creative period I try to listen to a whole lot of nothing. If anything it is usually drone soundscapes, atmospheric stuff or just noise, old school hip hop stuff as well for beat ideas but this EP was the first time I have ever written stuff just straight out of the mind no thought process really no over-analyzing. It was really refreshing to take that approach.
What sort of early response have you gotten from your underground bass colleagues with whom you've shared early incarnations of the EP?
I got a really good response from everyone who has heard it thus far. edIT (Ed Ma) of The Glitch Mob was very stoked on how it all sounded and said the "mixdown was exceptional and well done" I was super stoked on this as that is one of the things I am always super insecure about (laughs). Noisia gave an early plug on their radio show a few weeks ago as well. Overall it was an energizing bunch of feedback. A lot mainly geared around the transition into this new sound I am tinkering with. It will be a nice surprise for the fans as well so I am really excited for everyone to hear it!
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