Mark E – Leaning Into The Light EP

We’ve been loving underground UK house hero Mark E for time so it’s a great pleasure
to hear him on Delusions Of Grandeur for his debut release for the label. With killer edits and sublime releases on esteemed labels such as Running Back, Golf Channel, Ghostly/Spectral and his own
MERC, Mark E has crafted a distinct and original sound that is uniquely blue
collar and utilitarian—classic, deep house, with a tinge of disco warmth.
The Leaning Into The Light EP has more an LP feel and is definitely one for
the heads, taking us on a deep trip across five stunning and expansive
productions which will leave you well and truly spellbound.

From the opener Swimming Through A Diamond with its raw and minimal groove, glacial FM
electric Piano and naïve synth melodies you know you’re in for a real deep
treat with what’s to come. Compact Object treads a similarly subtle yet
captivating path with a stripped back groove and entrancing synth pads and
stabs which intertwine and bounce off of each other like light refracting
through a prism.

Heartaches loops up a live electric bassline and jazzy piano chords to
brilliant effect, creating a blissed out mood and feeling of being suspended
in the air, at once muted, otherworldly and contemplative. The title track
follows taking us deeper still with majestic chords and a tone palette which
calls to mind Larry Heard and the inimitable sounds of Black Dog, B12 and
the golden era of ambient techno and IDM. Closing out this incredible
collection of tracks we have Mirrored Cube, another example of Mark E’s
mastery of his craft, everything sitting perfectly in its own space and perfect
pace rewarding you with its simple beauty.
Mark E also created the original artwork for this release.

Released September 30, 2022 – Buy / listen / stream now – Bandcamp / Juno / Spotify

It’s a pleasure to talk to you Mark. You’ve kept a very low profile the last few years. What have you been up to?

The pleasure is all mine thanks for inviting me, Well since the pandemic it felt like the right time to re-evaluate things, so decided to use that time to just knuckle down and get stuck into production more and feel like the fruits of that period are only now just starting to be realized.

Are you still based in Birmingham. Where are you these days?

I haven’t lived there for a while now. I moved to oxford around 9 years.

How long have you been producing Mark? Was Déjà vu on Running Back your first release?

My first release was “Scared” on Jiscomusic in 2005.  But I had been tinkering away for a good few years before that.

Do you remember making this sublime record? How long did it take you to make, or did it just fall effortlessly into place?

I had a bit of a method then of looping up disco samples and adding my own elements of melody or percussion over the top. I don’t believe it took too long, but that was nearly 20 years ago so the memory is a bit hazy.

Would you say you are a perfectionist in your productions? How do you know when a track is finished and when to stop fiddling?

I’d say I definitely am now, and the more I go the less I seem to know when to finish a track. It seemed so much easier when you’re starting out, younger and a bit naïve. These days I’m guilty of over doing it.

What would you say was your most notable release?

I think “Scared” was a “Call Me” was pretty notable. I think the Dixon edit had something to do with that. Thanks Dixon.

Is there a record that you made that you think went under the radar and didn’t get the recognition it deserved as we’d love to check it?

I think the whole of “PRODUCT OF INDUSTRY”, my second LP on Spectral Sound, it didn’t do as well as the first LP, but I think that’s generally the case with second albums. I think it got overlooked a bit.

Your most recent release was on 18437 with the Patrice Scott Remix. Such a great release! Is that Andy Ash artwork on the cover that I see?

Yes, it is! I love Andy’s artwork.

You’ve made house, Balearic, disco and acid, in your time. Is this mix of styles reflected in your DJ sets?

Yes, I guess it is. I’m very much inspired by that Ibizan, Jose Padilla sound, but equally so the sound coming out of Detroit and Chicago over the years, so yeah i enjoy it all.

When I look at the roster on Delusions of Grandeur, it seems to be reserved for wild cards, mavericks! Have you been a fan of the label over the years? Any fav’s in your bag from DOG?

YES! I absolutely love the Nebraska remix of Rain by Toby Tobias.

The Leaning into The Light EP kicks off with the opening track Swimming Through A Diamond. Is there a story or a journey intended within the five tracks almost like an album?

No not really, I just produce around how I feel and what inspires me at the time, there’s no pre-determined end feel I set out to achieve other than making music I’m really into myself.

The title of the EP, is such an inviting phrase, asking the listener to test the sun and its’ warmth. Is there some meaning for you in the title?

It was all about coming back out into the light after the covid restriction, I think. The optimism after such a dire time.

Did you play those beautiful jazzy keys on Compact Object, or did you work with other musicians at all?

I have a lot of recorded material live collected over the years, from various sessions I’ve had with musicians, so just got stuck into a lot of that really and tried new ways of manipulating what I already have.

How would you describe this EP in your words.

It feels just like swimming through a diamond..

Where should we listen to it, and what should we be drinking?

On a boat on the Adriatic, with a warm can of Tuborg.

Cheers Mark! Best of luck with this cracking release.

Released September 30, 2022 – Buy / listen / stream now – Bandcamp / Juno / Spotify

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