A Sit Down With DJ Marco Bailey
Marco Bailey is often referred to as the Belgian techno god, or at least, as the Belgian techno legend. Both statuses are well-deserved in more than 30 years of devotion to the scene.
His MB Electronics imprint is one of the most respected techno labels and Marco himself travels hard. He still found time to start a line on Ibiza, called Materia.
"A good set does not consist of the pieces that you find in the charts. A DJ should be able to make his audience dance with his own personal selection."
Youve been working as a DJ/Producer for longer than most in the scene. What do you think about the current state of EDM and Press Play DJs? What do you think is better about the scene today? What do you miss about the scene from 10 & 20 years ago?
Yes theres a couple things I HATE, sorry, and of course lots I love. I love to see smiles on people, their faces when i play my music without being a jukebox or playing Top 10 music. I love to travel to South America, i love Argentinian people, i love Peru, Love Chile, Love Brazil, love Colombia; all the people have fire in the blood, this i love so much!! I love the USA also recently a lot! I love Asia especially playing in Japan! In USA Techno is getting strong again & this makes me also smile. But what i hate so much is is this STUPID ridiculous DJ TOP 100 DJ Mag crap. Are they not a shame to publish a Top 100 with DJs inside who paid for votes? The worst of all cant even mix 3 records together without making a mistake; only possible when they can use the shit sync buttons in Traktor or play just the bottom on the laptop of a Ableton session. What the Fuck is this?? Almost half of these shit Top 100 are EDM DJs who play easy-cheesy, almost kids music tunes. Ok, I respect vocal music, I have lots of respect for tracks of Guetta or Tiesto because they have amazing artists behind it, with great songs. Honestly even while its totally NOT my sound I respect it a lot, because its well and nice produced! But there is other shit going on at the moment, DJs who cover complete songs or tracks from the 90s, totally sampled from second one to the end, and get number one in Beatport and come in DJ Top 100 in the first 10??? Is this NORMAL, do they feel proud ???? Guys of DJ Mag are you not making a complete trash-bag from our whole scene? I would obviously just shame myself seriously! I know that popularity talks, and I realize its the choice of the big public that supports this crap on the big festivals etc, but I think people who are the source like the big magazines (like DJ Mag) and the big festival promotors, they should teach the crowd something else instead of feed them time after time more crap or junk food, and try to re-EDUCATE them with real and pure things!Look at I Love Techno festival in Belgium for example, it started with 1500 people and has growth to 38,000 people with ONLY underground pure sound! May that be a small example in some way already.
What do you think the audience inspires?
Exactly the point between their expectations and something new. Sometimes it can be like a fight that you have to be willing to fight. But you are not a god. If the visitors are not on your wavelength, you can not change that with the crowbar.
During the production you make techno, you run techno and you also get promotions every day. Do you never get enough of techno?
Of course I sometimes need something else. Especially in terms of promos, the work really can not keep up. Previously you needed a serious amount to build a studio, but now you can do everything with software and anyone can put something together in his room. At the moment I am really completely covered in the promos. This is regrettable somewhere. I am sure that a lot of good music is not noticed because there is an oversupply.
What equipment do you use to play at your shows?
At the moment I play with SDC card and of course mix by myself not the sync buttons! Lol + I use nowadays the REMIX 1000? from Pioneer, an amazing EFX machine, its actually the old 909 inside an EFX tool! Wicked tool!
You have a new residency at Privileges Vista Club. What made you launch it and whats your concept behind it?
Ive been doing parties in Belgium since 1997. Ive invited the likes of Carl Cox, Sven Väth, Chris Liebing, Adam Beyer, Marco Carola, Ben Sims, Claude Young, Surgeon, The Advent, Fumiya Tanaka and more to my events over the years, but it was not under the name Materia. Two years ago I started with the Materia events in Belgium, but I also wanted to expand the event to other countries.To date, weve had Materia events in Paris, Vienna, Madrid, Amsterdam and Liège, and now Im excited to bring it to Ibiza. I think ibiza is still very important in our electronic music scene, with everyone gathering there in the summer thats the reason why I wanted to bring Materia to Ibiza. When I got the offer to do something in Ibiza, I got very excited, because for me its still the central point for our scene to connect with all party people from all over the world, from Japan to Mexico, they all come once to Ibiza.
Why was Vista Club the right venue for MATERIAs debut season?
Vista is a small venue, but it has great sound, the best view of the island when the sun rise comes and also I think it was just the right size for the first season for MATERIA, as we never know how tickets will sell for an event which has a heavy focus on music that not everyone is always into, as mentioned before, it is heavier, underground and special in its own way.
Is the pressure now on producers to keep it interesting then?
Yes, its down to producers, and its down to everything else too, you know. I think people really need to start going out again. 20 years ago there was no internet, or Facebook. Now people are sitting in front of a computer on a Saturday night so when it gets to midnight or 1am theyre too tired.
You have already accomplished a lot in your career: you released several full-length albums, you released on some of the biggest labels out there, you have hosted a club in Ibiza, you have your own label, ... Is not it difficult to think bigger?
I'm just trying to do everything better, not necessarily bigger, but especially better. I am now working with Materia to do the parties I did in Ibiza all over the world. For example also in South America, or in February I do a Materia event in Chicago. Constantly searching for new challenges, that's what I like. It is certainly not always easy, I am only there without sponsors or big donors. It is today that you need a lot of money if you want to do big things.
So you really love places like Ibiza, Japan and South America.. Have you ever considered moving to another country?
As a matter of fact, I have a plan to move to Ibiza eventually. I love the Island. But there is no rush.. say five or six years would be realistic. Of course there is the language issue where everyone on the Island mostly speaks Spanish.. Also, Brussels has a really great airport with fast connections to a lot of different places. Ibizas airport has its limitations in that sense. But yes, eventually I will make the move.
Do you think Ibiza is about too much VIP and glamour culture? Does that not work when it comes to techno?
I think for techno you need a bigger dancefloor and a smaller table yes , but the ones who go for the bigger table and the smaller dance floor playing mostly more cheesy so i prefer a bigger dance floor.
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