Mark Dynamix: The Architect
Wed 23rd Aug, 2006 Featuresin
The biggest name in dance music is Mark Dynamix – DJ, Producer, and luminary. With more than fifteen years of experience under his belt, one could consider Mark Dynamix the godfather of Australian dance. From early Field Of Dreams & Prodigy dance parties to Big Day Out tours across the country right through to Ministry of Sound tours, Mark has diligently been putting his talents out there; testing the electronic waters and pushing each wave that washes over the Australian Dance sound. But Mark is ever humble to his own musical endowment and genius. “I just work hard at what I do,” Mark impresses upon me, trying to play down his superhero status. “I’m not an arrogant DJ, I care.” Well then, if Mark doesn’t like to lay claims as a God of the Decks, perhaps he would appreciate the Matrix label of The Architect instead; seeing all, influencing dancerfloors and encoding mental stimuli onto brain cells appropriately.
While he may be The Architect of Australian Dance, Mark’s superhero status is yet to fully reveal itself to the global arenas. Recently returned from the worlds biggest dance party – Love Parade in Berlin, Mark claims that he was well out of his comfort zone when playing to the crowds in Germany. “I was shitting myself,” Mark eloquently outlines, the ‘funny accent’ people have previously mentioned in their articles is quite obvious – though very charming and lilting to my ear. “I was an Australian playing to a crowd of people who didn’t know me – a completely new feeling. I was on the back of this truck with thousands of people all around me. The truck was moving forward from all the people pushing at it. The girls especially… my jaw was on the ground – they’re so gorgeous.” We then lapse into a side conversation of the beautiful people of the world, with Mark claiming that the Swedes are definitely the more aesthetically pleasing people of this world. “I’m not gay,” he states, “but the men are quite attractive too. All that blonde hair and blue eyes I guess. But the girls especially – woah! Exotic and erotic!” Back onto the topic of Love Parade, Mark states “It was an absolutely incredible experience – mind blowing, out of this world, wild. I can’t say this enough: for every question that is asked about it, all I can say is you have to experience it for yourself. The entire gig kept me on my toes. But,” he modestly affirms, “I got away with it.” He admits it was nerve wracking and that this was going out on a limb and really exposing himself – something quite different to what he was used to in Australia – but the experience has expanded his abilities and musical psyche. “It really was amazing,” he asserts. “I really fell in love with the music over there – I went a bit crazy. I have a whole load of European records to lay down now!”
Prompted by this, I ask Mark where his direction is now – for surely, this experience means a greater path for him to traverse. “My trip overseas was such an inspiration; I want to bring back Europe to Australia. All the new tunes I’ve picked up will definitely be featuring in my sets over the next six months – at least! Really – the music from Berlin was so good. I can’t wait to drop it on the decks here [in Australia]. But it’s inspired me so much, my next productions will probably be influenced by them,” he forewarns. “Are you enjoying the production side of music?” I ask. “Yep!” he exclaims! “I’m loving it. I’m improving in my skills with Abelton and Logic, and I’m back on the keyboards too – getting to know my way around them. Getting to really understand how the beat works with basslines; getting to know rhythms inside and out, rhythmic scratching and mixing tracks to different beats. I used to be a drummer until 15, so rhythm is a pretty strong point for me already. I love the jamming side of it all. It’s really an eternal work in progress. But I love it – I’ve found it to be a necessary release. I can let go of all that frustration.”
Coming home to the Technics inthemix Top 50 DJ Poll for 2006, I ask Mark his thoughts on this, since he was ranked at #3 for 2005. “Im really humbled by it,” Mark quietly claims. I’ve been really lucky; so fortunate. But I don’t really care if I poll at #50 or #12 – I can’t take this too seriously. That I’m thought of at all is really humbling – a pleasure. Polls can be taken in many ways. It is a good thing for the industry – it’s a written reflection of people’s interest in Dance Music; that’s pretty important. But I’m really just lucky.”
Now touring his latest release “MixTape” on the Ministry of Sound label, Mark has a whole schedule of gigs to perform around the country. Mark’s single “Identify Me” has been released on Hussle with remixes by Daniel Taylor and Chopstick. Other upcoming remixes include one for Swedish band “Stisch” with their new single “Turn Around” (see www.soundofhabib.com), the Fine Young Cannibals’ “Johnny Come Home” and Darren Hayes’ “Darkness”. “MixTape”, however, is a different feel to what one has come to expect from Dynamix. “It’s different to the Annual,” he states. It’s quite underground… Quite minimal. It has a far more alternative appeal about it. Which means I will be able to get away with mixing in my new Berlin vinyl too.” The thought of this is obviously pleasing to Mark, as his overseas experience remains quite ingrained.
But surely there is a bit more to this industrious musician? “Yeh, I work hard,” (he is obviously used to the moniker of ‘hardest working DJ’) “but it’s not because I have anything to prove. It’s simply that I really enjoy my music. I only perform a few days a week, which leave me plenty of time to produce and write.” He shrugs it off. This Taurus (on the cusp of Gemini – he ascertains) is certainly determined, his excellent sense of organisation and modesty balancing the Dynamix legend superbly. But there is always the chance for some down time too. He loves to snowboard, either at Jindabyne or Perisher, though he had the chance to check out Canada in February this year. He loves the antics of DangerMouse and Pengold, loves to watch DVDs, have dinner with friends and enjoys a tipple of Vodka. He doesn’t have a Playstation though he loves to play Grand Turismo and Grand Theft Auto. I get the impression he is waiting for PS3 to come out though “I get caught up in my studio rather than Playstation,” Mark informs me. “I simply have too much to do!”
The legend precedes this still young Producer-slash-Deejay-slash-Composer-slash-Arranger-Drummer-slash-Rhythms Master-slash-Musician. A superstar in Australian Dance music, he will continue to play down his roles of significance; concentrating instead on expanding his talents and reaching out to the global arenas in order to grow, develop and promote Australian Dance music. He still remains The Architect of Australian Dance, and as such, will masterfully continue to maneuver and direct the enduring dancefloors and brain cells of this country. And may he do so, with our positive vibes and good fortune before him.
Mixtape is out now on Ministry of Sound through EMI. You can also catch Mark at various Inthemix50 parties. Check your local whatson for details.