Did you come here to serve art and make sacrifices for its sake? Or to exploit your own personal ends?
Over the past five years, Mark has forged a unique identity in underground drum’n’bass, alloying traditional junglist motifs and luminous electroacoustic ambience to devastating effect. Developing his sound through a series of singles and EPs on A Colourful Storm and Berghain’s Unterton imprint and collaborating with likeminded peers in both classical and soundsystem spheres, A Colourful Storm presents the culmination of his work and debut album: a two-part study in rhythm, timbre and texture of monolithic scale.
Mark’s ambitions had been clear from the outset. Integrier Dich Du Yuppie (2017) and The Least Likely Event Will Occur In The Long Run (2018) are not titles of fleetingness but statements of grave philosophical heft. The relationship between—and division of—people, place and power animated Mark’s production and has remained a pertinent theme throughout his work: the mechanics of force, the cunning of reason, the invisible but crucial hand of chance.
Within these groundbreaking sides lies a synergy between splintering rhythmic elements and extraordinary atmospheric passages—the latter most deeply explored in Not Kennt Kein Gebot! (2022), a heart-on-your-sleeve mixtape pitting post-Second Viennese School disciples like Luigi Dallapiccola against an era-fusing suite of compositions from Radulescu, Zemlinsky and Monteverdi. This direction is also explored on Mark’s monthly NTS Radio show, True As Few.
Bridging the sonic qualities of post-tonal composition and soundsystem frequencies is nothing new—the oeuvre of Christoph de Babalon immediately comes to mind—but here, Mark attempts to meet both poles on their own terms through two meticulously arranged longform pieces. Any suggestion of connection to dance music history has been thrown out for rhythmic arrangements that skirt the contradiction between strict logical coherence and human perception. What on the surface seems hostile reveals a welcoming catacomb of connections between elements that stake their claim, disappear, merge and finally reappear—their return sculpted by the intricate mediation of similar and dissimilar elements.
The album is deeply personal, too. Following a Stanislavski-led path through fragments of his pre-maturity music history, Mark connects memories of free jazz drumming and modern percussion ensemble performance with the joy of choral singing, ad hoc kitchen-sink group improvisation and those moments where life seems to swing on a hinge of musical feeling.
released April 10, 2023