Marco Bailey from Belgium is one of the busiest techno DJs around. Touring every weekend, hitting each continent and managing his ever so popular label MB Elektronics known for its prolific output of quality techno. February 11th marks the release of his new artist album High Volume. Therefore, we are honored to have him for an exclusive interview!
Marco, you are about to release your new album by the name of High Volume in February. Could you tell us what we can expect, your vision behind the album and how long it took to make?
Of course, the main theme of the album is techno. It’s the sound I’m known for and the sound I love to play around the world because of its relentless energy. Yet, my love for music goes way beyond techno and I love to show that on my albums. I’m a big fan of guys like Boards Of Canada who influenced me to make Grolzham, the opening track of High Volume. I also like Tech House and pumping/energetic quality House. That’s why the album contains one Tech House tune by the name of Funk That Groove.
I recorded High Volume over a period of 6 -7 months. Not every day because of my touring it’s not always possible to do so. But I do use my laptop on the road to capture ideas. Then, when I’m back in the studio I finalize all these ideas into complete tracks. I wanted my album to build like a DJ set. Deep and a bit slower at the start.. Then in the middle peak time material such as THE FALCON & THE FOX and ending in beauty with the emotional piano track SHE LEAVES.
What was your most enjoyable gig from 2012?
Definitely Club Space on Ibiza! I played there together with Carl Cox. IT WAS MASSIVE. We played for 8000 people or so.. The vibe, the energy it is like nothing else. Also Ageho, Tokyo was one for the books. I gig quite often in Japan and have been going there ever since 2000. Every time I go there to play it is always packed. It’s a good feeling when you play for a crowd that moves from the very beginning til the end. They have lots of respect for the DJs that come there to play. Often I see them wearing my label shirts and holding glowsticks with my name on them.
You know, Japan is a really great country. All the people are very polite.. It is very different as opposed to countries in the West.
I also cannot forget about the fans from Argentine. I recently had gigs @ Pacha, Buenos Aires and Lotus, Rosario. The people are very extravagant.. crazy.. I really like that vibe and always love to play there.
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. Ibiza’s airport has its limitations in that sense. But yes, eventually I will make the move.
Hands down my biggest supporter would be Carl Cox. I did multiple releases for his label Intec, he supports most of my material and last Summer I rocked his stage at Tomorrowland. It’s one of the biggest festivals in the world for dance music.. 80.000 people in attendance daily over a period of three days. The Carl Cox stage had an audience of about 10.000. Crazy! I loved every second of it!
Other than Carl Cox I also receive great support from guys like Dave Clarke, John Digweed, The Advent, Umek, Adam Beyer and Sharam (Deep Dish). I did quite some releases for the guys mentioned. Just as an example, my previous album was released on John Digweed’s famed Bedrock label.
Do you have time to go out yourself to listen to other DJs play?
I have gigs every weekend so it is not always possible. But when I can, I do go out to check out other DJs. A couple of months ago I went to La Rocca – a great club in my home country of Belgium. Dubfire was playing so I had to go and say hello. It was a great set!
How would you describe the Belgian dance scene at the moment?
The scene here is good, but some areas could be better. In Belgium, people want all the big names, but there is hesitation when it comes to ticket prices. The people don’t want to pay extra. So for instance in Holland if the same popular DJ is booked, the ticket price will be double and people will be ok to pay it. They understand the costs that are involved with booking the talent.
Also, Belgian promoters book too many styles on one night and there is not a logical progression in line ups. In Belgium, a line up can go anywhere from house to techno to even dubstep.. I think it would be better to keep a night into onestyle of music and not go all over the place.
Belgium used to be a lot better with weekends that started at Thursdays and it would go on until Tuesday nights. That was nice, but it stopped somewhere around the early 2000’s.
Personally, I am not that into it. You know I’m a techno, house and chill guy.. But to each their own style. Yet, I got to give it to people like Netsky from Belgium who have great success with their dubstep all around the world.
Name some of your favorite labels
MB Elektronics , Intec , Bedrock, Drumcode , Respekt , Cocoon , Plus 8… There are quite some good ones out there.
Regarding your own label MB Elektronics, what can we expect in the coming months other than the album?
Mr bizz, a very young guy makes lots of good stuff.. Johnny Kaos and Mattew Jay, Redhead, Filterheadz, Tom Hades.. I try to support quality music on my label as much as I can.
Thousands and thousands of tracks are coming out on a daily basis. Do you like the change from Vinyl to MP3?
The good thing is that it’s very easy to play new tracks. You can create something in the studio, and play it out in the club just a few hours later. With vinyl that process was much more complicated. I do miss going to the record store to find new tracks and have a chat with the people there.. Selecting music from the computer is quite a different process.
Half a day per week the least I’d say..
When it comes to your sets, do you only play the newer stuff or do you also dig in your collection to play the older tracks?
I like to play both, but it does depend on the crowd. When the crowd has a good vibe, I try to play varied and play build up a story with older and newer tracks. When there are only young kids that could be a bit more difficult, but then I will search to see what I can play and cannot play.
How do you like the US dance scene?
Love it! Ultra Festival where I played twice was a great experience. Dance is still very new to a lot of people here so it is different than other parts of the world. Whereas in Europe everyone attending an event will know you, in the US not everyone knows you beforehand. So as a DJ, you need to take that in consideration.
I just arrived here again for a tour and I look forward to play a couple legendary places in the US like Cielo in New York, Mansion Miami and Smart Bar Chicago. I will also return to Ultra Music Festival in March and very excited for that!
Marco Bailey : the new Album : “High Volume” out on MB Elektronics
Release date: 11th February 2013
Marco Bailey vs Filterheadz on John Digweed’s Bedrock label “Mansion EP”
Release date: 25th February 2013
02 Feb: Colombia
10 Feb: Ahava Festival, Mexico City, Mexico
12 Feb: Cielo, New York, United States
16 Feb: Afternoon BE@TV Livestream Album Launch Party, London, UK
16 Feb: The Egg, London, United Kingdom
02 Mar: I Club, Schwetzingen, Germany
09 Mar: Groove, Madrid, Spain
16 Mar: St. Petersburg, Russia
27 April: Replay Festival, Belgium
27 April: Mayday, Dortmund, Germany tbc
4 May: UG Bulach, Zurich, Switzerland
18 May: Borderline, Basel Switzerland
19 May: Freiburg Germany
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