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MARK BARROTT: NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND

Mark Barrott's lush Balearic rhythms

Mark Barrott used to make drum & bass under the name Future Loop Foundation — but he ditched the moniker approximately seven years ago.

“I got bored with drum & bass, the tempos were too restrictive in the end,” he tells DJ Mag from his new home in Ibiza. “I moved to Berlin and decided I wanted to be Kruder  — or was it Dorfmeister?”

As FLF he'd made d&b for Pan-Kay Records, Planet Dog and Liquid Records, and although he was never fully accepted by the drum & bass scene he did do a live gig at seminal night Movement at Bar Rumba in the late '90s. “Yep, I think I got threatened with a machete — or maybe that was in Lagos?” he jokes. “My back is still paying the price for lumping a full studio around in flight-cases.”

After moving to Berlin, he ended up in Uruguay which he describes as “Ibiza in South America, lots of fun”. Here he ended up tempting the legendary DJ Harvey out of retirement for his genre-spanning Locussolus project, as well as releasing music  by Quiet Village, Gatto Fritto and Italian cosmic disco don Daniele Baldelli on his newly-formed International Feel label that he started up after he couldn't get a deal for a track he wrote. “Now, after 30 releases, we've sold 100,000 vinyls and reinvented what it means to be a proper boutique record label,” he says. 

Meanwhile, he moved to Ibiza a couple of years ago — as befits his new Balearic chill-out sound. “Life these days is super-fast, everyone needs to slow down,” he exclaims. “Anything over 110bpm sounds like gabba to me so, over the years, I guess I naturally gravitated to slow music and Balearic, cos it means I can do anything I want as a musician and a label owner.”

Mark's new album, 'Sketches From An Island', really does merit the Balearic tag. From the feelgood bliss of opener 'Baby Come Home' through evocative flamenco stunner 'Go Berri Be Happy' via a meditative 'Deep Water' and into a deep, pulsing 'Island Life', this is texturally rich stuff that's radically beautiful.

Barrott raves about living in Ibiza — “My quality of life here is off the scale — the air, the light, the sea, the countryside, the Ibicencos, it's all beautiful, man, just beautiful” — and his music has recently had the seal of approval from original Ibiza chill-out king Jose Padilla, who he's now working with.  “Hopefully it'll remind a few people that music is melody, not ringtones,” Mark grins.

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