Interview: Marco Del Horno
Marco Del Horno is a fine ambassador of the UK garage revolution that infiltrated our dance music scene over 10 years ago. That era in music set the tone for his current wave of ambitious projects, notably his passage in to the bass generation via his imprint Bullet Train Records. We get to know the DJ, producer and businessman a little bit more...
newsicmoos (ns): Hello! Let us delve in to the past week of Marco Del Horno, what you been up to?
Marco Del Horno (Marco): I’ve actually been travelling with one of the acts I manage – Borgore. We were in Ibiza at Amnesia Tuesday and then global gathering Saturday. Both shows were great and we had fun chilling with other DJs I havent seen for a while. Plus writing on the move – in airports - on the tour bus etc .. Loadsa new music coming.
ns: For all who have yet to come across your production, how would you best describe it?
Marco: Tropinfunkandbassstep :) Its a hybrid of sounds. I come from a tribal house / funky back ground but as they years go on I play tougher and tougher. So its tropical and funky but with a bassy big room slant.
ns: Moving straight on to your label Bullet Train. What is the mission statement? How and why did it form?
Marco: When I worked at Defected we called hits ‘Bullets’. So the idea of Bullet Train is that its the vehicle to get the bullets out there. I started it so I could release what I wanted when I wanted and get whatever remixers I wanted involved. Its about a vibe, not about being tied down by a genre.
ns: You were fully immersed in the UK garage and dance scene of 10 years ago. How has this shaped your own productions and consequently your label’s output (if at all)? How are things different in terms of the dance music scene and culture from then to now?
Marco: Garage was what I grew up with. The sound is similar in vibe but now the sonics have changed so everything is louder and fuller. Everything I make has a garage influence in it one way or another. The difference is that UK Garage never had the social media networks music has now to go global. Those dark garage records influenced the dubstep producers who are top of the game now and that whole global dubstep sound. Without UK garage nights like fwd would have not evolved and dubstep would not have existed.
ns: How have things evolved for the label since your amazing rework of ‘Samurai’? What do you do differently? What have you learnt? How has the label progressed?
Marco: The key is to just trust your ear and believe in what we do. I listen to a lot of music but we don’t follow trends or scenes. We just put out good dance music and it seems to be working well. Just keep it interesting and unique. If we have something which we think could sound like someone elses sound we start over again – if things are different they’ll grab someones ear ... If not you just fall into the pile with everything else.
ns: The label is noted for drawing upon a wide array of generic influence. How does working with such a wide ranging selection work well for the label?
Marco: Its works great. The trick is not to write music for an audience, but to write music and then afterwards decide who will be into it and target that audience the best way you can. If you start writing record thinking ‘I want this record station to play it' or ‘I want this dj to play it’ then you’ll never achieve something unique. We just let the producers write whatever they want and then once its in we put the strategy together to get it to the world. Every piece of music is different and we treat it so.
ns: In relation to question 6, how do you go about choosing who to work with and who to release on the label? Is there common ground between all releases?
Marco: Not really. The only thing is I would never put out a record that I would not be happy to play in a club or in a DJ mix. If I can't play the records how can I expect someone else to.
ns: Being so engrossed in music, is there any one producer we should be keeping an eye on?
Marco: Not 1 – there are millions. Like everyone else I love the 2nght stuff, shift key and last japan are doing amazing things for the label. George from AlunaGeorge is a really amazing producer who’s doing something very unique. There are loads of people out there tho .. Too many to mention.
ns: Can you name one fact about yourself that isn’t out there already? (We’re hoping to compile a load of these!)
Marco: I have dual citizenship – so can live and work in the UK or in Australia! And its useful to have 2 passports when you lose 1 on tour.
ns: What’s forthcoming for the label?
Marco: Loadsa new bits. I’d say keep an eye out for my album – the follow up to ‘Wake Up Call’ dropping next Jan. Those who checked the first album know there is a narrative to it – so with the second album the story continues.
ns: Any final words, shout outs, recommendations, advice?
Marco: Nothing comes without hard work and a struggle. DJ spen told me this when I interviewed him at Ministry of Sound years ago, and it something I still think about every day. Nothing falls on your lap so just keep grafting and you can achieve whatever you want.
We'd like to thank Marco Del Horno for the time. Be sure to check out loads more music via his soundcloud page & Bullet Train Records soundcloud. Support him also via facebook & twitter. Be sure to share via the social links below!