The rave stalwart runs down his all time favourite classic house tracks ahead of a night of nostalgia.
Date published: 23rd Aug 2017
Mark XTC started his DJing career aged 15 playing in places such as Sequins, Fantazia, Mythology and the legendary Hacienda, where in the late 80s he won the North West DMC DJ Championships.
His band the Mix Factory racked up a Top 40 UK Singles Chart hit with ‘Take Me Away’ next which went on to chart all over the world and lead to global gigs and playing for early huge raves and organisations such as Helter Skelter, Dreamscape, The Eclipse and Pure X.
By day Mark was spreading the sound of music in the North West by managing both the Spin Inn and Eastern Bloc record shops, and which birthed his next musical project, Da Intalex. Aside from their Intalex Recordings label behind the massive 'I Like It Remix’, the duo notched up big tunes such as ’New Dawn' on Jump Up Records and also 'What You Gonna Do' on Flex, which has gone down in history as one of the "all time top 10 drum & bass tunes".
Signing to Dread Recordings/Penny Black Records with DJ Ray Keith came releases such as the Come On EP which Dillinja loved and who then signed Mark to Valve/Beatz Recordings releasing 'Keyz' and 'Roll Dem Beatz', as well as the underground hit 'Dark Shadow' under his new guise Snap Shot featuring Tonn Piper. Mark has worked with the who’s who in the D&B scene including Moving Shadow, Integral, Hard Leaders, Penny Black and Dread, FFRR, Warner Bros & PWL.
Mark’s DJ skills continue to keep the Manchester DnB/oldskool/rave scene alive, with regular DJ sets at established nights such as The Warehouse Project, Bowlers, Metropolis, Religion, Masters Of The Oldskool, Back By Dope Demand, Platoon and more.
Ahead of Classical Uproar, Mark's reflects on his favourite classic house records which shaped his musical career and defined some dancefloor moments.
I first played this in the early 90s in various clubs such as The Hacienda, Sequins, Banshee and raves like Mythology and it’s so good that I still play it today. I love the big piano riff and the breakbeat is just me all over.
Unique 3 - ‘The Theme’
Again a huge tune that’s stood the test of time and one that I still play today. A combination of the classic oldskool hip hop vibe mixed with breakbeat house music. These guys (from up north) have produced many tunes under various aliases.
Hybrid - ‘Twisted Tambourine’
I remember the white label being brought into Eastern Bloc record store when I was behind the counter with my cousin Paul Higgy (MixFactory) and I had to have it. The combination (much like Unique 3’s ‘The Theme’) combines hip hop/rap with breakbeats, deep bass and a house groove.
ASHA - ‘JJ Tribute’
A track I've played since it first came over here as an import. The riff has been copied numerous times but none of them compete with the original.
808 State - ‘Cobra Bora’
I got given this on white label by Darren and Andy when I was playing on Sunset Radio and loved it from the outset. Playing this on Sunset 102 FM and in the clubs was always a pleasure especially knowing how I got the record.
Together - ‘Hardcore Uproar’
Everybody loves the ‘baa baa baa’ bit but it was the bass line for me. The big piano drop takes the track on a journey and it’s another record that I had on white label and couldn't help but love what it did to any crowd that heard it. Can’t wait to hear this on the night.
Lil Louis - ‘French Kiss’
Another classic that’s still so special, even the naughty bit. I remember hearing this for the first time in The Hacienda and I thought the DJ had done something wrong when the track started slowing down!
Adonis - ‘No Way Back’
This record changed my life along with Rhythim Is Rhythim's ‘Strings Of Life’. From a full on hip hop DJ to house and hip hop DJ, "To far gone, ain't no way back”... when people talk about anthems these are what I think of.
Joe Smooth - ‘Promised Land’
Anthem! That is all you can say about this track. It has so many meanings all over the world and is still played in so many different genre venues, as well as having been sampled numerous times to great effect.
Rhythim is Rhythim - ‘Strings Of Life’
This and Adonis’ ‘No Way Back’ were game changers. When I first heard them I just said "WOW" and after all these years I still say it. The Hacienda was my education for house music along with listening to Stu Allan on Key 103 for hip hop, I am not the only one who had these as their musical education.