MK: Dub Daddy

Words by: Kristan Caryl
Posted: 20/7/12 10:40

MK: Dub DaddyMK’s legacy was assured years ago. A pioneer of the b-side dub back in the 90s, he was someone who could claim up to $20, 000 for each re-work he submitted. Anyone with even a passing fancy for house music will know his most celebrated work; Nightcrawlers' "Push the Feeling'', but at the same time Mark Kinchen (brother of Scott Kinchen aka Scottie Deep) was also adding his spit and polish to the megastar likes of Celine Dion.

Now, after being contacted by Defected for a new mix last year, he’s back and as relevant as ever. The man’s back catalogue is being picked apart and re-released on cooler than cool labels like Omar S’s FXHE and Amsterdam’s Delsin, whilst the man himself is busy re-working everyone from Lana Del Ray to Morgan Geist, recording with Lee Foss, Jamie Jones and Will Smith’s children as well as laying down the theme for the forthcoming Men in Black 3 movie.

On top of all this, the Detroit born producer has just been to Ibiza for the first time and still manages to find time to take his kids to school. Not bad going, so we sat down to find out how he does it all....

How are you doing?
I am really really good, thanks for asking!

So it’s been almost a year since you returned to the scene in grand style, how have you found it?
I have been having the best time; it's like starting fresh but with the benefit of having had experience already, almost like a do over... I am re-inspired every day.

Can you notice big changes since the first time around in the 90s do you think, both good and bad?
There are lots of changes for sure, remember all the record boxes we had to carry... those are antiques now... totally different travel experience, technology has completely changed everything... the way we travel, the way we make music, the way we play.

But the crowds, no matter how much they change, there are always similarities people loving house music and all music are usually enthusiastic and full of great energy when you play out. There is always good with the bad... They seem to live together somehow.

                                  MK Latest Remixes
                  Todd Terry - Samba (MK Remix) - Forthcoming end of July 2012

               CREEP - You (MK Hot Tub Rub Dub) - Forthcoming end of July 2012

                              Amirali - Just An Illusion (MK Remix) - Out Now

                        Storm Queen - Look Right Through (MK Remixes) - Out Now

How would you say your musical style and tastes have evolved? Is the music you are making/the sets you are doing much different to before?
It is hard to say other than I have been exposed to so much more music and I guess it all gets expressed through what I write and produce and remix, of course (dub step, reggaeton, deep house, moombathon, electro, trip house, all of it somehow gets into your brain) and comes out one way or another.

You’ve gotten tight with the likes of Lee Foss – why is that and what do you like about working with him?
We just have a cool vibe I guess. I really like him, he is not only immensely talented, but he is an awesome guy. He totally inspires me and gets me excited about making music, he just has a certain magic about him, Jamie Jones is the same way. I love those guys; they are like my brothers.

How does having children fit into all this – do you make sure you are home with them a certain amount of time or?
My kids are incredible, they are so much fun... I always make time for them, believe it or not, sometimes I go straight from a session, sleep an hour and then take my eldest to school... (It’s a lot of work, but it is so awesome and worth it).

How involved with Say Ahh! Are you, or is it your brother mainly doing that?
I really wanted to do the label with my brother, but there is just no time to do it. I wish him the best of luck with it, he has great ears and I know he has always wanted to do this.

I asked him this question recently and his answer was interesting, so... I wonder if there is a line for you between pure revivalism and actually adding something to that old school deep house aesthetic? Can you hear a difference in the stuff from years ago and the stuff made now?
That is a really good question. Sometimes, there seems to be no difference at all and other times, you can hear the newer stuff is just a little bit edgier, a little deeper or a little harder or a little faster... Just some subtle differences.

What do you make of the fact that the deep, dubby house you pioneered back in the 90s is still so popular now? Does it feel weird to you at all, that dance music is so cyclical?
My feeling on that is that it is much more widespread now, it is almost like it was underground then and now it is becoming more mainstream, so many more people are into dance music now than were even in the 90s, and really for so many of them, it's the first time, sometimes it takes a long time to reach the tipping point. And yes, it is cyclical, just like fashion, popular colors and everything that's old is always new for someone else.

I wonder what you think had more influence on you – the music of Detroit or New York? You seem to fit somewhere in between...
I think you are right somewhere in between Detroit, NY, London, Ibiza , Miami, all of it is in my head and it all inspires new sounds and music and feelings.

How was it to play Movement recently, back in your hometown...? Do you ever reflect on life at moments like these?
It was joyful for me, I had such a good time seeing all my old friends, meeting new friends and basically going back to my roots, I am incredibly proud of my roots. I do reflect all the time, I am extremely blessed to be surrounded by my wonderful family, my great friends and collaborators and my team... I am very lucky to have both the old and the new.

And you hit Ibiza for the first time recently, right? How did you find that? How did you fit in? How come you never made it first time round?
WOW... everything I heard was true, it is a beautiful, incredible place full of music, fun, sun, beach and this energy of community, I can't wait to get back, but next time I want to really see the island too!! I can't believe it took me so long to get here, but now there will be no keeping me away!!

MK @ Defected In The House - Pacha Ibiza - Saturday, July 07thYou’ve said before you want to be a Quincy Jones type figure, producing for everyone, is that still the case, would you rather produce other people than make your own jams? I mean, might you consider and album of your own, or...?
Oh yeah, Quincy Jones... if I could do even a small percentage of the kind of work he has done, I will be a very lucky guy. His body of work is astounding from his own music and productions to all of the stuff he has done for others... he is, and remains, a musical inspiration for me. I like to make my own music, of course, but you never know what will really take hold and give you inspiration next.

You did the Men in Black 3 theme recently – do you like working to a brief like that? Was it just a case of watching the film and making something fit, or?
I guess its a combination of things, it's definitely an honor and a lot of fun to work on films and such high profile stuff, Will Smith has been a mentor and a friend for many years now. In fact, me and his best friend, Omar Rampart have a side project going called Stoopid Robots, we produce music together too. However, for the movie, it was my relationship with Pitbull that brought me into the mix and another good friend, DJ Buddha.

I do a lot of work with Pitbull, he is not only incredibly talented, but he is also an amazing human being, truly a great guy. I am actually one of his official producers. (I am also part of Mr. 305)... how awesome is that. Oh, and I am also working with Jaden Smith and trying to mentor Tre Smith, just like his dad did for me.

What you looking forward to/what have you got coming up? A lot of dubs and remixes I see...
Wow, so much is going on... My Lana del Ray mix is coming out, I just did a special mix for Morgan Geist (which only I have), I have a really awesome song coming out "Get It Started" by Pitbull featuring Shakira coming out in July, and my record with Lee Foss and Jamie Jones as well as my remix for Forward Motion... And I am working with Jaden Smith... I am all across the board.

What do you like to do outside of music?
Play video games...

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