All kinds of delicious old-skool sounds

Mark Archer, formerly of legendary rave demon act Altern-8, takes control of the Clash DJ podcast this week, serving up all kinds of delicious old-skool sounds in the way that only he knows how.

Clash chatted to Archer about his mix and some classic Altern-8 material.

Can you tell us about your mix and why you chose some of the selected tracks?

Mark Archer: It’s a mix of tracks that I’ve always been into but rarely get a chance to play, most of the time you only get booked for one hour in which to try and make an impression (hopefully a good one) on the crowd, it’s not often that people who really know the earlier tracks coming out to gigs so most oldskool sets consist of 1992 breakbeat hardcore, so this was a nice little change.

What tracks are you enjoying playing in live sets at the moment?

Mark: I’ve always really been into the acid house sound from 1988, so playing that at gigs such as I Love Acid in London is cool, but I do try and mix it up a fair bit, as much as I can within the constraints of a one hour set, so try and start with tracks from 88/89 and go through to 92, a sort of mini journey through rave.

I’ve also just started a new project with Eamon from Liquid (Sweet Harmony) where we play oldskool influenced new material with tracks from AGT Rave Cru, Ben Sims and our own Liquid-8 material.

What else have you been up to, in terms of live performances and/or production?

Mark: Getting back into production and remixing after a break of a few years really, with remixes for Chevron, TokyoAcidCru and Stefan Robbers along with recording some acid tracks which have been released on Balkan Vinyl and Substance Audio.Gig wise I’m just trying to keep the diary full with DJing gigs until I’ve put together a live set (once I have enough new material).

You’ve re-recorded re-released an old Altern-8 track, ‘Frequency’, with Josh from Posthuman – tell us about that process and some of the new remixes.

Mark: The original was written and recorded by myself on a very skeletal set up back in 1991 and was actually in mono (which I only found out when we did the peel sessions for radio one) but was still being played out by the likes of Soulwax and Ben Sims twenty years on, so we wanted to re-record it with better production values but also get some new takes on it to see what people would/could come up with.

Is it true that LFO was scheduled to remix ‘Frequency’ before deciding that he couldn’t improve on the original?

Mark: It is, but to be fair it is a very difficult track to remix, without the riff it’s not the same track but with it, the track is difficult to make sound different. If I was offered to remix LFO I’d probably say the same thing.

Do you still enjoy hearing/playing Altern-8 tracks?

Mark: I’ve always been quite embarrassed about playing my own tracks out and usually only play them if a promoter asks, but I don’t mind playing ‘Frequency’ for some odd reason and was well chuffed when Aphex Twin dropped it at Bloc in 2009, especially when the crowd went off to it.

Music-wise, what do you have planned for the future?

Mark: Lots more production of varying styles. I have used so many different names for different styles but think it’s got to a stage where I can get away with doing them all under my own name, but I may resurrect the Trackman project after actually finding out recently that people were actually into it.

The re-released ‘Frequency’ – featuring remixes by Luke Vibert, DMX Krew, Chevron and others – is out now on Balkan Vinyl .

Mark Archer will also be playing at I Love Acid @ Wang, London on New Year’s Eve.


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Check out the previous episodes of our Dj Mix Series on iTunes HERE or individually on HERE

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