Kn Radiodifusion // Rundfunk

Kana Broadcast 051 M.Baumann

December 27th, 2017  |  Published in Feature, Kana Broadcast



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Mark Baumann has been an integral contributor to Australia’s electronica scene in both Brisbane and Melbourne throughout the past decade. With much of his success under the guise of Echo Inspectors alongside Lance Harrison, he has consistently constructed intricate sonic promenades as a consequence of sincere effort both inside the studio, and in the sphere of live performances. The subsequent confluence of influence inevitably resulted in the founding of the Primary Colours imprint that continues to distribute quality records. As 2017 reaches its finality, there is surely more promising news coming from this basecamp in the next chapter of his endeavours: Mark Baumann coordinates the next seventy minutes of Kana Broadcast 051.

EC: Mark you’ve been one of the strongest and most consistent contributors to Australia’s techno scene for many years. Can you give us some background on where that story started?

MB: My first experience of electronic music was in the mid 90’s when listening to acts like Leftfield, Chemical Brothers, Everything but the Girl, Massive Attack etc, but during this time I was more into rock like Tool, Faith No More, Mr Bungle and RATM + more. It wasn’t until I arrived in the UK in 2000 that I really got my first intro into the dance scene. I was totally sucked into D&B initially but then started to explore house and techno as I tripped around the EU, but at that stage I was just enjoying being a punter. It wasn’t until I landed back home in late 2004 and relocated to Melbourne where I was introduced, through a mutual friend, to now label cohort Lance Harrison where my love of electronic music turned into something that I wanted to explore a little deeper. Like most people I started out with two turntables and a bag full of badly chosen records. I went and train wrecked my ass off for the next 6 months of my life which was both fun and frustrating at the same time. During that time I met another chap by the name Daniel Filipovic (Southern Lights), who with lance and I started playing a fortnightly thing at E55 in Melbourne, spinning everything from deep house to deep techno. In that time I also started playing around with Logic/Live and trying to understand the components that went together to structure a track. Around 2006 Daniel, Lance and I kicked off a free net label called Pinksilver Music, this progressed into payed digital and pressing wax, that was a massive learning curve for all of us navigating all that from scratch. Pinksilver was the platform I went on to release my tracks as Markojux and later collaborations with Lance. Renae (Trinity) came on board to help us out with Pinksilver A&R and also releasing tracks which was great – Renae brought a new energy to the label as well as bringing the name out of Melbourne. It was busy times! Planning releases, running parties, a Kiss FM radio slot etc etc. But all good things do come to an end I guess and mid-late 2011 I decided to take a break from the label. It wasn’t long, I think around a year, and planning Primary colours first release was underway.

EC: The Echo Inspector’s project played a key role in the progression of that narrative. There are always some challenges to working with someone, and so many benefits. How did you navigate and embrace both in the studio?

MB:Lance and I were writing prior to Echo Inspectors as Forty6&Two so we have established a workflow inside and outside of the studio. There were and still are a lot of challenges to that, we have our moments and don’t agree on things but that’s where passion and compromise have to balance – sometimes you can’t see at the time, but in the end you know that the compromises made was the right move. For me you can’t have a dogmatic approach to music but rather approach it with a level of openness and vulnerability. When you get the guys we have had on remix duty you know you are on the right track and holding the wax in your hand is the biggest reward for sure. Distance now is the biggest challenge to finishing tracks.

EC: Most of the hard work now is being realised through the Primary Colours imprint. There’s been a lot of success resonating as a consequence of that effort. What advice would you offer to those starting out with their own labels in an ever increasing saturated environment?

MB: Stay true to your sound, have a solid concept for the future direction of your label and don’t try to be all things to all people. Give yourself permission to fuck up then learn from those mistakes. Mr. Meeseeks isn’t going to appear and sort you out – would be good though!

EC: These types of experiences with music often tend to transcend into a deeper perspective of the world around us. How has this journey impacted your own processes on how you live your own life, and spend your time outside that creative sphere?

MB: Well it’s intertwined isn’t it? I mean music from a young age influences your life and your experiences influence your music, so they are intrinsically linked. One thing writing and running a label gives you is not only the tools to create but also the impetus to finish something and put it out there for others to enjoy, dislike or dismiss. Again it plays back into that mantra of openness and vulnerability. I have another creative outlet in brewing beer. To be honest that has been a more difficult process than writing tunes – making sure you strike the perfect balance of elements is not as easy as it seems and attention to detail is paramount! But with Family I like to spend time enjoying the beach and exploring waterfalls near where we live, that hit of nature is a good way to recharge the batteries and find inspiration.

EC: All of those moments have no doubt transpired into your vision on future ambitions. Where do you see those influences and impetus’ being fulfilled?

MB: Collaboration. Sharing the process, the problem solving and working together is more satisfying to me at this stage than feeding off an individual effort. Continuing to learn as much as I can about everything I can keeps the cup full.

Elliot Clarke, December 27 2017

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