If you type in Derek Marin in a youtube search... the search will yield wide and varied results of some of the best in electronic music. One of the mainstays of the NY clubbing scene is Derek, drummer turned producer, has had releases on many labels from Get Physical, Thoughless Music, Sleaze and his own imprint Faucet Music as well as heading up Subtrak. He's also heavily sought after as a remixer. While his range is varied - his style often resides in the heavier, darker side and we love that!
CGNY: Hi Derek – thanks for taking the time to chat with us!! Been a fan of your work for a while and I would say of all the djs/producers in NYC out there, I probably see you attending events the most when you’re not playing! Obviously you are still a fan of the whole music/dance scene. When did your introduction begin? And what got you into it?
DM: Definitely a fan. The best DJs dance. I grew up hearing my mom play Disco records. I of course then hated Disco when I was in my teens only to realize the connection it actually had on the bands I liked - The Smiths, Joy Division & The Clash. Especially when Jonny Marr & Bernard Sumner fromed the group Electronic - totally House & Disco fused with Alternative.
CGNY: Where did you grow up – background etc?
DM: New York. Manhattan then Queens then Brooklyn then back to Manhattan spent some time in the Bronx too! Working my way to Staten Island.
CGNY: As someone who’s been clubbing in NYC over the past years- what do you think have been some of the major changes both good and bad?
DM: Genre classification has changed a lot - no one knows what the hell Tech House is anymore or did we ever? ;)
I love that I can control 3 labels & make music on my own from my computer. My output & creativity has increased to no end. Of course there's tons of other people doing it too but that's ok - i have my thing & i do it damn well. Talent & hard work will always shine through.
I'm actually loving the current state of House & Techno right now.
CGNY: At some stage you must have decided ‘This what I want to do professionally” When/how did you take that leap? Do you remember your first gig?
DM: I was a film major in school & loved it but I started to realize I was showcasing the music in my films more than the films themselves. I was in bands performing as a drummer already so I don't really remember my first DJ gig but I remember my first residency - at an awesome place called Void in Soho. The owner loved Minimal so I was in heaven.
CGNY: Have you had your dream gig yet?
DM: That's coming up with Mr.C for Superfreq in Europe (hopefully Fabric!)
I actually did have my dream gig when I DJ'd with Andrew Fletcher of Depeche Mode.
CGNY: I can’t count the number of labels you’ve released tracks or remixes on worldwide and alongside some major names well as your own Faucet Music. When submitting a track, or even earlier, when working on it – are you thinking ‘this will be good for such a label” or do you make the track and then decide where to release it?
DM: Usually the latter. Making music specifically for a label doesn't really work out for me. Creating your own sound is usually a better approach. I did make a track specifically for Superfreq which worked out great but that's rare.
CGNY: There is such a proliferation of music out there – and with the rise of purely digital releases, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd in terms of sounding different or unique – does it even exist anymore? What is it in a track that makes it pop for you as a dj and/or producer – one that you say I have to have that in my next set! Is it an instinctual thing? Or maybe you just know it would fit with some other tracks you’re spinning?
DM: People rely on plug ins too much. It makes things easier for me because I don't use them - I've developed my sound from the ground up and it shows. Plus I made tracks with just gear for years & sample my own work a lot. My tracks don't always have that overly loud "produced" quality to them but that's part of its character.
What makes it hard is the way labels & sites promote music. They don't look for new or experienced artists based on the right qualities sometimes just on how trendy it is. So you see a million labels putting out the same style and artists over & over.
At this point it is all instinct when picking music though.
CGNY: Are there ever days when you know you have a gig coming up and you just don’t feel inspired – and if so how or what can you do to change that for yourself?
DM: Inspiration always comes at the right moment.
CGNY: There seems to be a migration to Europe in particular Berlin, for many producers from the U.S. Have you ever thought about living overseas or are you an NYer for life!
DM: I go for small stints. I will be in Berlin for a while starting in March but yes I am a New Yorker for life. It has made my career harder to achieve than others but I'm a martyr at heart.
CGNY: What do you think promoters and party people can do to make the music scene better in your opinion (if it needs improvement!)? Anything you think is lacking in NYC right now?
DM: Proper booking agencies - proper representation of talent in the East Coast. I hate the word local. They don't say the word local in Berlin. In Europe labels and parties present their own producers and DJs AS the highlight but over here we do the opposite (unless you move to Berlin and then come back ;)
CGNY: Good point! What or who would say most influences your sound or frames your productions when you go to work in the studio?
DM: I'm obsessed so I incorporate everything around me at any given moment and I don't just make techno so it's a constant thing I do.
CGNY: And following on from that question- who are some of your own personal favorites?
DM: Over the years I finally know the right answer to this and that is I don't have a favorite DJ - if I did I wouldn't do what I do. I strive to be the best - you put me in a room full of people I can guarantee they will dance. I've worked hard to be able to say that. Laurent Garnier is pretty awesome though.
I have many producers that I love though but they get enough credit already ;)
CGNY: If you weren’t in music, what other profession might you have chosen?
DM: Film. DP or Editor
CGNY: Where are you playing next and what’s going on with Subtrak/Faucet Music these days?
DM: Jan 26 for the Nosi Music party Exile in NYC. I'm going to showcase some friends from Canada in the next few releases & my project with Adam Collins called Flight Risk.
CGNY: What was the last fun night you had out – doesn’t have to be music-related!
DM: I can't remember so it must've been good but there was definitely music involved. ;)
CGNY: Where do you see yourself as a musician in 10 years time?
DM: Doing the same thing. As long as iI have working ears...
CGNY: And my standard - An alien lands from another planet and has no clue what techno is! What track/album do you hand over as a learning tool?
DM: Dave Clarke - Wisedom to Wise or whatever track i just made.
For more information about Derek and to see future gigs visit : https://www.facebook.com/DerekRMarin or www.subtrak.net
And check out this free promo download from Derek!