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“Monkey Marc is a producer’s producer; staunchly independent and probably Australian electronic music’s best-kept secret. His music channels the spirit of punk, original dubstep, Public Enemy, modern beats and electronic culture, and the heaviest of Jamaican riddims all at once.” – VICE
Monkey Marc is an Australian producer with a fiery activist background and a history of writing some of the most progressive reggae and hip hop music around. His signature sound weaves together reggae, dancehall and hip hop with a strong political focus. He has worked with artists like Roots Manuva, Soom T and YT, and released on labels including Jahtari and Big Dada.
He is now working on one of the most exciting collaborative projects of 2018: Vital Sound.
Born in Cardiff, Wales, Monkey Marc’s passion for music & social change has taken him across remote regions of Australia and the world. Originally working as a geologist in outback Australian gold mines, Monkey Marc got his name from his mining job that required him to climb high up into dangerous areas of the mineshafts to safeguard them for the miners.
After several near-death accidents, he switched to a lifetime of music and activism, spending years roaming the Australian desert as a political activist and running a solar-powered sound system at the frontline of blockades and protests around Australia. He has spent over a decade in the Australian desert working on youth music projects in indigenous communities.
His punk activist background drives him to make music with a message. Monkey says, “I believe in the power of music to educate, inspire and change people’s perspectives”.
Vital Sound project
In 2018, Monkey Marc is working with a heavyweight line-up of over two dozen Jamaican artists, from Ninjaman, Turbulence and Anthony B to roots revival stars Dre Island, Iba MaHr and many more.
This ambitious project, titled Vital Sound, began with the No Surrender riddim last year, featuring a ferocious combination of Sizzla, Capleton and Fantan Mojah.
Monkey Marc’s next release from the project is the Yaad N Abraad riddim, featuring an exciting line-up of the next generation of roots revival artists, including Aza Lineage, 5 Star and Jamnesia’s Earth and the Fullness.
Also watch out for Monkey Marc’s upcoming dancehall release Rasta Bwoy, featuring Fyah Roiall. Intensely political and lyrically potent, this dancefloor killer is being released on Glastonbury Festival’s new record label, Uncommon Records.
Monkey Marc’s landmark Vital Sound LP is coming out in November this year.
Monkey Marc’s signature sound pays homage to oldschool dub reggae, digital reggae, and classic boom bap hip hop.
Working out of his fully solar-powered recording studio in a repurposed shipping container in Melbourne, Australia, Monkey Marc has a renegade approach to production. In contrast to the over-produced sound that is popular in modern production, Monkey’s sound is gritty, tough, big and dynamic.
His workflow samples and resamples from his extensive vinyl collection with his vintage drum machines and samplers, vintage EQs and analogue mixing desk. Monkey Marc pushes the limits on his old gear in a “so wrong it’s right” approach, which gives his music warmth and soul with huge bass.
Monkey Marc maintains a working collection of rare and iconic studio gear, including classic synthesiers, effects units, vintage drum machines, tape delays, old reverb units and a vintage BBC mixing console.
Monkey Marc has performed his live electronic music set at festivals, clubs, squats and street parties across the planet, including Glastonbury, Fusion, Symbiosis, Boomtown, Boom, Rainbow Serpent, Earth Frequency and more.
In the vein of dub masters such as King Tubby, Scientist and Lee Scratch Perry, Monkey Marc takes his studio gear on the road to recreate his authentic studio sound. Monkey uses the same audio equipment used in the golden era of oldschool dancehall music and classic hip hop, reworking his original productions live on stage. Monkey’s live shows are respectful of the past but progressive and forward-looking.
With no compromises for creating the best live sound, he performs using an MPC3000, samplers, mixing desk and effects units including a Jahtari edition Monotron and Benidub delay. This generates a warm oldschool sound that is richer, more three-dimensional and with more rugged bass than if it came out of a laptop.
Monkey Marc is touring with Fyah Roiall on a Europe tour in August 2018, and in Australia/NZ in October-November 2018 on a national album launch tour.
Official Website: MonkeyMarc.org