With a 'WK:END' of events taking place in Manchester this weekend, we find out more about the not-for-profit set up to honour the D&B legend's memory
The Marcus Intalex Music Foundation is the deeply positive result of a truly sad event. The Foundation was established in late 2018 to continue the legacy left by the drum & bass pioneer, who passed away in May 2017. And following a launch party in November, this weekend sees the Foundation’s first full schedule of events, entitled 'WK:END'.
The likes of Dub Phizix, dBridge, Jenna G, Zed Bias, Chimpo and many more will be holding workshops and classes. There will also be three nights of parties where the likes of Fabio, Floating Points, Actress, Martyn and the aforementioned hosts will all be playing. A massive launch for a massive initiative! The Foundation is based on creating opportunities and access, passing on skills and helping the city’s next generation – some of the values Marcus was best known for. It follows a Manchester tradition of teaching, training and mentoring that can be traced back to the influence of Factory Records and Haçienda founder Tony Wilson.
"Many musicians in Manchester have developed careers from taking advantage of beneficial opportunities that wer presented to them or created for them by people they knew, or someone within the industry who could offer a leg up in some way – including Marcus himself," explains Nick Sinha [pictured below]. MD of the Foundation, he had been close friend of Marcus since the early 90s.
"That might have been borrowing a friend’s equipment, using a studio space and learning to record, or going to local industry insiders such as Pete Waterman or Tony Wilson for support," he continues. "It’s previously been a lot to do with being at the right place at the right time, something that is naturally getting a little harder for young musicians in the digital age. And as Manchester expands; this is the main motivation for what we intend to deliver now; to directly nurture and support the passion and desire to be creative.WK:END is a celebration of that culture and a way to bring people even closer together – and importantly, for others to learn from that."
The classes were booked up within weeks of the Marcus Intalex Music Foundation announcing the them, but the night parties are still very much a valid ticket if you’re reading this in time. And with regular workshops, talks and classes and cultural, educational and community collaborations planned in the city in the future, even if you’ve missed this launch event, we’re sure you’ll be able to make a WK:END of it very soon. We asked Nick more about the foundation’s plans, ethos and future.
Marcus helped so many artists during his career…
"Marcus was at the forefront. It’s the likes of him that were able to open up opportunities to other artists, as you rightly say. He had the vision and know-how to be able to do this, through his experience and success but also because of the type of person he was. As an artist, if Marcus was supporting you, it was because he believed in you and wanted the best, something he did all his career."
Did he ever talk about setting a school up like this?
"Marcus had been involved in a number of similar initiatives, and even had a scholarship in his name a number of years ago, which focused on career development in music through his mentorship. I know that supporting and nurturing young people who aspire to develop careers in music was something he was keen to become more involved in before he passed.
"The Foundation has had an overwhelming response from close friends and family, as well as those who had crossed paths with Marcus in a variety of different contexts, big or small – all have been kind enough to lend their support and trust in what we want to achieve. Hopefully, Marcus would also be proud."
What was the best advice Marcus gave you personally?
"To believe in yourself, be true to yourself, don’t give up... and don’t give a shit what anyone else says!"
Amen! What can people expect from WK:END?
"WK:END is a really amazing opportunity for people to learn and interact with some of the best artists that shape electronic music today. We have production tips from highly technically skilled artists such as Dub Phizix, we’re chatting with Floating Points about his favourite music and DJing with the likes of Swing Ting and much more.
"We want people to learn, but also enjoy the creative experience and the culture – that’s why we also have the live events. So you get to have a really cool day exploring a variety of music techniques, and then wind down (or up!) with Actress, Martyn, DBridge and Chimpo in the evening."
The full musical spectrum…
"Yes, that’s really important here. Marcus was into all kinds of music, as are many of us involved with the Foundation, so this makes absolute sense and allows more and more people to engage with us and benefit from our programming. While it’s still paramount for us to retain those roots in the drum & bass and techno Marcus was best known for, we are still open with our musical direction. As long as it’s good and what we believe in, that’s all that matters – and I’m certain Marcus would share that opinion."
What happens after WK:END?
"We have some great ideas and programming in the pipeline. Again our aim is to engage with our community in Manchester (but not solely) and people from all backgrounds, those that can benefit from our support and identify with our concepts. There will definitely be more workshops, events, and even some collaborations forthcoming. Keep up to date on our socials and on our website!"
Words: Dave Jenkins
WK:END takes place at Yes, Gorilla and Band On The Wall in Manchester this weekend
Tags: Marcus Intalex, Marcus Intalex Music Foundation, education, advice for aspiring producers, D&B, Dub Phizix, dBridge, Jenna G, Zed Bias, Chimpo, Fabio, Floating Points, Actress, Martyn, Tony Wilson, Factory Records, The Haçienda, Pete Waterman, Eastern Bloc