Mark Instinct Breaks The Cycle Of Heavy Bass Music
In today's rapidly growing electronic music scene, it can take a lot of skill and fervor to stay "ahead of the curve." Mark Trotta, more popularly known as Mark Instinct, recognizes that this scene is constantly evolving and recycling its sounds, and knows that it is his responsibility to keep his music fresh and current. As a producer for over 7 years, Mark has produced a broad variety of heavy bass music for labels such as Firepower, Subhuman, and Uplink Audio, and now he is ready to release his latest single "The Show" featuring Armanni Reign via the hybrid bass collective Pantheon.
We recently got the opportunity to speak with Mark about his new release, and discussed how the times have changed since he first got into the scene over 12 years ago. From the topic of genrelization to the importance of working for what you want, Mark showed us that there is a constant need for pushing the boundaries and keeping our scene from going stale.
EDM: What got you into dance music in the first place?
When I was fifteen I bought my first Dieselboy album on vinyl at a store in my town. I just remember going home after I bought it and listening the album like "Damn, I really need to make these sounds." I started hitting the record store everyday after school and purchasing as many vinyls as I could, just so I could listen and mix the songs together for hours on end.
Would you say that sound design has played a big role in your career?
My whole philosophy is that quality is the end goal. It's really one of the main reasons why I love EDM. I like to spend as much time as I can creating and perfecting each sound and working with the right artists, because there's really an infinite number of directions to take any song.
Where do you draw your influences from?
I've always been heavily influenced by hip-hop and rap, so producers like Dr. Dre, Lex Luger, and groups like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony have always played a part in my productions. When I first got into the drum & bass scene, there was a lot of hip-hop crossing over and landing on heavy bass tracks, so to me it was amazing to hear how parallel these genres were and how well they could work together.
Do you think that genres play an important role in EDM?
I mean I'm a big fan of genres and styles because they truly help differentiate the sounds that we hear in EDM. I never have a genre in mind when I'm producing a song, it's just when I have the final product that it'll get classified into a certain genre. But it's important to have that differentiation, because the more you listen to EDM and the more exposed you are to different sounds, it gets harder and harder to classify your interests without the use of genres.
So how do you feel about the dubstep is "dead" argument?
I don't think it's dead, I just think that it has evolved from what it once was and now it encompasses a whole blend of sounds that would necessarily be classified as "dubstep" ten years ago. The thing about EDM is that it always goes in cycles, and sounds that were once big a decade ago are now coming back and experiencing a second wind.
Is there anything still authentic about it?
I definitely think that dubstep is an authentic genre, but it's just gotten to the point where a lot of producers are just seeing their music as a "product" rather than a song to fit the "dubstep" sound today. It feels like they are just fitting the mold of the next big artist to sell their product, rather than doing what they can to push their own sound. As an artist, it's your duty to push the envelope.
What do you think is restricting producers the most today?
The biggest lesson I've learned producing is that if you want something, you have to go do it. You can't be lazy and expect things to come to you, because it'll never happen. It's really important to keep a good balance in your life of what you want and how you want to go about it, because if you aren't driven and passionate about what you're doing, it's impossible to further yourself not just as an artist but a human being too. With the size of EDM today, there are schools popping up left and right to educate you on djing, producing, music business, etc. I never really had that growing up, I'd say that 90% of what I know I hounded out on my own. When you love to produce music and work dilligently to do it, you can notice the passion in the music, and it speaks a lot louder to your fans than trying to shortcut your way into making the next big hit.
Does that "passion" play a part in choosing your collaborations with artists?
Absolutely! There's one track I've been working on with TwoFold for about 8 months now, and I assure you that once you hear it you will understand why it took so long. I really respect Twofold for their sound design, because they share the same passion I do in making sounds. They've created their own unique place in the heavy bass scene without contradicting their integrity as artists. It's the same deal with my collaborations with Armanni Reign too. I've been a huge fan of his since high school when he was a member of the Tekdubs crew, and every time I have worked with him we've seen eye-to-eye on almost every aspect of the track at hand. He's a super talented emcee, and I think that our connection both as friends and as musicians really shows in the tracks that we make together.
With "The Show" now out on Pantheon, what else can we expect from you in the coming months?
I've got a few tracks in the works currently. My next release is my collaboration with Cedek and MACTurnUp called "Get Paid," which will be out on Buygore on November 18th. I've also got the Twofold collaboration I mentioned before and a Lumberjvck collab that I'm super excited for. I'm currently running a remix competition for "Brother's Keeper" on my last EP that's gotten some awesome feedback so far too, and I then a few other things I can't mention quite yet.
Any plans for future tours?
We're in the planning process for a 2015 tour, and that'll be a big step for me because it's becoming increasingly difficult for me to travel to the states with work visas and everything. But I've already spoken to some other artists for the tour and things are looking really good right now.
"The Show" featuring Armanni Reign is available for download on Pantheon, and keep an eye out for his upcoming collaboration "Get Paid" with Cedek and MACTurnUp releasing on Buygore on 11.18!