Mark Rae

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mark raeUK born DJ, producer and songwriter extraordinaire, Mark Rae, is set to touch down in Australia this month.

One half of the renowned DJ & production duo Rae & Christian, Mark Rae has a DJing career spanning over 20 years. From LA, to Lisbon, Rae’s career has taken him on a great journey, and now he is set to release a book and an album accompanying it next year. Rae is also responsible for over a hundred remixes of the likes of Jay Z, Bob Marley, Dinah Washington and Billie Holiday.

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While Rae & Christian are currently recording their third LP, Rae has also released two solo albums and three DJ mix albums with Mixmag and the Another Late Night series. Currently Rae is close to completion on his next solo album as well as a new Rae & Christian album! The duo have been recording together again for the first time in ten years with their third album due for release later this year.

BBM’s Hannah Shakir caught up with Mark Rae ahead of his June tour dates to chat about the new Rae & Christian album, the best cities to DJ in, and the importance of using the Brisbane Gazette to hide your private parts.

Hi Mark,
So what have you been up to this week?

I’ve been finishing new Rae and Christian tunes, and scratching an old Tony D Acapella on one of the tracks.

You’ve been working with some interesting people on the new album, Veba, Kate Rogers, Tuung and Mark Foster from Foster The People, how would you sum up the vibe of the album? Are there any other interesting people you worked with on it?

Actually Ed and Gita Harcourt have done some amazing vocals and writing for us in the last month. The vibe of the album is unique English songwriting in an all-live setting with a doff of the cap to the club sound system.

When’s this set to come out?

The end of the year will see some releases, probably a big live show and a large sigh of relief!

Obviously you started out when Hip Hop was really coming up on a global scale, what do you think about Hip Hop in 2012 – any new artists that you really rate?

I lived in LA for three years where I met my wife. I learned a lot about modern Pop Hip Hop listening to Power103. Put it this way, I liked perhaps seven tunes in three years. There is lots of great Hip Hop being made in hundreds of styles. I love Ester Dean.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Psychemagic, WBBL, The Hoglodytes, MJ Cole.

You’ve got residencies at Chateaux Bar Marmont in LA, Batofar Paris, Floripa /Favela Chic London, Hacienda Manchester, Space Ibiza, Eighteenth Street Lounge Washington DC, what’s a typical week/month for you?

I have been focusing on the music making for a while now, so not doing those residencies. I play over in East London regularly with Dailees Dukebox.

Is there any particular city you favour playing in and what is it about that place that differs from the rest?

I used to enjoy Scotland, due to the party propensity. My favourite city was Lisbon, with that great huge river and club by the bank.

Playing in a number of countries across the world must give you the opportunity to experience and get to know different cultures, do you feel that this is reflected in the music you play?

I always try and absorb what’s going on wherever I go. I puck up edits and tunes from DJs and swap back my stuff.

What’s the most memorable place that you’ve played?

I played in Bodo in Norway, next to the world’s largest whirlpool or “maelstrom” as the Vikings called them, caught some fish, then DJ’d. Also I played The Abu Dahbi F1 Grand Prix; the venue of which is like a space ship. I am very lucky!

We’ve heard that you’re bringing out a book soon, when’s this set for release and what can we expect from it? Any skeletons to come flying out the closet?

I should be done by next year. I am making an album to go with it, which I have been developing for eight years or so. The book covers my time in love with music and DJing, going back to hearing my father play 70s Disco in the lounge in Newcastle. [Also} Punks, Skins, Mods, New Wave and Manchester. It’s mostly the jokes and the violence as that seems to be all that I can remember. I have to write the London and LA section. One of the skeletons involved me sleep walking out of my hotel room in Brisbane at 7.30 am and locking myself out naked and having to go to reception with a Brisbane Gazette on my nads.

You’re heading out to Australia in June to play at The Loft, can we look forward to anything special for the Sydney gig? It looks like you’re on for a full on tour of Australia, will you get much time to relax a bit and enjoy yourself or will most your time be spent travelling.

I will be DJing as much as possible catching a vibe with fellow DJs and there are always downdays for fishing and record shopping!

Those all important things, but why not a skydive or white water rafting or a sail trip?

FISHING! I’ve had the barramundi in the Daintree!

What would you say has been a career highlight thus far? Obviously there are probably a few seeing as you’ve been in the game for 20 years!

Working with Womack and ending up on the GSCE school syllabus with Spellbound.

What’s your favourite time of year? The Ibiza summer season, or getting to play in hot countries when the weather’s cold in the UK?

I love all the seasons particularly as a writer.

Have you got a suggested lesser known track our readers should be listening to?

Justin Martin’s ‘Hood Rich’.

Last, but not least, can we look forward to any more Rae and Christian compilations in the near future?

DJ Comps…I hope so. The mix on my soundcloud page is as close as you will get.

Thanks for your time and we’ll hopefully catch you at theloft on Saturday June 16th.

*Rae will be supported by Frenize, Lok Stok Vs Mr Speaker & Trent Rackus.
Tickets ($15) are on sale now from moshtix and will be available on the door ($20)
For more information visit www.bbmlive.com

By Hannah Shakir

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