#6 – Marc Smith

As the ever changing face of Hardcore rolls on adapting, evolving and growing, one artist has managed to stay part of it’s foundations since it’s very inception. Through it’s various changes as a scene, many DJ’s, producers and remixers have come along, made their mark and since moved on, but Marc Smith is a name that is not only echoed throughout it’s archaic history, but also one that even now raises the adrenaline level to 10 at it’s very mention. The term legend can often be applied to many that grace any main arena stage, but in Marc’s case its most definitely deserved.

Being a highly regarded member of not just his native Scotland’s rave culture, but further achieving global love by way of an impressive list of Worldwide tour dates to boot; Marc’s story begins in 1985 where his bedroom became a lab for cutting up Hip Hop beats accompanied by working closely with local up and coming rappers, beat boxers, break dancers and more. It was evident this early on that his passion and flair for the simple logistics of mixing tunes was to carve the path of what would ultimately be his full time occupation. At just 17, Marc had secured himself a residency at the infamous Warehouse, known by many as the then place to frequent if you were passionate about Acid House – it seemed Marc was too as he got his first full on helping of rave culture, which fed a new found hunger for a then fledgling scene.

Maintaining a regular slot at The Warehouse acted as the perfect springboard for Marc to then progress to such residencies as the Club Hacienda, Euphoria (at Heaven) and many guest slots across Scotland boosting his status from back room to main stage in no time at all. It would appear that Smith’s now natural application of lightening quick cutting, scratching, and a sharp insight into picking the right tunes at the right time had given him headline status even then, at the start of what would later been known as the new era for a new culture later to be named as Hardcore.

As Hardcore erupted into a Worldwide phenomena Marc upped his game, producing cut after cut of seriously upfront Hardcore and rocking every DJ box he entered upon, it wasn’t long before ‘The Scottish Bible’ – Clubscene Magazine awarded him with the much coveted ‘Scotland’s No 1 DJ’ award, not once, but six years running and not only managing to bag that but also a enviable list of trophy’s to his cabinet that include ‘Best Scottish DJ’ in the Irish Dance Music Awards and ‘Best Scottish DJ’ from the listeners of the late, great Tom Wilson’s show Steeping Out on Forth FM and a seemingly unending amount of nominations from rave organisers and music press alike; Smith had become the leader of his game.

This of course further fuelled not only his hunger to keep up regular sessions in the studio, slamming out bouncy Techno and filthy Hardcore, but also kept his DJ diary constantly topped up with parties all over the globe including the awesome Holocaust, Technodrome, Amnesia, World Party, Awesome 101 and Earthquaker all in a very short space of time. It was at this stage that he was invited to take his infamous residency at the universally remembered Rezerection party where he made Scottish rave history. His success continued with regular bookings from the likes of Hardcore Heaven, Vibealite, Helter Skelter and as they kept coming, he kept rocking becoming and maintaining an unstoppable force at the forefront of rave culture, with ravers now in their thousands showing up to see him every week without fail throughout the late nineties. Not only did this prove that Marc’s staying power wasn’t showing any signs of stopping, it also acted as a testament to his diversity, originality, energy, enthusiasm and ultimately a unique passion for what he does.

As both producer and remixer, Marc’s work is a thing of beauty, getting his first EP ‘Breakdown’ out on Clubscene in 1992, Marc followed this up with a further Vinyl and CD single smash ‘Techno’d Up’ and it wouldn’t be long before the label that would later underline his hallmark seal of quality, Notorious would become an entity that would dominate the hearts of Hardcore fans Worldwide and send them into a seething frenzy wherever a Notorious tune was dropped.

Notorious was a passionate labour of love of course, that began as the name of a record store that Marc ran back in raving’s hey day with a now prominent member of Fantazia’s production crew Tony Montgomery. Fantazia was Mother Scotland’s proudest rave creation and an event Marc would later become a regular for and still tears the ever so large roof off of even today, not only as a DJ, but as host as Notorious arenas have now become a frequent part of Fantazia’s regular production. It’s first release ‘The Centripital EP’ would mark the start of Marc’s now feverishly busy label legacy, continuing to release also on Clubscene, Marc released ‘Pump Up The Noize’, ‘Boom N Pow’ and provided countless remixes for Jive, Fusion, Hectic, Clubtools, Arcade, Jumpin & Pumpin and Happy Trax working with a plethora of well respected artists on a number of projects. Then, in 1997, Smith released his long awaited debut artist album ‘The Past, The Present & Future’ which amongst many others hosted the brilliant ‘Echoplex’ upon it’s recording and still remains to this day as one of the few original artist albums by a solo Hardcore artist.

Notorious, was a shop that provided so many happy memories (and an apparent increase of insider track knowledge) and would later become the name of the production house that so many now have come to love.  It was during this period that Marc was also working closely with the likes of Hardcore hero Sharkey swapping much Studio time on a number of collaborations and also with fellow Scottish legend Scott Brown on the birth of Federation Records; Marc later provided remixes and productions for Scott’s Evolution Records label, something he still enjoys doing to this day. With the likes of his epic remix of Scott’s ‘Turn Up The Music’ alongside Al Storm presently still erupting dance floors as I write this and more recently the release of Notorious 008 –  courtesy of Darwin, Obie and Mr E also rocking the rave, it’s no wonder Notorious has been continually voted best label three years in a row.

Of course all of this wasn’t Marc’s only creative outlet for his much sought after magic touch to his studio workings back in the day. Also providing material for the likes of Ultra Sonic, TTF, Chemical Mass, El Bruto and Ultimate Buzz, it comes as no surprise that since it’s 2006 re-inception (a triple header of ‘Gravity’, ‘Wot Da Fuck and ‘Thik n Fast’) and now in 2009  with it’s eight release since it’s millennial re-invention now on the burner and boasting regular turns from the likes of Gammer, Darwin and Obie to it’s credit (‘Building Shaker’ being the most recent example of it’s blockbusting greatness); Notorious is very much like it’s owner – Notorious by name and by nature. Marc’s ongoing work with Gammer, Scott, Sharkey, Darwin, Joey Riot and co continues to see him returning to mammoth compilations like Bonkers, Hardcore Heaven and Hardcore Underground with requests coming in on regular occasions to offer his hand at either remixing tracks for or even discs of the compilations themselves.

Even now, Marc’s passion and drive continues to thrive in great measures and if you’ve ever had the opportunity to stand upon the great Main Arena stage of Glasgow’s Braehead Arena whilst he utterly tears through it’s acoustics like the finger of God himself – then you’ll know he’s an artist that’s gone from strength to strength with every gig.

Not just content at tearing up the floor of any club or festival he goes near, Marc’s work continues to take him all over the World including Australia, a regular slot at Candyball in the USA, Spain, Germany, Holland and further a field with an established global fan base to match that of his extensive following at home in the UK and Scotland. Always original, always unique, never falling into the category of a follower, always the individual and ever trend setting – it’s fair to say Marc’s wealth of experience across several genres, not only limited to Hardcore but also Hardstyle, Hard Dance and even Drum & Bass, makes him one of the most interesting, diverse and musically intelligent artists of our generation.

Marc also has regular collaborations with long time friend and collaborator Jay M to his credit as they work together as Force 9, combining the talents of both incredible artists in both the studio and upon the stage, Force 9 is the Hardstyle arm of Marc’s legacy not only yielding several releases but also a number of widely received and loudly praised international stage performances as a Scottish Hardstyle force to be reckoned with that would later see the birth of their Notorious White label. Taking all the greatest elements of what makes Notorious the champion label that it is today and applying those in a Hardstyle / Hard Dance format with the full production, remixing and creative support of Jay’s infectious enthusiasm for the project; Notorious White is absolutely a creative new label project that will continue to drive and adapt Marc’s clearly defined talents in today’s ever changing Hard Dance scene as he works tirelessly between the two labels continuing to invest his passion into both scenes.

Music for the dance floor, created, remixed, produced and performed by a known lover of the dance floor himself, this Notorious artists legend is one that tells a tale of true determination, dedication, relentless energy, explosive talent and true studio craftsmanship matched only by his skill as a live performer. Over two decades later, it’s no wonder why he’s still the raver’s favourite and will continue to be so for at least another decade yet.

Welcome friends to the Notorious World of Marc Smith.

Bookings: Contact Andy Bowler on andybowler@btconnect.com or 07887588315