DJ Marcelle/Another Nice Mees meets most soulmates at Faust Studio Deejay Laboratory
I got no style. I’m simply roots.
Scout Nibblet’s interpretation of the old reggae classic by Althea and Donna always signals the close of DJ Marcelle/Another Nice Mess’s eclectic sets. The large audience continues to linger and look towards the stage, as if after a concert, or rather, following a roller coaster ride. One senses the electricity gradually lessening, and asks oneself: What did I just dance to? Drum ’n’ bass, dubstep, techno, electronica? To birdsong, or dada, or the sound of a steam engine?
I got no style. I’m simply roots -
Is not only the signature for the end of a DJ Marcelle gig, but also of the Dutch producer’s work. Describing Marcelle to someone unfamiliar with her work is hard. Refusing to be imprisoned by genres, only a fragment of Marcelle’s universe can be understood through each individual performance. Her music is not about individual styles, but rather about finding a common denominator that links the multiple elements of her world: soul, artistic quality, mood, and a sense of roots.
She charmingly casts spells over her heterogeneous audience with an energy they compulsively latch on to and through a dialogue they can’t resist.
Titled “Aha”, one of the three mixes on her new release relates to this power of persuasion. “Aha!” was once written on a note thrown to her from the audience during one of her sets. Apparently it took some time for someone to understand her performance. Initially confused, people slowly began to mentally and physically resonate with her sound. All question marks were erased.
I got no style. I’m simply roots -
The “DJ Marcelle/Another Nice Mess Meets Most Soulmates at Faust Studio Deejay Laboratory” release is clearly meant for home listening. Instead of publishing a clumsy souvenir of a glittering night, Marcelle very consciously addresses the context in which her music is played. For instance, the end of one of Marcelle’s live sets, which includes ecstatic outcries from the public, can also be heard on the new album. It's possible to dance to this record in the living room, but it also works as a valuable sound sculpture, a composition of international music and sound art.
The new album is a snapshot of Marcelle´s continuous search for innovative sounds. As always it was recorded at Faust Studio in Germany, run by Faust founding member Hans Joachim Irmler. It was recorded in the same manner Marcelle works on stage: using three turntables and playing records simultaneously, with plenty of room for improvisation. The resulting sound comes with such thick layers and is so consciously composed that no musical appropriation is noticeable. Rather the work sounds like the “Marcelle style”, or better yet, the “Marcelle attitude”.
Marcelle is about artistic freedom, blowing up limitations, crossing musical, cultural and political boundaries and limitations. African beats rumble wildly, colliding with a sound piece by a Swiss artist. Psychotic drum’n’bass shakes the whole thing up before letting it drop back into a deep dub abyss. Most of Marcelle’s sources are well hidden, and sourced from little-known labels. Selecting from subversive underground labels which are discussed in significant musical circles, or from almost completely unknown material and limited vinyl editions, she is often found busy tracking-down new sounds in all sorts of speciality shops while on tour.
It’s not without reason that Marcelle is considered as “the only real successor to BBC legend John Peel”. Her weekly, very wayward radio broadcasts have been going for almost 30 years and have been garnering her praise from all over the world. Marcelle’s new LP honours Peel, who died ten years ago this October, in a very special way, by playing a sample of English reggae band Misty In Roots. These lyrics were included on the order of service of Peel's funeral, where Marcelle was present.
I got not style. I’m simply roots -
New in Marcelle’s fourth instalment of this double album series with similarly designed sleeves, is side four. It contains individual tracks: collaborations with other artists and projects such as Fodderstompf (a collaboration between Marcelle and Cologne-based percusionist Holger Mertin), Quiquoiou (a project that Marcelle runs together with Guido Möbius since 2013) and a track penned entirely by Marcelle herself. Her typical charm and dry sense of humour are evident here through an endless repetition of the phrase “turn the music down”.
“DJ Marcelle/Another Nice Mess Meets Most Soulmates at Faust Studio Deejay Laboratory” is an artfully arranged 'mess', full of many treasures to dance, cry, think, and laugh wholeheartedly to.