Mark Broom has been one of the most consistent producers in techno for more than a quarter century now, setting the template with early long players such as Repeats (alongside Ed Handley and Andy Turner) and Angie Is a Shoplifter, before developing a reputation for uncompromising, upfront beats, on labels such as Pure Plastic, Ifach, Theory, Soma, Saved, M-Plant, Blueprint, and his own Beard Man imprint, founded in 2009.
His latest release is the 100% Juice LP, released on Rekids on 22 April, which follows hot on the heels of last year’s album Fünfzig, also released on Rekids, as well as the Mutated Battle Breaks series on the techno-focused Rekids Special Projects.
He also recently contributed a track to the Techno Against War compilation, put together for Suara Music to raise money for those affected by the war in Ukraine.
You can listen to a 100% Juice Album Sampler here.
909originals caught up with him.
Hi Mark, thanks for talking to us. Your new album, 100% Juice, is out soon, and it seems like only a few months since your last long player, Fünfzig. Was it always the intention to have two albums out in quick succession?
When Matt [Edwards, aka Radio Slave] approached me to make an album for Rekids I went into a recording blitz, and sent him around 30 tracks, to which he replied saying ‘let’s do two albums’. So we set about deciding what would work best for Funfzig and 100% Juice.
There were quite a variety of styles on Fünfzig, including disco and dub reggae – would it be fair to say that the new album is more focused on straight-up, four-to-the-floor techno? How would you describe it?
Yes exactly, Fünfzig covered a wide variety of styles whereas 100% Juice is purely club and dance floor rooted. For me it’s a cool opportunity to just go all guns blazing and present 12 tracks of high energy beats.
You’ve worked with lots of labels over the years, but the past couple of years have seen you release quite a lot on Rekids, including the new album. You must enjoy working with them?
It’s such a pleasure working with Matt and Leon [Oakey, label manager]. We’ve built up a really rewarding relationship and it’s nice as an artist to have such a great label willing to invest the time and energy into me.
You had quite a few releases out during the lockdown of the past two years, including the Raver and Mutated Battle Breaks EPs, the Basement Jams EPs alongside James Ruskin, a couple of releases on Beard Man – we presume that it was quite a productive period for you?
Yes it was. I managed to do two releases with James on Blueprint as part of the ‘Basement Jams’ series, which was great fun. During the lockdown period I starting to dig deep with my Octatrack machine, which lead to me doing the ‘Mutated Battle Breaks’ EP’s on RSPX. Number 3 is also finished now and is scheduled to come out later in the year.
Beard Man recently marked a decade of releases – how has the label positioning changed from when you first launched it?
I know it’s cliché saying this, but in the beginning, it was primarily for my own productions. But as the label grew, and gained some recognition, producers starting to send over demos. It was the natural next step to open up the label to outsiders. We’ve had some great releases from Avision, Absent, Patrik Carrera, Space Djz, Kymle, Rene Wise and Discrete Circuit.
I’m based in Dublin, and you have made plenty of trips across the Irish Sea over the years (in fact, you were playing here so much back in the day, I thought you were Irish). Are you still close to Eamonn Doyle and the D1 Recordings lads?
Yes I’m still in touch with Eamonn and I’m very grateful for the love I’ve received over the years from the Irish crew. I can still remember meeting my first meet with the guys at D1 and paid a visit to the studio in the early 90’s and from that we went on to form a strong bond.
One of the artists that you are most closely aligned with is James Ruskin – you have worked together so many times over the years. You must complement each other well, production wise?
James is one of my favourite producers in the scene so to be able to work with him for so many years has been a blessing. We do work well together on our various productions. I’m very good at starting ideas, and James has the magic ear and studio knowledge to bring these full circle and sprinkle them with the magic dust.
From a purely personal point of view, your track Things is up there with one of my favourite techno tracks of all time – I know you have revisited it a couple of times over the years as well, with remix EPs etc. Are there any particular faves of yours from your back catalogue; or tracks that you think really captured what you were trying to do?
My track Satellite is really what I’m about, trying to make simple but effective music where less is more, but still impactful.
You’ve been producing music for around 30 years now – do you still approach making new music the same way as you have always done?
Yes my work ethic hasn’t changed after all these years, and you’ll often find me in the studio five days a week perfecting my craft.
What’s next on the agenda for Mark Broom in 2022, after the album comes out?
There’s a lot of stuff planned over the next months – a new album on Tresor with James as ‘The Fear Ratio’ then there’s my collaboration project with Riva Starr as ‘Star B’. which leans more toward the disco/house side of things. Also, like I mentioned earlier, more ‘Mutated Battle Breaks’ on Rekids, as well as a handful of remixes.
Thanks to Mark for chatting to us. 100% Juice is released on 22 April.