Amsterdam-based hero Marco Sterk, otherwise known as Young Marco, joins us for the 84th edition of the Phonica Mix Series.
All of us here at Phonica have been huge fans of Marco, his music, and his Safe Trip imprint ever since his debut release on Hand Of God Records back in 2010. Since then, he has delivered a steady flow of EPs, albums and compilations via such labels as Rush Hour, Dekmantel and ESP Institute to name but three.
His label, Safe Trip, has seen releases from the likes of Satoshi & Makoto, Trans-4m, Jan Schulte, Ben Penn, and Hoshina Anniversary, but for us, it’s all three parts of Marco’s iconic ‘Welcome To Paradise’ compilation series that really steal the limelight. Each of these phenomenal double LP packages feature a carefully picked selection of previously overlooked (yet absolutely incredible) dance music delights from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. We even named the second Volume our ’Compilation Of The Year’ back in 2017.
Aside from his solo work, Marco is also one-third of the ambient super-group Gaussian Curve, alongside Gigi Masin and Jonny Nash. Be sure to check out Gigi’s 2-hour mix he put together for our Off The Record Mix Series whilst you’re at it.
Coming in at just under one hour, Marco’s mix recording is a tripped-out journey through all things house, trance and breakbeat. Marco also kindly answered a few questions for a very rare interview. Check it all out below!
Hey Marco, thanks for joining us! Can you tell us about your recording and what the idea was behind it…
Hello! Thanks for having me. It’s just me playing a couple of records at this small club in Amsterdam called radioradio, it was closed, but anything I record at home automatically turns into some deep ambient hermit trip, so it was nice to be in a club environment where you can still smell a bit of sweat on the walls.
Could you tell us a little bit about your background, perhaps where you grew up and what first got you interested in music?
There’s not much to it. I just materialised.
And what about your record label, Safe Trip, how would you describe this to anyone that isn’t already familiar with it?
Are there any exciting new releases on the horizon that we can look forward to checking out?
I’ve been working with some solo artists on production which will hopefully come out soon. I just finished my first feature film score, which will be released this year, also in LP format. I’ve done a few remixes which are yet to come out. I’m releasing a follow-up to “Sorry For The Late Reply” called “Really Sorry For The Late Reply”. The label is releasing the first in a new compilation series called Planet Love, which is all music from 91-95 which would later be known as “Trance”, the good kind. I’ve got a sneaky 12” dropping in a few weeks and I’ve started working on a new life-changing album.
What are your other favourite record labels out there at the moment?
I support all independent record labels.
How would you describe the music scene in the Netherlands and how does it differ to some of Europe’s clubbing hotspots, such as London or Berlin?
Amsterdam is basically one neighbourhood of a city like Berlin and London. So it’s a lot more compact and everyone seems to know each other.
What’s your preferred method for finding new music – do you still enjoy digging around in dusty crates (when record shops are open!) or do you prefer to buy online?
I usually find records while I travel, but obviously, that’s been a while so I’ve been finding my way on Discogs and Bandcamp. It does the job but I do miss listening to a big pile.
And what about these crazy lockdown times we’re facing today. What’s been keeping you going through it all?
Food and psychedelics.
What does the rest of 2021 have in store for you?
Well, it looks like things are on the up again, so hopefully a good sloppy summer!