MARK ARCHER ALTERN 8August 18, 2022
Interview Peri GLOWKiD
Fotos by Spiros ‘DJ Pressure’
The man behind the mask, better known as Mark Archer, is a definite legend living his musical journey for over 3 decades.
This great superhero of Altern 8 fame, has returned to Greece this summer in order to play a set for his Greek fanbase; invited by one of the oldest local teams, Sunrise Zone.
We had the pleasure to live surrounded by the rhythms of Acid House, Techno, Breaks and Jungle, we would have never missed the chance for an exclusive interview with Mark Archer for Iconic Underground Magazine. And here we go…
GK: Mark Archer, the man behind the mask is back in Athens playing for the legendary local team Sunrise Zone, a warm welcome and thank you for this interview.
Mark: Thank you, it was a pleasure to play again and always a pleasure to see you mate.
GK: I’d like to know something now as I noticed the real joy in your eyes when you were DJIng and responding the crowd’s interaction. What are your thoughts each and every time you visit Greece?
Mark: I’m very grateful to be able to travel the world doing something that I love doing but places like Greece and Brasil are extremely special. There’s a certain connection with both countries that started when we first played at amazing parties in each back in 1993. The crowds are so passionate about the oldskool music which always makes for a great atmosphere when I play.
GK: Altern 8’s iconic rave bible ‘Full On Mask Hysteria’ turns 30 this year. It’s a huge legacy, the least I’d say at the moment. After all these years, do you see it as something golden especially to the new breed of DJs/producers or just one more regular anniversary; just a typical ‘number’?
Mark: It’s amazing that the album is held in such high regard all these years on and not just with fans from back in the 90’s. I didn’t think that 30 years after it being made it would be used as inspiration for a new generation of hardcore breakbeat producers.
GK: What is the unique element that have brought Altern 8 to the world?
Mark: I think what most groups from the rave era brought was unique at the time,
it had never been done before and the style was brand new
We just did our take on what was going on and what I was influenced by but we also tried to add something different with our live performances.
I guess the unique bit about Altern 8 was the image, it was created to to hide our identity for one gig and ended up being a part of rave culture!
GK: And what about the sophomore Altern 8 album? We had a chat a while ago, you mentioned about some tracks you’ve dropped on BangFace just to test the waters, then the amazing studio return under the name ‘Hard Crew EP’ came out. Fans would need that second LP I reckon?
Mark: Releasing ‘Hard Crew’ was something I was very unsure about. After a gap of 27 years it was a risk especially putting out at a time when clubs were closed because of the pandemic. I’m glad I did though and the response was brilliant which has reinforced the plan to start work on a new album. I’ve already started work on some rough sketches and when I have enough I’ll get in the studio and work on completing them.
GK: So after 2 years of buzzkill in frozen raves due to Covid, how do you see the next steps, the relaunch of the parties since you’re back on tour this year all around?
Mark: The clubs, raves and festivals I’ve played in the past couple of months have been next level. I think it’s got to the point where everyone just wants to get on with their lives and have missed going out so much that the atmospheres have been incredible, no matter how big or small the gig has been.
This summer is really busy and there’s some great festivals I’ll be playing at that I’m really looking forward to
GK: Since we talk about the future, some months ago the legend Leeroy Thornhil launched his own imprint, Metabeats. A new way to deliver music into the metaverse as officially stated, and you’ve joined the team of the Artists too (and most of the NLA Artists). Your opinion about this aspiring new idea and the whole project of NFTs in music?
Mark: Music is being consumed in different ways than when I first started making tracks and I was honoured that Leeroy invited me to be a part of the metabeats project. Just as the format of
how people DJ has changed over the years and it’s something that we have to keep up with, it’s also important to embrace new ways of music being heard
GK: Does it feel like some labels will be affected by that?
Mark: I don’t think it is something that will completely take over and if people don’t get onboard they will be left behind, I just think it’s another avenue to be explored to see where it goes.
GK: 30 years since the Big Bang of Breakbeat Hardcore hailing from UK originally to the rest of the world. I know that it’s tough but if you were asked to share your top 5 records that changed the game of 1992, which ones would you pick?
Mark: In no order:
‘Acen – Trip To The Moon’
‘Rufige Kru – Terminator’
‘Edge 1 – Compounded’
‘Manix – Try To Love Me’
‘The Brothers Grimm – Exodus’
GK: One last message. Your advice to the new generation of DJs and producers from a Father of rave like yourself?
Mark: Just do you, do what you enjoy and makes you happy, don’t do what you think people want to hear or follow the latest big thing.
GK: Nice one Mark!