GET TO KNOW: Martin Ikin
What age did you start DJing?
I got into it & started when I was at school, but properly playing at raves would have been when i was 17.
What inspired you to get into this business and how did you achieve it?
The MUSIC inspired me, I loved it, listening to the Transmat and Metroplex stuff in the late 1980's it was mind blowing.
How did you learn to produce and DJ?
…. Well I learnt to DJ with my dads Sony belt drive turntable and tape deck, I ruined the quartz lock on that thing cos it wasn't man enough to be cued back and forth all the time, he had the right hump about that too. I eventually saved enough money to buy One 1210, so for another year or so I had the 1210 & the dodgy Sony belt drive that wouldn't keep a steady speed! The next addition was a realistic mixer from Tandy, who remembers them? Still got that thing somewhere. Production wise, in 1990 I bought myself a secondhand Akai s950 sampler, a little 16 channel mixing desk and a keyboard and just cracked on, teaching myself as i went. I could already play piano so that helped the process a lot. I could already play the piano so that helped the process a lot.
What was your breakthrough moment?
Probably when Phil Wells signed me to Basement Records in 1991
Where have you found the best audience so far?
To be honest they've been great everywhere but you can't beat London when its going off.
Which DJs have influenced your style of producing?
Not sure about DJ's but my early producer influences were Larry Heard, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Model 500 and LFO
Which 3 DJs do you listen to the most?
I don't really get chance to check out too many DJ's unless I'm in a club, but I do like Shadowchild's Rinse FM Show
What's your favourite song of all time?
Too difficult to answer definitively, but one of em is definitely LFO - Track4
What would be your dream venue to play at?
Would love to do one of the big festivals, Glastonbury or Burning Man would be amazing!!
Do you listen to other genres off the house scene?
Absolutely, if its good I'll listen to it no matter what genre or sub genre
What was the first record you bought?
I can't actually remember but Nitro Delux - Lets Get Brutal 1987 was definitely one of them. (I might have bought a Madonna 7" in 1985 but we'll forget about that one! haha)
Best live moment so far in your career?
Playing after the legend MK
Martin you have many different aliases, what is your reasoning behind changing your name so often?
I have no idea why I did that and really wish I hadn't.
How did the name 'DJ Mayhem' come about?
I think I came up with that name at school, a mate of mine was a rapper and I wanted to be his DJ, haha.
Which alias have you enjoyed most and why?
The DJ Mayhem era was definitely good fun, it was all brand new then, the sounds, the scene, good ol days
What does the future hold for 'Soul Purpose Records'?
I'm not too sure yet, I always had it my head that it would come back, which I think it eventually will but we'll have to wait and see. Right now I'm enjoying having a break from running my own label.
'What You've Done' is a big time YoungOnes favourite! Can you take us through, step by step the making and merging of those distinctive sounds?
It was pretty organic really I knew the vibe I was going for when i started it. The clonk bass sound was the first thing I made, once I had that I think the first riff I played was the one I used. The hardest part of that track was arranging it as there are so many separate sections I had to be careful not to make it sound disjointed.
Taking into account the rapid rise in popularity of house music over the course of this year, what do you think about the house scene currently?
Its great, I love it, its about time House music got some of the limelight again, and why not?
What advice would you give up and coming producers?
Its been said over and over but just keep at it, if your really dedicated and your doing it for the right reasons (music) then you will only get better and better. So what if your first 10 tracks get knocked back, it just means the 11th one is gonna be even better!
How do you rate 90s house music with todays?
Well the old stuff is where I came from so its tough to compare. But one thing that's noticeable is the sonic quality of todays stuff is generally much better, with the odd exceptions of course!
What track would you play to rescue a dance floor?
Haha, hopefully I wouldn't need to but ‘Rhythm’ always seems to get people looking lively. And MK's Dub III.
Where do you dream of being in 5 years time?
In the Bahamas… Only joking, I'd be happy just to be doing what Im doing now, djing and producing.
What next for you?
Lots & lots more music on various labels including, Get Physical, Exploited & OFF.
Blanco Bar, Oxford
O2 Academy, Leicester
Rhythm Factory, London
Canvey Island, Essex
Ministry of Sound, London
Sidlings Warehouse, London