Duke Dumont x MK at Echostage - 12.6.19

By Evan in DJ's, Echostage
Thursday, August 15, 2019, 12:00pm. (Updated: 12/09/19 at 12:12pm) Add comments
#AFTERglow Presents:

Duke Dumont x Marc Kinchen (MK)

Mason Maynard

Friday, December 6th, 2019

 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE • Washington, DC

Doors: 9 PM | No dress code | Ages 18+
Bottle Service: tables@echostage.com | 202.503.2331


I did 150 DJ shows last year. That’s 3 per week, and 110 of them were overseas,” explains Duke Dumont. “The problem is,” he laughs, “I’m not the type of person who can record music on the road.” Quite how the hell the London producer has finished this debut album, Blasé Boys Club, then, is both a total miracle and a tribute to his work ethic. “I try to push myself as hard as I can, and I hope this record represents that.”

In a way, the enormous success of Duke Dumont has somewhat slipped under the radar. So unassuming is Adam George Dyment, that it’s easy to forget he played one of the most pivotal roles in making UK deep house the thundering global juggernaut it is today. When his single ‘Need U 100%’ soared straight to number 1 in March 2013, it became the first UK house track to do so in over a decade, reaching Gold certification, and opening up a gap in the British music consciousness for deep house to really prosper on a massive scale. It’s fair to say that the success of “Need U 100%” blew open a void for other deep house acts like Route 94 and Gorgon City to fill, transcending so many from club favorites to serious chart contenders.

Dumont followed that success 9 months later with his next single, ‘I Got U’, a Whitney Houston inspired Waikiki Beach of a dance track, that, again, topped the UK singles chart. An achievement put into stark context when you think of the acts – Pharrell Williams and John Legend – that it was keeping from top spot. And when his third big single ‘Won’t Look Back’ rose to number 2 on the UK chart, whilst topping the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart, Dumont’s name as a top ten producer was cemented.

Away from the charts though, he continued the underground explorations that first made his name, through the For Club Play Only EP series on Turbo Recordings. So while ‘Won’t Look Back’ was snaking into Radio 1’s A-list, the more radical and rigid percussive banger ‘Drumapella’ from his other project was simultaneously permeating the underground club scene. It’s this multifaceted success, a fingers on all turntables approach, that unleashed such a relentless touring schedule for Dumont, taking him worldwide – and all the while he would be snatching at moments of downtime to work on the material that would comprise his first full length record.

At Coachella this year, Dumont put this prospective album material to the test – performing a 60 minute live set of all original work to a crowd that swelled from 3,000 to 25,000 during his show. “I was between 2 EDM acts, so I was a little scared,” he admits. “When you are performing music at a live level, things can get very competitive. Is the act before you going to be more aggressive, louder, are their lights going to be bigger and better? The thing a lot of people lose in that respect is that music should have a lot of emotion to it. It should be heartfelt. It should trigger something. I put most of the songs from the album into that set, so it all hinged on my stuff. This was no DJ set. And I felt proud when it really captured the crowd’s attention.”

So much tireless work has gone into making his live show what it is, taking cues from acts like Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk, in an effort to create a performance that truly reflects the artistic craft of electronic music rather than pandering to the cultural clichés of hedonistic immediacy. His performances are pulsating, emotional journeys. But, at the end of the day, the show would be nothing if the source material wasn’t strong enough, and that’s where Dumont excels.

Blasé Boys Club immediately strikes you as an entirely more musical record than expected from an artist often reductively dubbed as just a deep house producer. ‘Higher’ for instance, is a spiritual soundscape that builds seemingly into euphoric eternity, subtly reminiscent of the deeply textured electronic pop one would expect from someone like Gold Panda. That aural elevation is intensified by the candlelight vocals of James Vincent McMorrow, until eventually, in the final third, a gratifying beat pierces the atmosphere and brings with it a climactic groove. It’s a song that yearns played at 4am; a religious club experience. “I wanted to create a song that was basically just the finger snap and a repetitive vocal,” explains Dumont. “It’s almost like a gospel record, just repeating and repeating. And it’s a brave song, in a sense that it doesn’t adhere to a normal pop structure. It has the most emotion on the album compared to anything else.”

The album has also given him a chance to breath some new life into existing material. ‘The Giver’ first dropped in 2012 on Turbo, and quickly turned a deep house staple, it’s use becoming almost ritualistic in the way so DJs would consistently deploy it as their peak time banger. And soon, it developed an organic life of its own online. “When I wrote it, I don’t even think deep house was invented in its current form,” says Dumont. “I’ve always wanted to play it to as wide an audience as possible. It did really well by itself, but that was without any promo or marketing. Now, with the re-polish I’ve done on it, I want it to have the best possible chance to do well on radio.”

Away from Dumont’s clear affinity for deep house, prominent vocals and textured electronic pop, there’s also one other key influence that bleeds through his work. “I came through as a DJ with a lot of the French wave guys like Justice, Sebastian, Mr Oizo,” he explains. “And Daft Punk’s Discovery: that just has the perfect balance of incredible music alongside massive dance tracks.” Somewhere in his subconscious, this powerful French influence is etched and it comes across most prominently on standout track ‘Ocean Avenue’ – a hard and slinky pop jam that conjures nocturnal visions of a lost scene from Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 film Drive.

The record has also given Dumont a chance to widen his scope of collaboration. His fine ear for vocals has already seen him team up with MNEK and AME, and the record boasts further features from Vincent McMorrow, and the legendary 80s house vocalist Robert Owens. The grooving 8 minute disco track that features the latter is like Dumont’s very own homage to Daft Punk’s epic ‘Giorgio’.

The funny thing about all the success that now surrounds him is that Duke Dumont hasn’t really changed the way he makes music, and the re-release of ‘The Giver’ will pay testament to that. The change has come more in both the UK and American music culture, and the way club music now finds itself positioned so boldly on both sides of the Atlantic. “I remember I went to America in 2008,” he says, “and I played in a nightclub in New York called Studio B. I remember I got heckled by people asking me to play hip-hop. So, when I went back in 2012, I was genuinely petrified, but it ended up being one of the best tours I’ve ever done. The scene just seems to get bigger and bigger.”

With his eyes set on some huge UK shows, and massive forthcoming collaborations, Harrow-born Adam George Dyment looks set to play a huge role in the way UK pop music continues to shift ever further into new realms, just like an early noughties Timbaland did for the US or a recent Pharrell has done for the world. Still, he remains unnervingly grounded: “I don’t necessarily want to be the biggest DJ or biggest act in the world, but I certainly want to be one of the best.”

MK (Marc Kinchen):

Producer, remixer, DJ and Area10 label boss, MK (Marc Kinchen)’s background is what electronic music dreams are made of. His roots are Detroit underground, combined with a virtual mash up of sounds from Motown soul and Chicago house, to Britain’s early electronic leaning bands like Depeche Mode, New Order and The Cure. MK’s path is a series of seamless transitions between house, hip-hop, pop and R&B, with a dedicated return to dance music during more recent years. MK’s teenage years were packed with studio sessions alongside Detroit’s young techno legends Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson. “ When we were at the studio together, the guys always went out of their way to make me feel welcome. They were like mentors to me. And, when they were on tour, they would let me use the studio to play around as much as I liked.” During those early years, MK was able to begin perfecting and honing the tools he needed to make timeless tracks like “The Rains,” “Burning,” and “Always.” By the mid 90s, Marc had become one of music’s top remix producers, initially with an iconic rework of the song “Push The Feeling On” by a little known group The Nightcrawlers. MK rewrote and reproduced the song’s underlying music and created a brand new vocal by chopping up the existing one. Following the global success of “Push The Feeling On,” MK was commissioned to create a slew of top remixes from artists ranging from Jodeci, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, Pet Shop Boys, Moby, Ethyl Meatplow, Mary J. Blige, and more. He has remixed over 500 songs to date.

As 2000 neared, Marc headed to LA to delve into the world of hip-hop and R&B, hooking up with artists like Will Smith, Quincy Jones, Diane Warren, Jay-Z, Tyrese, Brandy, and Pitbull. MK recalls what it was like when he got to LA: “It was a transition for me at first. R&B had a whole set of new people, new studios, and a new way of working. Just as I was fitting in nicely and building my little crew up, Pitbull sampled Nightcrawlers and then everyone wanted to work with me again. After a few years of sessions, sessions and more sessions, I got an itch for a new challenge. Somehow, I heard that these really cool DJs Jamie Jones and Lee Foss were on a mission to find me to see if I would play with them at a Hot Natured party at the Electric Pickle in Miami. I said yes and suddenly, it felt like I was home again. MK’s discography runs the gamut of both his own original releases, as well as his popular remixes that feature the signature sound of his memorable keyboards. MK has managed to find the fine balance that teeters somewhere between the underground and the more mainstream sounds without betraying his own integrity or the respect of his fans. He has built a bridge between the two crowds with custom mixes, MK Dubs, and vocal mixes. “My goal is to produce great songs, great artists, and great music, whether they are in acoustic form or in the inimitable 4/4 club musical measure. “I want to make music that harnesses my spirit as a producer and a songwriter. My hope is that it reflects more than a one-dimensional sound or genre. I find that once I am happy with the actual foundation of a song, I can always go in and make a club version, a chill version, or even an orchestral one. It’s the song that serves as the building block for all of these things.”

Around this same time that MK returned to dance music, Marc’s classics “Burning,” “Love Changes,” and “Always” were starting to find a new audience in the UK and Europe. Defected Records signed him to be a part of their House Masters series, but the real defining moment came when he asked to remix Storm Queen “Look Right Through.” After an incredible 18 months of being in the charts, Marc’s distinctive rework went to #1 in the UK singles chart. “I knew it was going to be something special as soon as it was done!” he beams. Shortly thereafter, he was asked to remix “My Head Is A Jungle” by Wankelmut & Emma Louise, which shot to #4 in the UK Charts and cemented a spot as the Ibiza Anthem of 2014. MK’s remix streak continued with songs like “Forward Motion” for Hot Natured and Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans” and “Summertime Sadness,” as well as reworks for Sam Smith, Pharrell, Paloma Faith, Ellie Goulding, Disclosure, Haim, Mary J. Blige, Diplo, Rudimental, Halsey, and most recently, Justin Bieber, Tove Lo, Elderbrook, Sigrid, Rihanna, and more.

While keeping busy with remix projects, MK was also working on originals, such as “Piece of Me” featuring the amazing Becky Hill. To date, the track has surged to over 70 million Spotify streams and was the precursor to the mighty “17” (over 120 million Spotify streams), a rich house anthem powered by MK’s trademark piano chords layered over a strong bass line. With the Platinum “17” peaking at #7 in the Official UK Top 40 singles chart and rocketing to #1 on the UK Dance Chart, the success of the song (MK’s highest ever charting original solo production) set the tone for his worldwide ‘17’ tour in 2017. The tour made stops all over the UK, with highlights including Cardiff, Manchester’s Warehouse Project, Leeds, Newcastle, Area10 stages at Creamfields, SW4, We Are FSTVL, Parklife and more.

Last year, he released “Back & Forth,” yet another soulful house song with Becky Hill on vocals, which now boasts over 61 Million Spotify streams. MK’s newest single“Body 2 Body” is out now and is a sultry, soulful romp into a different sort of twist for MK. On the touring front, his popular Area10 events have touched down across a range of locations, holding parties in Dublin, Bristol’s iconic ‘Motion’ venue, and a fantastic Miami Music Week winter party at Miami’s Delano Beach Club with guests Camelphat, Solardo, Lee Foss, Detlef, Latmun, and special guest Diplo. At Creamfields’ 21st Anniversary, MK’s premiered his most recent single with Becky Hill, “Back & Forth,” and his Area10 stage included guests such as Idris Elba, Armand Van Helden, Eli & Fur, Groove Armada, KC Lights and more. Marc also held his first series of Area10 Pool Parties at Ibiza Rocks, along with a series of special appearances at Amnesia, Pacha, Ushuaia, We Are FSTVL, and Tomorrowland. Similarly, he’s hosting his own showcases at ADE, and a run of dates across Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Germany, France, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand and his native USA, ending in his home city of Detroit, MK was also asked by Zane Lowe to host his own Area10 Radio show on Beats 1.

2019 has been just as exciting for the Detroit native as he continues his steady rise. Bringing in the year with a sold out shows with Defected at Printworks and Manchester’s WHP, MK’s Area10 hosted a stage at the sold out party at Tobacco Docks in London in late March, a headline slot at Ireland’s magical Life Festival, main stage at We Are FSTVL, along with confirmed Area10 stages at this year’s Creamfields, Parklife, E1 in Scotland, Ibiza, and more. This season, MK will return to Ibiza and the festival circuit as he continues to record and remix music he loves, then gets to play it out to all his friends. The old saying is true, “Do what you love, and you won’t work a day in your life.”

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