Earlier this week, we lost Marcus Kaye, better known to some as Marcus Intalex, better known to others as Trevino. But for many, Kaye was always a point of reference in the constellation of UK dance music and electronica. The founder of three imprints — Soul:r, Revolve:r and the new-formed Birdie records — Kaye helped to promote a wealth of underground music that would otherwise never seen the light of day. To reflect on his passing, and to commemorate his influence, we look back at three of our favourite Kaye releases throughout the years.
In 1997, Drum & Bass was in a weird place. After its meteoric rise through the early 90s, D&B could now be found in the charts and on mainstream radio. Even David Bowie was doing it. So reclaiming an underground ‘authenticity’ became a harder task, but one that drove a lot of the innovation of that period. Records like Christoph de Babalon’s If You’re Into It, I’m Out Of It and the other Digital Hardcore Recordings sought a sound that was decidedly too dark for radio. The very earliest Marcus Intalex records like 305 slot into this historic moment. They represent a time where D&B searched down into its roots and found something deeper.
Released on Soul:r in 2011, ‘TB or Not TB?’ was a seismic piece of lurching bassweight. As the title alludes, the track is driven by contorted 303 lines, peppered with bucket-drum rolls, itching hats and booming low-end. The track is a great example of Kaye experimenting with new styles while applying his own distinct production techniques at the same time. 21 was Kaye’s only album under the Marcus Intalex moniker, yet provides a stunningly well considered cross-section of his ability to shift between genres, from more-or-less dubstep tracks such as this to the static-washed D&B of ‘Hot Hands’.
The Trevino moniker was an exciting departure for Intalex fans in that it brought his ideas to different crowds and DJs. From 2011 onwards, more and more of Kaye’s work could be found experimenting with this project. It’s funny looking back at these records in the context of his complete works. Clearly, a record like Forged is the product of a D&B producer foraying into techno. The Reecey bass and high-end rims could have been lifted right out of a half-finished jungle beat. It’s sad to think where this project could have gone. Kaye released Trevino pieces right up until the end of last year.
If you would like to support Kaye’s family, the team behind Soul:r have opened a Bandcamp page to help cover funeral costs. You can donate here.