Mark E is set to begin his own record label, entitled MERC.
The Midlands-based producer and DJ has previously released his epic slo-mo house and disco for imprints such as Internasjonal, Jiscomusic, Running Back and Sonar Kollektiv, but has now decided that the time is right to issue his work himself. The first release on the label will be a double A-side featuring the much anticipated "Get Yourself Together" (which featured on Mark's RA podcast from last year), and "You," and will be available strictly as a vinyl release.
We spoke to Mark via e-mail to get more of an idea of his vision for MERC.
Will the label just be for your own tracks, or are there plans for other people to release on the imprint as well?
Primarily, the reason to start the label is to have an outlet for my own material, which I have total control over. This means the release date, the artwork, and the musical content. I will still be releasing for other labels like Running Back and Under The Shade, but feel it's the right time for me to create something cohesive that I can build on over time. But this doesnt mean I'm not open to releasing music by others.
Is it vinyl only, or both digital and vinyl? Will the vinyl be limited?
Vinyl only, yes. There will however be a limited release CD (MERC 002), which will consist of a selection of Mark E works between 2005-2009 plus unreleased edits and tracks.
Will anyone else be involved as far as the day-to-day running of MERC?
David from Under The Shade/Jisco will be organizing all production & distribution aspects of MERC, keeping it "in house".
Will the label just be for original material, or will edits feature as well?
Yes, original material, perhaps with some heavy sampling... That doesn't necessarily make it an edit, ha!
With it being such a difficult time for labels at the moment, especially vinyl only imprints, do you have any worries about venturing into the marketplace?
But this is slightly different as I'm the artist and the label. I guess some would hold off from doing this at the moment, but I feel there is still a small niche market out there for good music. Let's just see how it goes - I'd be happy to break even and if it pays for itself then great, if it pays for another release then even better.