There was a time when Marco Sterk a.k.a. Young Marco’s talents as a DJ and producer were among Amsterdam’s best-kept secrets. For well over a decade, he plied his trade, largely unheralded, on the city’s underground dance music scene.
It was here, via several now infamous residencies, that he learnt his craft, gaining a reputation for ballsy, genre-defying eclecticism, playing sets that joined the dots between everything from tropical rhythms, afro gems and quirky Middle Eastern disco, to lost proto-house, throbbing techno and industrial-strength jack-tracks.
These days, the Dutchman’s talents are widely known around the world. His position as a crate digger, record collector and infamous party-starter now guarantees a packed schedule of gigs in Europe, North America and beyond. His passion for working a dancefloor with “strange music” and “unclassics” is renowned, and it’s this that makes his sets so special.
This humid, off-kilter obsession with the inspired and unusual has become a hallmark of Marco’s music, too. Once a key part of the Rush Hour family – the legendary Amsterdam label releasing a number of his early singles – in 2011 he made his debut on Lovefingers’ highly regarded ESP Institute label. His first two EPs for the label set out his now-trademark style, and won support from the likes of Dixon and James Murphy, amongst others, along the way.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that a string of remix requests followed, leading to now classic reworks for the likes of Heatsick, Joakim, Francis Bebey and Soft Rocks. His 2013 remix of Tony G’s “Dreams”, a killer chunk of blissful new age deep house, became one of the most in-demand and sought after records of that year. At the tail end of 2015, the best of these remixes were gathered together on Sorry For The Late Reply, the first release on Marco’s freshly minted Safe Trip imprint.
2014 saw the release of his most accomplished studio work to date, the superb debut album Biology on ESP Institute. Wonderfully picturesque, melodious, humid and glassy-eyed, it received rave reviews and confirmed his status as one of electronic music’s truly unique voices.
The same year also saw the release of Clouds, a magical collaborative fulllength written and produced in a weekend with Italian ambient pioneer Gigi Masin and British artist Jonny Nash. Credited to Gaussian Curve and released by Amsterdam’s Music From Memory label, it was the unfeasibly beautiful sound of three like-minded musicians working towards a shared goal.
In 2017, Marco is as busy as ever. He’ll be hitting the road with Gaussian Curve for a handful of live dates around the world, while his contribution to Dekmantel’s series of crate-digging compilations, Selectors, is due to hit stores later in the year. As usual, you’ll also find him spreading his love of weird, wonderful and eccentric music in basements, warehouses and clubs the world over.