TF Archives

Mark James - Future Is Now

Author: Cyclone
Monday, February 23, 2009

Future Entertainment founder Mark James talks to 3D’s Cyclone about the upcoming Future Music Festival and its companion CD.

Want a taste of the Future Music Festival- Then check out this year’s compilation, mixed by Mark James and Dan Mangan. Curiously, as co-founder of Future Entertainment, James is unsure how many of those who buy the comps actually attend the festival.

Last year’s Future Music Festival package came courtesy of Robbie Rivera and Carl Kennedy, but 2009’s local mixers have chosen not to emblazon their names on the CD sleeve. “We really wanted to push the brand more than anything this time around,” James explains. “Plus I haven’t been DJing for the last eight months. I’ve had to have 12 months off because I’ve got tinnitus. So I didn’t really wanna get out and push my name as a DJ until I’m ready to start DJing again – which will probably be the end of March, anyway. But I just wanted to play it safe and push the festival for now and not my DJ name. ’Cause I know as soon as I put my name on it heavily, they’re gonna start booking all these touring gigs for me to promote the CD!”

James, whose tinnitus has been treated rather than cured, hopes his admission to hearing impairment serves as a warning to young dance fans to wear earplugs. “It got to the point where I’d get home and I couldn’t sleep. I’d be waking up and my ears were in pain, they’d be ringing that much.”

James is typically associated with progressive trance, but 2009’s FMF reflects the pervasive hybridisation in today’s club culture (cue tracks like Cut Copy’s remix of CSS’ Move). However, he feels that “the more techy progressive sound is making its way back” and, as such, the second disk is “darker”.

James, who’s produced dance music since the days of the Gina G-led Bass Culture, is likewise returning to the studio. The DJ has lately covered an ’80s acid house classic with Sydney’s PeeWee Ferris and a former Australian Idol winner – all very hush – which he hopes will be as big as 2007’s I Want You.

James is confident that 2009’s Future Music Festival will be a success, despite the uncertain economic forecast. Other than N*E*R*D, he predicts that the highlight will be Etienne de Crecy with his Daft Punk-inspired Cube.

It may also be the last chance for Aussies to catch the original superstar DJ, Paul Oakenfold. James has an old friendship with the Californian-based Brit, releasing Hot Like the Sun on Oakey’s Perfecto. “He hasn’t been here for five or six years and he’s getting to the age now where you won’t see him in Australia again, I doubt – that’s my theory,” James speculates. “I’m not saying he’s wrapping up. I think he just doesn’t like to travel that much any more. He’s doing so well in Vegas, and in America, it’s just, why bother- He’s got to the age now where he’s travelled enough and he just wants to stay in the one place. It took a while to get him out here and I don’t think he’ll still be DJing in five or six years.”

WHO: Mark James
WHAT: Future Music Festival through Stomp
WHEN: Out now