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Meat Katies Next Destination

Author: Katie Elles
Thursday, 28 August 2003
"I'm not out to be this exclusive DJ where you go and hear this super underground, uncompromising new music." Meat Katie (Mark Pember) is set to woo the punters yet again with another Australian tour, which coincides with the release of 'Destination: Australia'. Katie Elles chats to Mark about all things music and having a life outside of it.

Tell us a bit about your upcoming 'Destination: Australia' compilation.

"It took a while to produce because I've been recording it while doing remixes and stuff - grabbing time here and there. It's been quite beneficial doing it like that because it means I keep returning to it, tweaking it and getting it right. Instead of deciding that I'm going to spend a week on it and then it's behind me - I've had a chance to live with it for a while, which is kind of nice. Sort of iron it out and make sure it sits right. I'm really pleased with it."

The album is not due for release until next month but how has the response been from those who have heard it so far-

"Yeah - fantastic because it's a little bit broader. Although it's got break beat on there I play a bit of house and techno in my set. Basically I play what I like. Don't get me wrong - it's not in an abstract or a freaky way. If stuff sounds good to me and in my warped mind if I can make it fit into my set - then I'll play it."

Is that what you have always played in your sets- How has your sound progressed since you started playing music-

"I started in a band and then got into sampling stuff and then into breaks. I come from a live background - sampling drummers so, those kind of things led to breaks and developed into the culture of the big beat era. I got introduced to different sorts of house and techno sounds and then that started influencing what I did. It was a natural progression really. Over the years it just developed. I carry around house music but I don't always get the chance to play it. In some places like Eastern Europe I can just play broad long sets and they dance. It's a very straightforward way of doing it."

You are a self-confessed workaholic - what do you get up to when you are not working-

"I do home restorations [he laughs]. Painting something. I spend time with my family. I've got a young daughter and another child on the way. When I get time to chill out I spend time with my girlfriend and my little girl. Yeah that's what I do for fun. I have a life."

Your label 'Whole Nine Yards' is celebrating its fifth birthday next month. How is all that going-

"It's going really well. We've released 30 singles and about four or five albums over that time. But I'm having a break funny enough. I'm taking a break until February or March next year while my new child is on the way. I love the label. I deal with distribution, press, promotion, artist's accounts, and artwork. It's really time-consuming so, I'm going to take some time out and spend that time at home - be there for my girlfriend a bit while she's having the next baby. Kick back a little bit on the label. It's been going for long enough so, I can take five or six months out and it won't dent our reputation - well I hope not."

Do you take care of all those facets of the label by choice-

"I'm just so used to doing it now. I never wanted to do it to this level. When I started the label I thought I'd just knock out a few tunes and it turned into what it is today. That's luck basically. Luck of the draw. I've been lucky to have good producers, good music and the time for it."

You have been out to Australia a number of times. How have you found it so far-

"This will be the fourth time and yeah, I love it. It gets better every time I come back because I'll talk to anyone when I'm DJing. I'm one of those people that if you talk to me I'll talk back and I've met a hell of a lot of people in Australia. When I come out a lot of people send me emails and I hook up with people I've met
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