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Meat Katie: Broken Homes, Broken Beats & Breaking Through: Do It Yourself

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Monday, April 18, 2005
"You just pick yourself up; you've got to really because-one else is going to do it. No-one else is going to come along, knocking on your door and just hand it to you on a plate. You have to work. And also, you have to take a few risks, you've got to get yourself out there."

UK breaks star Mark Pember (aka Meat Katie) sound cheerful as he recounts the first time his musical career imploded when his decision to quit his musical project Ceasefire saw him plunged directly on the dole.

"I left a project that was absolutely going off, at that time, Wall Of Sound were the hottest label on the planet, and I left my own project andt that moment in time it was really, really difficult. I went back to square one, it was like: "Shit', he chuckles.

"But looking I think the whole experience really helped in the long term, because having had a bit of a taste of doing big remix projects and all the stuff that I wanted to do I thought, hang on a minute, I want to get that back again. I want to do those things again, so it actually helped drive me on," he explains.

Though having been literally thrown out of his home aged 15, with no shoes and socks on, the 33 year old producer/ DJ admits he's amply qualified to discuss the practical techniques required for learning from the school of hard knocks.

"I didn't get on with my step dad, it was one of those things that I'm sure many families have been through. My mum married someone else, we didn't get on too well and he didn't particularly like me, then one day it all came to a head," he recalls.

"We'd had many fights, but then one day it really kicked off and I left home and then later he had me arrested for assault. He was a sergeant in the army and he had me arrested for assault - a 15 year old kid. It's quite embarrassing in hindsight really," he sighs.

18 years on, he's one of the world's top breaks jocks, a status confirmed by his selection as the latest DJ to compile a mix CD for London clubbing group Fabric (Fabric Live 21) an endorsement he admits he's flattered by.

"A year ago, Fabric weren't even booking me, I think they thought I played really progressive music and they just weren't booking me, then luckily for me, I got invited to do Eargasm (Fabric's all breaks bimonthly special), the first one they did a year ago, and I went and played at that and had a really good one," says Mark.

"Then they started booking me regularly and it's just developed from there. The club started getting requests for me to come and play which was really cool, so then they just said: Do you want to do a comp- I was flattered. I thought that was really good and I felt like I had achieved something, I'd actually turned them round and got them on side, and then got them to commit to me, by doing this album."

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): When you talked to Skrufff last year, we discussed breaks just starting to breakthrough to the mainstream, 12 months on, how's it progressed from your perspective-

Meat Katie: "It seems to have snowballed (expanded- Slang Ed). I wont lie; I don't personally care either way if it becomes a really popular genre, or if it stays as it is, because if it stays as it is, I'm really happy with how it's already developed. There's a great scene for breakbeat all over the world and for me personally I don't need any more commercial success than I'm getting right now, this is enough (pausing.) I don't want to say there's lots of people jumping on the bandwagon, but I'm sure you're aware there certainly are."

Skrufff: Do you see crowds changing much in the past year-

Meat Katie: "There's more people coming now, more in general and the clubs are really busy, all over the world. Not just in London, I mean everywhere. I run a night in London called Hum with Rennie (Pilgrim) and we started off three years ago doing a party for eighty people. At the last one we had 1,400."

Skrufff: Though am I right in thinking you're going to scale back th