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Mark E – Works 2005-2009 Vol 2: Selected Tracks & Edits review

Last year’s announcement that Mark E was setting up his own imprint Merc was the Midlands based DJ signalling his intent to focus on original production – a canny move given the overstuffed disco edit release schedule – and the subsequent output has justified his decision: “Special FX” from Merc 003 ranks as one of this years most intriguing moody boogie tracks.

To draw a line under the last five years of superlative edit work, Mark E has compiled this second volume of the Selected Tracks & Edits series which will please the edit obsessives no end. The first edition of Selected Tracks & Edits allowed many a DJ the first opportunity to play out a full quality version of tracks such as “R & B Junkie” after missing out on the curse inducing limited vinyl version and suitably this second volume repeats this gift several times over.

Both tracks from Mark E’s debut release, the 2005 Scared EP on Jiscomusic, are present here in all their glory and it’s a mark of the producer’s talent that they sound just as fresh some five years later. “Scared” in particular is pretty much the blueprint for a successful slo mo disco house edit with the groove of Womack & Womack’s “Baby I’m Scared of You” being extended over some ten minutes Theo style, with Mark E adding elements of instrumentation with a guile not matched by some of today’s edit cowboys. The seventh minute marks a glorious drop into the full original track which plays out till the end. Sublime stuff and it’s not hard to see why it’s been near impossible to get on vinyl all this time.

“Formed” occupies the space marked “End of night set killer” on this CD that “Sun Shadow”, the superlative reimagination of Labelle’s “Moon Shadow” did on the first volume. Originally out on Jisco last year it’s a glorious twelve minute extension Grace Jones’ Balearic classic “La Vie En Rose” which teases out the Moulton produced groove before Miss Jones takes over with killer results. Elsewhere unreleased secret weapons such as the opening “Often Think To Myself” or “Darker”, where the brooding chug is transformed into a glorious piano led 80s soul instrumental, make this a worthy conclusion to some four years of edit dynamite.

Review: Tony Poland