4HERO


Artist


DRUM & BASS

Marc Mac and Dego are the two producers at the nucleus of Reinforced Records. They started their career in a tiny Dollis Hill studio packed to the rafters with old electronic kits you'd more often see in second hand stores. It was here they made their first album (In Rough Territory), and offered up an exciting amount of progressive drum&bass under the guises of Tek 9, Manix and Tom&Jerry amongst many others (in a formative genre that was crying out for innovators).

From these beginnings it has been a rollercoaster ride which, under their group 4hero, has seen a Mercury Music Prize nomination, two albums released on Gilles Peterson's Talkin Loud label, a vocal drum & bass album on Sony Japan under the guise Maximum Style, the scoring of the classic Manga series "Fist Of The North Star", and most recently a sync for three tracks on the feature film The Gathering.

Marc and Dego are real world musicians. Rather than simply integrate, they interrogate and still strive to innovate: able to mix sounds from different eras past, present and future. Long since removed from the jungle/drum&bass scene which was their home base and experimental training ground (as well as a springboard for others more concerned by style over content), the duo have progressed to a level where they are ready to be acknowledged and judged for their music rather than their reputation. The acclaimed album Jacob's Optical Stairway was probably their last venture (under any name) into anything resembling drum&bass...

But what a reputation! Their touch can still be felt in many different quarters - Marc Mac, as well as concentrating on the output of Reinforced Records, has set up the labels Omniverse Records and Twisted Funk.

Dego set up a new label, 2000Black, which covers "every style of music other than drum&bass, but unfortunately today's commercial radio isn't geared to such diversity". However, this isn't some misunderstood artist chip carried on the shoulder - Dego is equally proud of the fact that 2000Black isn't scared to release artists only he believes in (witness the compilation album GoodGood), but “it's still just all about the musical content" and, like Marc, he finds that working with people from the street is far more rewarding: "They are a lot more open minded, without these misguided preconceptions of what goes into making a track. These people are down for some maad shit! We just try and help them to explore."

Venturing further and further in hitherto unknown musical fields, creating patterns that no-one else has imagined, working with diverse and talented poets and singers, and right now shaping a new musical sound with broken-beats-meets-jazz-latin-soul, Marc and Dego are producers to be taken very seriously.