Part One: 1996 to 2014
Mark Dynamix is touted by punters and media types for his talented turntablism and plethora of successful DJ mixes including a decade long stint with Ministry of Sound. The first article focuses on Mark Dynamix’s formative contemporary musical career whilst capturing some of his personal characteristics. The second part is an audio interview and transcription (link here) that explores Mark’s insatiable appetite for music as a teen manifesting into an amazing radio career that lead to DJing his first big rave: Prodigy 6.
Mark Vick aka Mark Dynamix was unrecognizable on the dance floor because he was sporting a large, slightly greying, hipster beard. It was the Twenty Years Later rave reunion by EDJ Productions, 17 May 2014, and several of us continued the night’s frivolities back at a ‘random’ after party. I introduced myself to the affable bearded fellow with a slight English accent unaware it was Mark. Offering my record bag of old school House classics to him I noticed he sorted through them with the deftness of a Las Vegas card dealer. Now, it is not easy to make a group of seasoned old school ravers’ ears prick up, but that is exactly what happened when Mark Dynamix hit the turntables. One minute, we were dreamily tuned into the music, sipping beer and talking trash, the next, people were up and dancing. I was amazed at this stranger’s talent as he slammed the pitch control up, effortlessly mixed two tracks and then started scratching to boot. I remarked to the lady next to me that if some random bloke could mix that well then I may as well quit DJing! She replied, ‘that’s Mark Dynamix you idiot!’
My second meeting with Dynamix was after his set at Sydney Rave History’s, Golden Room, at Eckythump 2014. A group of us were sitting in the chill out area and Mark wandered in. Some younger fans called out ‘Hey Dynamix’ and he stopped to shake their hands confirming to me his status as a respected and much loved DJ still today. Sitting down for a chat he accepted with grace our congratulations on his excellent set that night which he described as:
‘being swayed towards a more melodic sense of music, rather than just down and dirty, and no layer on top…a hybrid of sounds starting off piano break beat, rave house in the middle, some trancey acid and then Italo House to end.’
Mark’s ‘hybrid of sounds’ is a winning formula he has stayed true to for nearly two decades. His sets transport the listener to different places at varying times and are cleverly designed to appeal to the differing discernments amongst a crowd. Further, Dynamix is not afraid to take risks with songs, to keep things fresh and contemporary, he likes to keep everyone on their toes and not simply play a medley of anthems. Mark’s beat mixing, sampling and scratch work is also superb. Definitely some of the best I have ever heard. Live or recorded, his mixing is super crisp and his technicality faultless.
In seeking feedback from a couple of promoters about Mark, the word that kept being repeated was ‘professional’ and I noticed this myself whilst interviewing him and by observing the way he promotes himself: Mark Dynamix is sober, serious, punctual and eager to provide a professional set to both punters and promoters.
He is not afraid to seek feedback whilst also being willing to value-add his own creativity to a production.
On 17 July 2014, I entered Mark’s house and discovered he had decided to interview me first and questioned my motivation for the article. He is cagey I gathered, professional, and not to be messed about, but he is also generous given the fact I was inside his home. I explained to Mark that I am part of Sydney Rave History’s mission to professionally document the old school rave scene and he responded with a mutual enthusiasm. Mark is well spoken, with a slight English accent that exudes a smooth confidence befitting a talented artist and former radio DJ.
We began by pulling out his numerous music awards: 2001, 2002 and 2006 Ministry of Sound, The Annuals plus a couple of In The Mix Top 50 awards for being ranked 5th top producer in Australia. We gathered up files containing hundreds of his flyers and magazine covers and clippings including 3D World of all the gigs he has performed over the years. It is and extensive amount of work showcasing a worthy career in dance music.
The discography of Mark Dynamix started in 1995 with The Anthems and Sundazed on Crash Bang! In 1999-2000, Dynamix achieved his first major recording successes with Peaktime 1&2 and Full Frequency on Central Station Records. It was here he met Tim McGee from Ministry of Sound and in 2000 he was brought into the fold. Mark then went on to produce Australia’s highest selling compilation ‘The Annuals’ alongside several other fantastic series such as Club Nation and Sessions from 2000 to 2011.
Mark Dynamix’s resume is the stuff of DJ dreams whilst also highlighting the work ethic required to transform dreams into reality. His residencies over the years included great Sydney Nightclubs such as Sublime, Home, Gas, Yu, Icebox and Sounds on Sunday. Dynamix has supported major acts like The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Dave Seaman (my favourite!), Basement Jaxx and Carl Cox to name a few. Between 2001 to 2005, Mark was awarded and ranked Top 1 and Top 3 Australian DJ by 3D World and Top 2 by In The Mix. Mark has also toured extensively overseas in notable clubs and raves in Europe, Canada and Asia.
In 2008, Mark Dynamix’s popularity peaked with nine sets crammed into each weekend on top of touring solidly for Ministry of Sound. However, the massive work schedule was beginning to take its toll with Mark enduring ‘micro sleeps’ on the eve of a new week. Further, he was becoming increasingly anxious about his inability to prepare his sets given the limited amount of time in between each set. Dynamix prides himself on presenting quality work to fans and managers yet his success was impacting his professional standards and taking its toll on both his physical and mental health. At this point, Mark decided to step away from his DJ career and moved into producing his own record label, ‘Long Distance Recordings.’(.com) This small underground label produces limited releases with Mark happy to continue with the label to this day - so check it out! In 2009, Mark entered a career in Location Sound Recording for television and film where he remains employed to this day.
Fast Forward 2014, Mark Dynamix is back on the decks and the response from punters is excellent. This year Mark has already played at several rave reunions including Sydney Rave History’s: Donkey Kong and The Golden Room at Eckythump. Dynamix’s other rave reunions this year have included Once Upon A Time and Twenty Years Later 2. He is also smashing the small club scene again with monthly residencies at Crane Bar on Saturday, 6 September 2014 and the funky Black Penny Bar and Bistro, Cnr. Bourke and Cleveland Street starting Saturday, 27 September 2014, 8pm-12pm for some soul, funk and classics. The 27th September will be a double packed night for Mark with a second performance at Rave Anthems at Oxford Arts Factory – so check them both out!
Article ©2014 SRH and Benjamin Sullivan