Hello, Mark! What have you been up to lately?
Working – last week I was in Wales, England, Singapore and Ibiza. After that I went back home to London briefly and then flew back out to Ibiza to do a closing party. I got back into the UK on Tuesday, left for Miami on Wednesday, got back today [Thursday] and now I’m off to a wedding because the wife’s sister’s getting married.
Luckily it’s in north London – otherwise I wouldn’t be going!
You sound pretty cheerful – shouldn’t you be all grumpy, tired and delirious?
I’m all of those things and the rest. I can’t complain, though – getting to go to Dubai and Miami to play records for people who love music is amazing. But as un-rock ’n’ roll as it sounds, you have to curb your drinking, hold back and keep one eye on the clock.
You must have some rock ’n’ roll stories, surely…?
The only particularly rock ’n’ roll thing for me is hotel rooms – I was on an Australian tour where I’d had a different hotel room every day. I ended up trying my key in about five different floors. Eventually I had to ask reception which room I was in and got this horrible look…
Er, let’s move on. Fierce Angel’s doing well; is it more satisfying than your time at Hed Kandi?
Yeah – I created Hed Kandi but I never had any ownership of it; I walked out of a £10million [Dhs59million] business with absolutely nothing. Whereas with Fierce Angel my wife and I have full control. And there’s amazing satisfaction in being able to play at a gig you’ve been negotiating for the last six months.
You’ve been out to Dubai a bit before, haven’t you?
We did some work at Chi and The Apartment. We’ve always done small DJ sets there before, but Barasti’s getting the whole Fierce Angel DJ show: there’s me, another DJ called Dave Simeon, two amazing singers and live percussion and sax – it’s really more of a Fierce Angel concert, if you like.
Is this going to be a regular thing?
Yeah, the plan is to do it monthly if all goes well. Things on the beach can come and go in Dubai, can’t they?
Pretty much everything comes and goes in Dubai.
[Laughs] Yeah, but the hope is to do this regularly. We’ve done this one-off Barasti Beach CD [see boxout] which should get the mood across – it’s not about people turning up to see a one-off appearance by a star DJ; it’s about getting everyone together regularly so they can have a good time.
You’ve said that Fierce Angel is a dance label for grown-ups. What did you mean?
I meant people who are grown up in their musical tastes. It’s about great hands-in-the-air party tunes that stay around, not following genres that pop up and disappear within three seconds, like Croatian techno or something. The core of house has always been funky, vocal music and that’s why labels like us, Hed Kandi and Defected are all still in business. It’s about working out what people enjoy and giving it to them.
Even if it’s Croatian techno?
Even if it’s Croatian techno! Have you heard a harpsichord through a filter? It’s a wonderful thing.
Mark Doyle plays Fierce Angel’s Barasti Beach Sessions, Barasti, October 1, free. The Fierce Angel Presents Barasti Beach * Sesisons CD is free when you buy a copy of Time Out Dubai magazine.
Sound of the Heavens
Mark gives a guide to the tracks on this issue’s free CD*
‘A deliciously cool, laidback track to kick the CD off.’
Bassmonkeys feat. Andrea Britton: ‘Always Be Together’
‘More beach beats with a stunning vocal, produced by our residents.’
Peyton: ‘A Little Sensitivity’
‘This is a classic track from one of our favourite vocalists (who’ll be joining us at Barasti) given a beach makeover by Eric Kupper.’
Bonnie Bailey: ‘I Know You’re There’
‘This track starts stepping up the pace on the CD.’
Wamdue Project feat. Jonathan Mendelsohn: ‘Forgiveness’
‘An Ibiza anthem – this is a Fierce Angel exclusive.’
Melissa Indot: ‘Starlight’
‘Melissa’s a local star in Kuala Lumpur and this is her first track for Fierce Angel.’
Fac 15 feat. Cathi O: ‘Haven’t You Heard’
‘Cover of the classic Patrice Rushen track. Full-on disco by Fac 15, who happens to be, er, me!’
Bassmonkeys feat. Amber Jolene: ‘Purple Haze’
‘Pure disco deliciousness from those Bassmonkeys.’
Elek-tro Junkies feat. Therese: ‘Neon Lights’
‘Everyone will know Therese from her hit ‘Put ’Em High’; this is her first single for us and it’s a stormer.’
‘The classic ‘Want Love’ by Hysteric Ego brought bang up to date.’
Club 4 Life: ‘Don’t Matter’
‘A big, disco-style anthem with great vocals and amazing production.’
FR feat. Jenny: ‘Love Is The Music’
‘The essence of Fierce Angel: a huge hands-in-the-air diva vocal!’