Words by Alexander
As I write this feature, I do it from the precarious position of both fan and co-label owner, appraising a single we have signed and released ourselves, from a production outfit which as a record label we are deeply invested in. I cannot say that the words which follow are without bias, though they are honest and sincere.
Marked Red is the production duo consisting of Adam O’Hara and Filip Olszewski. Hailing from the South of England, Adam was best known until recently for his solo work as Projekt 22 featuring on the One.Seventy various artists album ‘Permissions’ last year. More recently he has been writing ambient work as The Vision Reels with a debut album ‘Eyes Open’ released on Hong Kong based Kizen Records. Producing out of Wroclaw, Poland, Filipe is best known for his brooding productions as Entire, seeing notable releases with UVB-76 Music and Groundwork Recordings.
Adam first sent me an early version of ‘Discretion’ at a time when I was receiving a lot of new music from different artists, and if I’m honest it was put into a folder on my computer for listening later on. When I eventually got round to listening to the track I was completely blown away by its sense of scale and restrained impact. The only problem was that by that point I had completely lost track of who had sent me the track and couldn’t quite work it out, especially given that it was not typical of Adam’s solo work stylistically. Hence began a slightly embarrassing round of me asking my regular producer check-ins who was responsible for the track. Once I established the tracks origin I was also peripherally aware that there were other labels taking a keen interest in the track so knew I needed to register my interest and snap the it up quickly if I could.
Marked Red offers a dynamic that stands apart from either artist’s solo work, although it is not as cut and dry as attributing qualities from each individual. Filip is able to elaborate “My solo output was usually straight up 170 beats or beat-less ambient, yet I had many concepts running somewhere in between – and those found its place under Marked Red. It’s still dark, moody, sub-heavy stuff, but without Adam’s great fresh inputs, it would probably just stay on my hard drive forever”. Adam concurs and continues “The way we work as Marked Red is based around style and feeling of darker influences within drum & bass, techno and ambient music. we work on a load of material at once to find something that has substance and is worthy. We then pick the best parts.”
Before the release of the single, both Adam and Filip were very keen that we should be presenting the music under the guise of both drum & bass and techno albeit at 170 beats per minute, citing that “the music is based more around feeling and style than a speed or genre. It’s about rhythm, tone and progression which these two genres have in common.” Where tempo need not be the defining feature leading an aesthetic, this is certainly true. Marked Red may indeed have more in common with bleeps than breakbeats when in comes to pinning down their sound. Marked Red is an amalgamation of two unique artists casting a wide net of influences and submitting a succinct reduction of ideas.
Marked Red ‘Discretion’/’Spiral Storm’ is out now https://fanlink.to/markedred