Markantonio

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Markantonio

A long-time staple of Neapolitan techno and the European dance scene in general, Markantonio has excelled as a first class DJ, producer and record label owner through his own work and that of labels Analytic Trail and MKT.
First getting behind the decks at just fifteen years old, a passion for both the technical side of DJing and for finding the freshest records around made it clear that music would be the career for young Markantonio. Within four years, he was making a name for himself in the late 90s clubs of Naples and emerged as one of the region’s most exciting electronic music prospects. His production skills quickly caught up with his DJing and, in 1999, the sci-fi bleeps and pumping drums of the ‘Fried Mix’ EP showed an ambitious artist with a strong grasp of groove and how to make the details in a track stand out. Then came ‘Appendix A’ on Southsoul Appendix, a more melodic release that displayed the impressive breadth to Markantonio’s talent.
Whilst his records were finding their way into the hands of techno’s leading DJs, Markantonio was busy developing his own craft in the booth, sharing bills with big artists like Rino Cerrone, Paco Osuna, Valentino Kanzyani, The Advent, Ignition Technician and Davide Squillace. He fast became renowned for the dynamism and layering of his sets. Juggling tracks and loops across three or four decks, Markantonio uses the mixer like an instrument, working the EQs and filters with the kind of grace and expertise that comes with 20 years of performing on the world’s biggest stages: Awakenings (Netherlands), Sonus (Croatia), Monegros (Spain), Cielo (USA), Amnesia (Ibiza), Crobar (Argentina), the Gashoulder (Netherlands) or Analytic Trail showcases, to name just a few.
Fascinated by the idea of a DJ guiding the minds on the dance floor and music as a drug, Markantonio is constantly striving to create those magical moments when different tracks blend in unexpected ways and tracks are twisted into something totally new. Watch his multiple sets on BE-AT.TV or on Boiler Room and his talent for moving a dance floor with power and elegance will be obvious. Whether it’s techno, acid or house, Markantonio finds a now-signature thread in all the music he plays; it might be the vocal sample, rolling sub-heavy bassline, colourful melody or euphoric breakdown. This was true of the high BPM, ravey tracks of his earlier years and still remains. He has stayed loyal to a certain sound whilst also adapting to the times and the creative possibilities of modern DJ technology.
Markantonio’s work in the studio has become as celebrated as his live performances, with an impeccable discography now counting 50 releases. His appearances on labels including Adam Beyer’s Drumcode, Sleaze, Alchemy and Tortured have explored a timeless sound that is as fresh now as it was back in ’99. That comes, he says, from going into the studio with an open mind and letting the groove flow naturally. His records are instantly recognizable by the warm, booming production, latin influence, funky bass and almost tribal polyrhythms. They are individual masterclasses in making the most out of a few carefully-tailored elements; ‘Molotov’ with Jospeh Capriati being a prime example. Another particularly notable chapter in the Markantonio discography is Junction Hands, a collaborative project with Rino Cerrone that landed on Drumcode in 2006, with a hit EP called ‘Napoli Connection’ which also featured Capriati. Fast-forward ten years and the record is still shaking crowds worldwide. The three guys also combined all their technical expertise in a mega show called Neapolitan Gangsta. A techno band like no other! Remix-wise, versions of tracks by Alan Fitzpatrick and Reset Robot, Christian Varela or Deepgroove & Jamie Anderson have made Markantonio widely in-demand.
In 2015 came Markantonio’s debut album ‘Musichemistry’. An ambitious and complete statement of his artistic vision, the record spans fifteen tracks and traces his journey so far. Beginning with the trip-hop styled title track and swiftly moving through all kinds of techno, you can almost imagine Markantonio in the studio, reflecting back on the different phases of his career and producing a track to represent each. The result is a special and personal album that combines big room floor-fillers and more subtle efforts that require repeated listening to reveal their intricate details.
As much as he is a revered DJ and producer, Markantonio is well-respected as having an shrewd ear for record label A&R. Now with over 75 releases under its belt, the prolific Analytic Trail has been a renowned powerhouse of Italian techno since it began in 2001. Markantonio has a gift for unearthing and developing future stars – Joseph Capriati, for example – and also provides a platform for many of his friends in the industry to release music. Rino Cerrone, Paco Osuna, Joseph Capriati, Luigi Madonna, Davide Squillace and important international techno artists like Jesper Dahlback and Cari Lekebusch are all proudly part of the roster. Markantonio’s second label MKT started as the home for his more experimental, forward-thinking releases and grew to involve other artists under the same concept. Born out of the desire to join past and present, techno and minimal-house, acid and electro-funk, the label has been behind some very unique and influential releases. It, like Analytic Trail, shows no signs of slowing down.
A rock solid presence in dance music, a godfather of the Neapoltian sound, a constant innovator and infectious character, Markantonio continues to prove that, despite whatever changes and trends the music industry might present, experience, quality and an ear for groove will always be in favour.
About 30 production released in ten years, highlight a solid and lasting power. Every single rhythm section is characterized by an obsessive care to details and sounds. This project uses its energy vocation in the research of a groove with effect on techno music; it’s an idea, an expressive urge which has risen the interest of the most electronic artist of new millennium. Just of great relevance “Molotov” composed by Markantonio and Joseph Capriati, was played even by Richie Hawtin in Love Parade opening in Berlin. Then, also a substantial distribution both for vinyl and digital with the aim of supporting their releases with a massive promotion. The motto is: “Groovey tracks engineered for the dancefloor“! The desire of join past and present, techno and minimal-house, acid and electro-funk, leads to the creation of a second record label MKT, with the first ep “Future Shock” by Markantonio – confirming his high production capacity. Then, in 2007 the cooperation with Mauro Picotto and Riccardo Ferri’s record label – Alchemy, marks his landing on Ibiza and in 2008 Markanotnio performs with “Analytic Trail” showcase at the celebrated Privilege. Joseph Capriati will join him also in the production of “Codice Morse” and “Molotov EP”.
Summer is close and the first official compilation is produced for the best club of south of Italy “La Vecchia Fattoria“, meanwhile follow several productions of minimal – techno music for both MKT and Analytic Trail. At the same time many works are carried out abroad such as two releases on Alchemy Rec, excellent remixes like “Happily” with Capriati, “Pepperoni” with Cristian Varela and the recent “Airtight” of the duo-trio Deepgroove & Jamie Anderson. Equally, Markantonio attends at many important festivals like Cramfield, Awakenings and the illustrious Electrobeach of Benidorm and his tracks appear on great success compilations such as “I Love Techno 3 – Dance Club”, “Essential Underground Vol. 09”, “U60311 Compilation Techno Division Vol. 5”, “Amnesia Ibiza Sessions Vol 8”, “United DJs Vol.3”.
Markantonio plays all around Europe, through his ability to meet any clubber needs and more, his talent in managing, with glamour and elegance, the tech-house minimal appeal.
Recently, Markantonio has also carried out the project “Junction Hands” born in 2006 in collaboration with Rino Cerrone, as divertissement in several happenings. The idea to “cross their hands” seems almost a provocation, a new challenge, again, launched through the awareness of their own resources and an unlimited inspiration. From this project has been created the namesake track included in the various artists “Napoli Connection” on Drumcode and the ep “Revolution is back” produced by Unrilis. In addition to the already proven duo, here comes the rampant Joseph Capriati. The three guys combine all their technical expertise through a mega show, called “Neapolitan Gangsta”. This is a real techno band promising sparks in the best international circuits!