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How Dance Music Came to Rule The World

By, Sergio Burns

New York, Las Vegas, Toronto, Sydney, Melbourne, Buenos Aries, Amsterdam, and Ayr – and its summer sizzle. With a travel itinerary like that you would be forgiven for thinking that I was interviewing some well seasoned adventurer – Simon Reeve or Bear Grylls, perhaps. You would be wrong, these global locations are the cities (and towns) where we find Ayrshire-based DJ Mark Sherry regularly performing.

A well-travelled music maker, Sherry previously had chart success as one of the original members of the band Public Domain. He has also played on Top of the Pops and the Pepsi Chart Show and enjoyed a successful 25 year solo career.

We caught up at his well-equipped studio in Ayr, where between a quick master class on how to put a track together, we chatted about his life as a DJ/producer.

“A couple of local guys,” Mark took up the story of how Public Domain started. “James Allan, who I still share the studio with, and another guy called Alistair MacIsaac approached me in a club in Ayr one night when I was …out for a drink with mates. I didn’t really know them, but they had been following what I had been doing with my DJing and producing. They knew I could play keyboards and they knew that I’d had some experience with production. They said: ‘Look we are actually doing a course on audio technology at the SAE College in Glasgow…how do you feel about working with us?’”

The three of them decided to combine their equipment and agreed to have a few jamming sessions. Amazingly, the first track they recorded was a hit. Well, actually, not just a hit, but a super-charting dance epic.

“It was called Operation Blade (Bass In the Place London). I had the idea for this track while I was resident in The Metro in Saltcoats. The music was used in the old Wesley Snipes vampire film ‘Blade’.”

“It got to number five in the UK charts,” Mark told me proudly. “It was called Operation Blade (Bass In the Place London). I had the idea for this track while I was resident in The Metro in Saltcoats. The music was used in the old Wesley Snipes vampire film ‘Blade’. I had an a cappella of Flavor Flav from Public Enemy saying: Bass for your Face, London. So, I was scratching that over the top and I was playing the music from ‘Blade’, and the Metro was going absolutely crazy.”

Mark took a second or two to reflect on those moments of inspiration. Tracking back in time until he was beneath the lights and the colours and the beats of his own private trance highway.

“I thought, I am going to take these samples into the studio and do something with them,” he recalled. “The first thing I suggested to James and Alistair I said: ‘Look I’ve got…

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