MARCO DEL HORNO
From his early beginnings on the UK garage scene 10 years ago to his current status as ‘Bullet Train’ label boss, producer and co-director of the Go Management agency – at 27, Marco Del Horno is a man who’s going places
“Now after 10 years I’ve found a style, both in DJing and production – which I can call my own,” says Marco. “I can play techy records next to tribal records next to electro – then move to dubstep. Having DJ’d now for half my life you learn that its all about progression. Whether a club set or radio show, it’ll always start with a dark groove and work its way up into full jump up tear out. It’s all about a dynamic – and people need to feel like there on this journey with you so when they get to the end they think about it.”
Take 1 part garage, 1 part house and 1 part dubstep and the result is Marco Del Horno.
“I feel that my sound, both in DJ sets and production, represents the 10 year journey I’ve been on,” explains Marco. And it’s true, that 10 year journey started back when he was just 16 as a young promoter putting on garage nights in his hometown of Croydon, “I had Benga and Skream DJing for me, but back then they were just Ben-e-g and Olly”. After a number of years cutting his teeth as a teenage promoter/DJ, Marco found himself drifting away from the UK garage scene and when he landed a job at Defected Records, he embraced house music with open arms. Marco explains “working at Defected through the period when we relaunched Strictly Rhythm was like taking an honours degree in house music and it really educated me in the quality of it. I was looking after projects for Kenny Dope, Louie Vega, DJ Gregory, Todd Terry, Quentin Harris and DJ Spen – that really showed me the level of where music production should be and they made me to want to write music of my own.”
It’s no coincidence that the artists named above came out of the early 90’s US garage house scene that in turn inspired Marco’s first love of UK garage and also the current hybrid sounds that are being made by Marco, Roska, L Vis 1990, Seiji, Bok Bok and Scratcha DVA.
Whilst at Defected, as well as creating his own productions and DJing regularly, Marco also launched his weekly radio show on the infamous Rinse.FM, where he was able to cultivate his style of playing house, next to funky, next to tropical and dubstep. This is what gave him his sound, literally sucking up everything around him and channeling it on air for 2 hours every week.
2010 saw Marco cement his name in the new ‘bass generation’ with the release of ‘Ho Riddim’, his collaboration with DJ Swerve (Kiss) and P Money (Slang Like This /Anthemic ft Magnetic Man). The record was not only ‘record of the week’ with Mistajam on BBC 1xtra but also substequently playlisted on the station as well as being supported across the board from Annie Mac to Zane Lowe to Westwood to Trevor Nelson and beyond.
Following Ho! Riddim, Marco’s remixes on Jamie Woons ‘Night Air’ was another landmark production in his career – again receiving full support from not only every specialist DJ at Radio1 and 1xtra but also the like of Capital, Choice, XFM and Galaxy. The subsequent remixes and releases have continued to be met with the same support across the airwaves and clubs.
2011 2012 and beyond continue to be very exciting time (and very busy) times for this part business man part cockney bass merchant!
Swerve joined Kiss in 2000 and then in November 2008 he hosted the station’s flagship urban show for 3 years broadcasting nationally from 10pm to Midnight, Monday to Thursday. The show held the number 1 timeslot for 16-34 year olds. Swerve has interviewed pretty much every major artist in the industry from Jay Z, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West and 50 Cent to UK superstars Tinchy Stryder, Dizzee Rascal, Professor Green, Wretch 32 and many more. Swerve has also presented an urban mixshow called “The Re-Up” for international syndication in Europe, Australia, Asia and the US.
Swerve worked on TV shows including The R&B chart for Kiss TV and 4Music and presented his very own show, “DJ Swerve’s Hip Hop Histories” for Kiss TV and syndicated channels and has voiced many music related and youth product adverts.
Swerve DJ’s all over the UK and worldwide playing at prestigious events such as The Princes Trust Urban Music Festival and Notting Hill Carnival as well as high profile corporate events for Adidas and Blackberry. Swerve was named DJ of The Year at the 2009 Urban Music Awards and won Best Radio Show at the same event in 2010.
Swerve is not just a DJ / presenter, he’s also an extremely talented producer creating beats for some of the best UK MC’s of the moment and commercially producing musical content for phone giants Blackberry. 2010 was a landmark for Swerve as his production; D Double E’s “StreetFighter Riddim” became the biggest grime track of the year and a year later synced to hit C4 show ‘Top Boy’ featuring Kano and Ashley Walters. Shortly after the “Street Fighter’’ success Swerve created another huge grime track “Ho! Riddim” featuring P Money for Black Butter. Originally a remix for Marco del Horno’s track “Ho”, it was decided to make this the main version and the rest is history. They decided to team up again for another smash called ‘Just Rewind’ again signed to Black Butter Records released December 2011. Swerve has remixed Gucci Mane’s “Weirdo” for a UK producer project curated by fellow Kiss DJ Sinden and also been working on his upcoming EP “4.0 EP’ which features the likes of Lady Chann, OGs (P Money, Little Dee, Blacks) and Scrufizzer which will drop early 2012.
A bit about the man……
Swerve played his first DJ set at a community Scout Hall in, South London – a night he promoted himself with friends. He recalls his first DJ gig as being ‘nerve racking’, but definitely enjoyable. While at school he used all of his wages from his part-time supermarket job to buy vinyl and frequently had to sneak records into his house with the aid of his friends.
Swerve’s other great passions are computer games, vintage frames and sneakers. Swerve also has a keen interest in nearly every sport going and despite being a connoisseur on all things urban; on a good day you’d be mistaken for thinking he has just stepped off a GQ photo shoot.
Oh, and did we mention his killer collection of 80-s pop 7″ and oh yes, he brings them out from time to time too!