Mark Ernestus is the founder of the legendary Hard Wax record store, which in 1989 laid the foundation for Berlin's electronic club music scene. He played a key role in establishing the Berlin-Detroit nexus, and started creating music as one half of Basic Channel (aka Maurizio), with its deep, immeasurably influential hybrid of dub and techno.
As Rhythm & Sound, the duo refined this signature sound alongside a range of vocalists — most extensively Tikiman (aka Paul St. Hilaire), besides reggae legends like Cornel Campbell, Jennifer Lara, Willi Williams and Sugar Minott. In the mid-nineties, BC set up Dubplates & Mastering, a mastering and vinyl cutting studio. It also launched a series of dub and reggae reissues drawn from the fabled Bronx-based Wackies label — ‘roots like Downbeat, sweet like Treasure Isle, mystic like Upsetter’.
In recent years Mark has remixed Tony Allen, Tortoise, Friedman/Liebezeit and Konono No. 1. Besides co-hosting the monthly Wax Treatment club nights in Berlin, he runs the Dug Out label — with Mark Ainley from Honest Jon’s in London — dedicated to lost reggae killers (following on from the Basic Replay imprint). Ernestus’ sets feature dub and reggae, mostly instrumental, from deep roots to militant steppers, roughneck electronics to digi minimalism, heavyweight doom to hardcore uptempo. On occasion, he plays mbalax, and other West African dance music. Typically, Mark appears with Tikiman on the mic (as intro man, MC, singer), mixing with live effects and treatments, dubwise.
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